It may seem strange that this picturesque ice rink is only open for skating during the winter, when nearby lakes are solidified completely and park baseball fields have been flooded in anticipation of pick-up hockey games. Ours is not to wonder why, ours is to appreciate that the Depot easily trumps neighborhood rinks, and not just because of its mesmerizing Zamboni. Housed in the former Milwaukee Road train depot, the place is architecturally impressive—we'd even go so far as to use words like "soaring" and "majestic"—and it is climate-controlled to boot. Its floor-to-ceiling windows afford an impressive view of the city, though they also make skating blunders visible to passersby. Circling crowds range from shy couples emboldened by momentum to seasoned skaters landing graceful jumps to children pushing practice chairs across the pristine, unblemished ice. For those without their own pair, the Depot offers figure and hockey skates for rent, as well as a snack bar, music piping over the rink, and a disco ball spinning from the ceiling. The special Valentine's Day deal includes hotel packages starting at $159 and includes a one-night stay with late check out (2 p.m.), free skating (the rink is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), a bottle of champagne, and a breakfast buffet. Visit www.thedepotminneapolis.com/icerink for a complete listing of dates and times for open skate.
Nov. 25-March 21, 2009