Winter Fun

Chicago skyline from Nickol Knoll Sled Hill

» View from the top of the Nickol Knoll Sled Hill

Sledding

Unsupervised sled hills are located at Heritage, Green Slopes, Sunset Meadows, and Nickol Knoll Parks. Only plastic sleds and tubes will be allowed. Use of sleds with wood or steel is prohibited. Snow boards are not allowed at these sled hills. Parks staff inspect the rinks on a daily basis to determine if they are safe to open. Sledding at all sites is at your own risk.

» Find an Open Sled Hill

  • At Heritage Park, the sled hill is lighted.
  • At Green Slopes, Nickol Knoll, and Sunset Meadows Parks, the sled hills feature large, open areas. The sled hill at Green Slopes is lighted.
  • Sledding at Nickol Knoll is allowed only in the designated area - east side of Park near ball diamond. Look for the sign marking the proper location. There is no warming shelter at this location.

Ice Skating & Ice Hockey

The Park District warns everyone that neither ice skating nor sledding is allowed at Arlington Lakes Golf Club or at Lake Arlington. Ice skating is not allowed at the Nickol Knoll Golf Club. Conditions are never safe, regardless of extremely cold weather. The constant flow of water in these lakes does not allow them to freeze solid enough for skaters. No sledding near ice rinks.

» Find an Open Ice Rink 

The Park District provides unsupervised ice skating and ice hockey rinks throughout Arlington Heights. Rinks are maintained at Heritage, Hickory Meadows, Lake Terramere, Pioneer, Patriots and Recreation Parks. Parks staff inspect the rinks on a daily basis to determine if they are safe to open. All ice rink locations have free skating rinks. Hockey rinks with boards are located at Heritage and Pioneer Parks.

The ground has to be frozen prior to beginning the process of making ice. Park District personnel usually start making ice after the first prolonged cold spell (22 degree highs for four to five days). Historically, this is around December 15. 

Why do park crews stop making ice on February 15th each year?

Even on the coldest of winter days after February 15th, the sun's warm rays begin melting the darker colored ice. As the days get longer, the sun's angle becomes more direct and much warmer. Ice made during the overnight hours begins a slow and gradual meltdown and ice cannot be sustained.

Hockey rinks are most vulnerable to this melting because the dasher boards along the perimeter absorb a great deal of the sun's warmth. The sun warms the dasher boards and they radiate that warmth back to adjacent ground melting the ice adjacent to the boards. This heat buildup also prevents new layers of ice from forming adjacent to the boards.

Finally, nighttime temps in late February are not typically cold enough to support formation of multiple layers of ice. While most late February evenings are below freezing, ice making at temperatures just below freezing often requires several hours before the warm 55 degree water from the hydrants refreezes and forms a new layer of ice. Unable to make multiple ice layers nightly, ice making efforts become futile.

Note: If the temperature and/or wind chill factor reaches -10° or below, the rinks will be considered closed.

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