BEST PLACE TO ICE SKATE (1998)

Sure, Lake of the Isles' expansive skating area suits the Lipinski-ites and the desperately seeking singles, but if you shimmy in the Michelle Kwan school of solitaire artistry, Loring Park's recently enlarged pond is hard to beat. El Niño ruled it out in '98, but the Loring's advantages include a deluxe warming house, lights and music at night, and free cocoa and cider on Saturdays. Best of all, it's low-traffic, so you can make like you own the place.

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