Free Ice Skating Downtown @ Rotary Rink

By Giovanni Centurione

Looking for something fun to do this winter? Maybe you need a new place to bring the family,  your school group, a date, or hold a birthday party.  Or, you may be looking for a way to relax and burn calories on your lunch break.  And the free, above-ground portion of the subway is right there!

Know that if you bring your own ice skates to Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza, you can skate for free, but even the rental costs are dirt cheap. Only $3 for adults and $2 for children. 

Open now till March 14th, weather dependent, Rotary Rink is downtown Buffalo’s only outdoor ice-skating rink. The rink is surrounded by some of Buffalo’s most beautiful modern and historic architecture such as Key Center, M&T Center, Gold Dome, and Bank of America. And there are plenty of restaurants (Vitos!) and coffee shops within walking distance, where you can eat and drink before, after or while on break from the cold. There are also snacks and beverages available in the rink’s heated concession area.

This special treat has been managed by Buffalo Place and partnered with the City of Buffalo since 1998.

Hours of operation are:

Tuesday- Friday  11AM-2PM & 5PM-9PM 

Saturday 11AM-10PM 

Sunday 11AM-6PM 

Closed Mondays

Extended holiday hours are:

December 21, 22, 23: 11AM-9PM 

December 24: 11AM-2PM 

December 28, 29, 30: 11AM-9PM 

December 31: 11AM-1AM 

January 1, 18: 11AM-9PM 

February 15: 11AM-9PM


To host an event or planning to bring a group to Rotary Rink, contact Buffalo Place. Group rates and party packages are available by calling: 716.856.3150

Rotary Rink @ Fountain Plaza . 716.854.RINK (7465)

Main Street (Between W.Chippewa & W.Huron Streets)

About the author  ⁄ WCPerspective

Buffalo and development junkie currently exiled in California.


The family and I had a great time for just the cost of the skate rental. Lots of laughs and being out in the fresh air was awesome. Thank you Buffalo. What a treat. I will be back. (on a side note, in response to other posts here, we did skate in both directions.)

Ronnie Lester

love the 716,skating Dwntwn is a Blessing...& Free!B really cool 2 have. Canal side rock'n as well 4 winter!

Ronnie Lester

Love living dwn twn Buffalo,skating FREE is a big plus,don't 2 do much 4 free anymore,its electric,romantic,& joyful 2 b in Heart of the 716 have'n a good healthy time...Cheers & GOD Bless Buffalo,N.Y. & the ppl W/in!Peace 2U all! :)


It would be awesome to see Hoyt Lake turned into an Ice-Rink again. It would be just like our own version of Central Parks Ice Rink in NYC. (Well, since both parks were designed by Olmstead, it only makes scense).


The city parks department polluted the lake with salt and chemicals to keep it from freezing. One more reason to keep the Olmsted Conservancy.


Hoyt Lake... why isn't there skating there anymore? I'm almost certain I've seen old pictures of people skating there. Anyone know when/ why they stopped? That would be a great place for pond hockey.


Ice skating on the canal @ "canal side" is the plan along with warming huts.

I just hope I'm still able to skate when the project is complete.

Can we get this project moving and complete while we're young? Please!


just go the other way yourself. are they gonna kick you out? skate backwards to even up your exercise. and yes, it would be sweet if it was bigger. still, it would be neat if they had pond hockey there.


I really hope that the "canal side" canal will freeze in the winter, or they will have something that assists it with freezing. I always thought it was cool that people in Ottawa would skate to work in the winter.


It should change directions after a certain amount of time.

Maybe it's a city thing. Everything just keeps spinning in one vicious direction.


Is'nt going 'One' way pretty much the norm anywhere? I've never seen it switch unless it was a special day.


Funny you mention that. The one time I went we went in a clockwise motion the whole time.


Maybe this was an isolated experience... but the one time I was there it was really annoying that we only skated in a counter-clockwise motion. At every other rink for open skate, the direction switches after each re-surface. But downtown every time the 'boni left the ice, we continued to go counter-clockwise. Talk about an unbalanced exercise! My right leg was sore at the end of the day and my left was fine.

Not a huge deal, but it would be cool if people realized to switch directions every so often!


I wish the rink was larger so you could really open it up.


I always luv coming down here to skate. Thanks for reminding me about this.