Tired of watching the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning have all the fun at practice, I went for a skate in Stockholm myself Wednesday.
There is an outdoor rink in Kungsträdgården, or the Kings' Garden, a park in central Stockholm a few subway stops north of Ericsson Globe, where the Sabres and the Lightning will play in the 2019 NHL Global Series on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV) and Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV).
For about $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for minors, you can rent a pair of hockey skates. Helmets are free. No sticks and pucks, though. Too bad.
The best time to go is after sunset. Strands of white lights tent the ice, and colorful lights set the ice aglow in purple and blue. You don't have to wait too late in the day. This time of year, the sun sets before 4 p.m. here.
The rink surrounds a statue of Karl XIII, or Charles XIII, the King of Sweden from 1809-18. Take a lap, and you can see several landmarks, including the Royal Swedish Opera and Saint James's church. You can see the headquarters of two banks.
Nearby are many stores, cafes and even a TGI Fridays with a glowing red sign, so after you're done skating on a crisp, 32-degree evening, you can go for a fika, the Swedish ritual of taking a break for coffee and cake.
Which sounds pretty good about now.