Ice skating rink officially opens outside Wrigley Field

(Park at Wrigley/Facebook)

It was an opening day at Wrigley Field Friday, but no, it's not time for baseball yet. 

We're talking ice skating!

The sun was shining and temperatures were in the 50s -- perfect for an opening day for "Winterland at the Park" outside Wrigley Field. The new winter festival includes an 8000-square-foot skating rink, a Christkindle Market -- the third one in the Chicago area -- and appearances by Santa starting with the Christmas tree lighting this Tuesday.

And it wasn't just the weather that gave the ice rink a warm welcome.

“Well, the Cubbies won here, in 2016, and it's cool to skate in the environment of all the people who love the Cubs,” said Morgan Rothstein.

“It's a good way to spend our Thanksgiving break and having fun with people and learning to meet new people,” said John Carney. 

You can bring your own skates or Cubby blue rental skates are available for $10 a pair.

“It's next to Wrigley. Everything's cool about this area. So yeah, once in a lifetime, get to skate next to Wrigley Field,” said Mike King.

Most of the Chicagoans at the festival knew about the ice skating rink and came out to get their first look. But there were also plenty of holiday tourists who came from a long distance to see Wrigley Field, and found a lot more.

Richard Glenn lives in Tampa and hadn't see Wrigley's neighborhood in more than 15 years.
“So now seeing how this whole area has grown up, it’s phenomenal, it's awesome. It’s become a destination point rather than just a ballgame,” Glenn said.

Steven Farmer was visiting from Virginia.

“We've never been here before, so this is pretty cool,” Farmer said.

The skating rink opens at 3 p.m. on weekdays and 11 on weekends. Kids 12 and under skate for free, $5 admission for adults.