The nighttime city skyline sparkles from the east bank of the Des Moines River, luring skaters onto the ice at the outdoor Brenton Skating Plaza. Of course, the rink is also open during the day, but at night, it feels more urban and adventurous. Beginners needn’t be shy: They’ll find plenty of company along the railing and can skate without shame. Music plays as skaters spin around the rink then break for refreshments inside the warming shelter, where a decent selection of hot and cold beverages, pizza, popcorn and snacks provides energy for another go-round. (East Village restaurants and nightclubs are only a block or two away, offering more options for drinks and dinner.)
Basic adult admission is $4.50 to $6, skate rental is $3.50 a pair, and lessons are offered two days a week at set times. Metered parking spots line the surrounding streets.