What to Wear and Bring With You When You Go Ice Skating

Get Ready to Glide

For a successful and fun time ice skating, you need to do some planning. And you'll need more than just your skates. Appropriate attire and a few other items will make for a smooth day gliding on the ice.

Gloves or Mittens

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Ice skating rinks are cold, so every ice skater needs gloves or mittens. In addition to keeping hands warm, gloves or mittens protect a skater's hands if he or she falls down on the ice. Thin or inexpensive gloves work most of the time, so the thick padded gloves used for skiing or playing in the snow are usually not necessary.

Pants or Leggings

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Even if it's warm outside, an indoor ice rink will be freezing. Don't plan to go ice skating while wearing shorts or street dresses. It is best to wear comfortable pants that move and stretch, so jeans are also not a good idea. And don't worry about dressing up in ​figure skating dresses for recreational ice skating.  

Light Jacket, Sweater, or Sweatshirt

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When you ice skate, your body will move around a lot, so you usually do not need a very heavy jacket. A light fleece, sweatshirt, warm-up type jacket, or sweater may be all that is necessary to keep you warm, but if a rink is especially cold, consider dressing in layers. For example, you could wear a light jacket or sweater under a heavier jacket at first. Then when you begin to feel a bit warm, remove the heavy jacket.

Hat and Scarf (Optional)

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Depending on how cold it is inside an ice rink, you may want to wear a knit hat over your head and wrap a scarf around your neck. Make sure the scarf is not too long or is tucked inside your shirt, sweater, or jacket.

Helmet (Optional but Recommended)

young ice skater with a helmet

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Not exactly fashion attire, helmets are optional but recommended. New ice skaters, especially young children, should wear a helmet during their first few experiences on ice skates. Helmets will also keep young skaters' heads warm.

Long-Sleeved Shirt or Turtleneck

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Even if you wear a light sweater or jacket, it is wise to wear a long-sleeved shirt when you ice skate. A turtleneck or mock neck will provide some additional protection from the cold.


Austria, Salzkammergut, Lake Irrsee, Teenage girls (14-15) skating

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Be sure to bring socks with you to the ice rink. The socks you wear with ice skates should not be too thick, since thick socks will be uncomfortable inside ice skates.

Your Own Ice Skates (If You Have Them)

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Don't worry if you don't own a pair of ice skates. Almost all ice skating rinks have ice skates, either figure skates or ice hockey skates, available for rent. Skate rental is not expensive and usually costs around $5 a pair, but keep in mind that rental skates may not be as comfortable as your own skates.


UK - London - Somerset House - Ice Rink
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Bring your camera with you when you go ice skating. You'll want to record the fun experience and remember the smiles and laughter that took place at the rink.

Healthy Snacks and Drink

The best comfort on a cold day

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Ice skating uses up a lot of energy. Bring a healthy snack or two with you to the ice rink. Some ice arenas have a snack bar or vending machines, but not all skating rinks have food for purchase available and those that do may not have healthy food choices. Also, ice skating can make you thirsty, so bring bottled water or another type of drink.

Cash, Change, or Credit Cards

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Almost all ice skating rinks charge admission even if you bring your own ice skates. Plan on paying anywhere from $5 to $12 or more for a public skating session or open ice skating session. In addition, you may need change for the vending machines or for the lockers to lock up your valuables while you enjoy ice skating.