The Ice at Carter Green | 2023/2024 Christkindlmarkt Ice Skating Info and Tips

The Ice at Carter Green | 2023/2024 Christkindlmarkt Ice Skating Info and Tips

Written by Lisa Viaches

Outdoor ice skating at the Ice at Carter Green in Carmel is a must-do for everybody’s holiday list! Surrounded by the gorgeous Christkindlmarkt, it’s the best view you can ask for while ice skating. Spend an entire day at the Christkindlmarkt shopping, making crafts, ice skating, and sipping on hot chocolate. There is live entertainment at the Market which you can enjoy from the rink! The Ice at Carter Green is located between The Center for the Performing Arts and the Booth Tarkington Civic Theater on 3rd Avenue SW at City Center Drive.

Carmel Christkindlmarkt

This year, from November 18 – December 24, the Ice at Carter Green will be surrounded by the old-world charm of a traditional outdoor German Christmas Market. The Carmel Christkindlmarkt features a delightful blend of authentic German food, German beverages, mulled wine, holiday gift shopping, crafts, a woodworking shop, kids’ activity corner, igloos, live music, and special performances by artists.

Only a few open-air Christkindl Markets exist in the midwest and Carmel, Indiana is home to the best. Several national polls have voted the Carmel Christkindlmarkt the best holiday Market in the country!

The Ice at Carter Green

From November 18th until the end of February 2024, families will be able to ice skate underneath the stars or spend an afternoon getting active in a fun way. The Ice at Carter Green is a large outdoor ice skating rink situated between the Palladium and the Booth Tarkington Theatre at Carmel City Center. The Ice at Carter Green is the grand centerpiece of the Carmel Christkindlmarkt, which makes for a beautiful backdrop while skating. It’s also wonderful to walk about the Market with ice skating going on right next to everything. It gets you in the holiday spirit.

Not much can top ice skating on the rink in the middle of the Christkindlmarkt with your friends and family on a crisp winter day while listening to holiday music, followed up with food, drinks, and a stroll around the Market! At 180 feet by 80 feet, the Ice at Carter Green is one of the largest outdoor rinks in the Midwest and one of the few outdoor rinks in Indiana. Also, it’s chilled, which means that even if it’s a warm winter, you can still enjoy frozen ice outside. Up to 150 people can be on the ice at once and skates are available for rental. Make your reservation online in advance to secure your spot!

Ice at Carter Green Hours

The Ice at Carter Green is open from November 18, 2023, through February 29, 2024. Hours vary greatly depending on when you want to go. In general, while the Christkindlmarkt is here from November 18 – December 24, the rink is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. The rink is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. The rink closes early on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m.

Every day from December 26 to January 7, the rink is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. It closes from January 8th – 11th and reopens for Thursday to Sunday sessions from January 12 – February 29. There are limited hours on certain days and extra hours on others, so make sure you check the Ice at Carter Green website for the specific day you want to go.

Reserve Tickets Online

You should try to reserve tickets online in advance as they sell out quickly. You can try to walk up the day of, but you run the risk of it being at capacity for the rest of the day. Tickets are $11 for ages 11 and older. Children 10 and under are $9. Skate rentals are $4 each or you can bring your own. There are several time slots to choose from each day and each session lasts 90 minutes. The Zamboni prepares the rink between each session so you cannot stay past your time slot. You may, however, take a break during your session for hot chocolate or a restroom break and come back.


Plan to arrive about twenty minutes early (not including parking!) to check in, get your skates, and store your belongings. You must have a waiver on file, so doing it beforehand would save time at the Market. There can be long lines to purchase tickets and to rent skates. If you did not buy tickets online, the hut right next to the skates hut is where you can purchase tickets and fill out a waiver.

Skating with Kids

All ages are welcome to skate, but they may not have super small skates to rent. Everybody else can rent skates at the skate hut. Your open skate lasts for an hour and a half, so you’ll have time to take a break, go to the restroom, and warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate!

I should mention that the Ice at Carter Green does not have skating aids that little kids can hold onto and push around for stability. This may not be the ideal rink for skating with toddlers. It’s wonderful for older kids (5 and up). Try non-peak days and hours if you’re looking for a smaller crowd to practice with your little one.

Plan Ahead

Don’t forget to bundle up! You’ll want gloves as it can get very cold, especially if you bite it on the ice and break your fall with your bare hands! Kids are welcome to bring a helmet for safety.

There are restrooms in the lobby of the Booth Tarkington Civic Theater you’ll want to hit up before strapping into ice skates. The lobby is also connected to the parking garage which you can enter from 3rd Avenue SW. After skating or exploring the Market, head up the stairs to Cake Bake at Carmel City Center for dessert or walk up the Monon Trail to Midtown or Main Street for dinner. Don’t forget to make dinner reservations!

Make A Day Of It

Stay a little longer. Try authentic German beers, bratwurst, mulled wines, Belgian waffles, Kartoffellanzen potato spirals, or Bavarian pretzels. Round out your holiday shopping with handmade gifts. Make a craft or watch woodworkers do their magic. Warm up in an igloo. Enjoy live holiday music and be entertained at the Main Stage by ballet dancers, Alphorn performers, German dance troupes, jazz musicians, puppet shows, marionettes, and Dickens carolers. There are plenty of activities dedicated to children as well, like meet and greets with Santa, his elves, the Christkind, and princesses. Definitely stop by the Kinderecke “Kids Corner” to grab your Kinder Club Passport and make a craft!

Kinderecke Kids Corner

The Kinderecke (“Kids Corner”) is a special space for families to make crafts and memories together during all Market hours. Head over to the special kid-friendly hut to make all sorts of fun holiday-themed or German-inspired creations! There is a full schedule of crafts and activities in the Kinderecke, including the Porsche coloring book giveaway, Lindy’s cookie decorating, woodworking workshop, and Christkind ornament making.

The Kinderecke is also one of two locations to pick up your Kinder Club Passport. With the passport, children can collect stamps and receive a special prize. The Passport program gets everyone exploring the market to collect stamps from different huts around the Christkindlmarkt. Take your passport to the huts that display the Passport logo to collect stamps. After you have collected at least five different stamps, present your passport to the Guest Services hut for a prize. Viel Spass!

Festival of Ice and the Carmel Winter Games

From January 19 – 21, the Ice at Carter Green hosts the Festival of Ice. The Festival of Ice features ice carving demonstrations, a Big Block carving competition, the Carmel Fire Department Chili Cookoff, a fast-paced carve-off, and ice skating to a live DJ.

From February 9 – 10, the Carmel Winter Games take over the ice. Non-competitive games like Ice Trike Relays, Human Curling, and Human Hungry Hippos are a blast to participate in and anybody can register a team! Or cheer on your hometown heroes, the Carmel Fire Department and the Carmel Police Department as they face-off in the Hero Olympic Games on the ice.

It’s Almost Here!

Whether you take to the ice or just watch the skaters as you make your way around the Market, you’ll have a wonderful time at the Carmel Christkindlmarkt. Plan ahead as it gets jam-packed around the holidays. Check on the Carmel Christkindlmarkt website for exact hours, to make skating reservations, and to see a schedule of performers.

Looking for more holiday events in Indy? Find all Indy holiday events here. For other ice rinks to try around town, check out the best places to ice skate in Indianapolis. If you’re interested in learning how to ice skate before hitting the Carmel ice rink at the Christkindlmarkt, try beginners’ lessons at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Do you want to know how the Carmel ice rink is set up and watch the whole process? Drop in on the live video feed and watch its progress from home!

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