This weekend I went skating at The Depot Ice Rink. I’ve heard a lot of rave reviews about this ice rink since I moved to Minneapolis in July 2011. It’s an indoor rink inside the old Minneapolis train shed downtown. What makes it unique today is its indoor location combined with the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out into downtown.
Since my skating skills are extremely sub-par (yes, I used one of those ‘walkers’ that kids use when learning), I didn’t spend too much time on the ice. Primarily, I walked around the perimeter, enjoyed people watching, and marveled at the number of proficient skaters. While there, I didn’t feel especially ‘wowed’ by the experience, but as soon as I left the building and felt the frigid air take my breath away, I began to appreciate what all the fuss was about. Unlike other indoor rinks, The Depot is about to capture the winter ideal of enjoying a skate outside without actually having to brave the freezing Minnesota winter. With sunlight streaming in from the windows, an open layout, and the lack of artificial lighting or bleachers, The Depot feels a lot more like a skate around the lake than a trip to a hockey game. I would definitely recommend a visit to this unusual locale.