Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Massachusetts
The Best Places to Ice Skate Outdoors
Outdoor ice skating is a fun winter activity to spend with the family, a significant other or with a group of friends. It is also a great source of exercise! Unlike skiing which requires a lot of gear and accessories, you simply need a pair of skates to take part and best of all, you do not need to take any lessons to get started.
If it is your first time ice skating, yes it may be a little awkward at first and you may fall a few times but that's half the fun. To me, inline skating or rollerblading is about as close as it comes to ice skating, so if you have done this before and are coming from a warmer area where there isn't too much ice, then it would be an easy transition for you.
Regardless of your skill level, it is a good idea to wear appropriate clothing and since we are talking about outdoor ice skating rinks, it's best to assume that the weather outside will be relatively cold. Whenever I go to an outdoor ice skating rink in Massachusetts or anywhere else, I'll be sure to wear clothing that is both comfortable and provides decent range of motion. Wearing layers is a good idea so you can adjust if needed once you get going.
Jeans, thermal socks, winter hat, sunglasses, gloves and a warm & windproof jacket are all possible clothing options that would be a good idea when heading out to an outdoor ice skating rink. Personally, I don’t prefer to wear a coat that's too big or bulky but it may be a benefit for you as it could provide extra protection in the case of a fall.
Without further adieu, here's my list of the best outdoor skating rinks in Massachusetts. Coincidentally, most of the rinks are all located in or around the Boston area so I'll also list the nearest T stop (Boston subway) as it may be easier to take public transportation instead of worrying about finding a parking space. As all of these skating rinks are outdoors and are open weather permitting, make sure to call first with the provided phone number in the Essentials section below:
OK, so this might not be the most typical outdoor ice skating area, but since it is pretty much a national landmark (according to Bostonians anyway) and was a special event, it had to be included on this list. For the first time in the 97 year history of Fenway Park, the baseball park opened its gates to Boston residents for free ice skating on two Sundays in January 2010 (the 3rd and the 10th).
The rink itself was constructed along the outfield and stretched past the first and third bases. The city of Boston gave out over 3,000 tickets on a first come, first serve basis to its residents at community centers across the city and since it was such a success, rumors are flying as to it becoming an annual tradition. While a maximum of four tickets per family were dispersed, I'm sure you could imagine how fast it took to for them to 'sell out.
On January 1, 2010, the NHL's (National Hockey League) Winter Classic game was held between the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers. With over 38,000 fans cheering them on, the Bruins dramatically pulled ahead in overtime to win 2-1.
Photo courtesy of dayvidday
In addition to the Winter Classic game, the Hockey East doubleheader was also held on the ice rink and took place on January 8th. The women’s teams from Northeastern University and New Hampshire played each other at 4 pm followed by a men's game between Boston University and Boston College at 7:30 pm. Stay tuned for information on next year's possibility of Fenway Park ice skating!
An outdoor ice skating list without Frog Pond would just be incomplete. Located on Boston Common in Downtown Boston, visitors have had the opportunity to ice skate on Frog Pond since 1997. During the winter months, Frog Pond is transformed from a 6-inch deep reflecting pool into a smooth sheet of ice where families and friends can skate under views of the Boston skyline.
The Frog Pond ice skating season begins in November and goes through mid-March. Admission and rental prices are very affordable and kids 13 and under can skate for free. For the beginners, there's a barrier extending around the rink's perimeter to hold on to. Other features of the Frog Pond outdoor ice skating rink include an ice skating school to hone your skills and a full snack bar with a full menu of hot and cold treats.
Photo courtesy of pobrecito33
As Frog Pond has built up a reputation for its pleasant family friendly ice skating experience with its located conveniently in Downtown Boston, ice skating here can get relatively crowded at times. Just like any other attraction, best times to skate are during the off peak hours. It can get crowded when people are home from work, kids are home from school, and during the holidays (weekends, weekday nights, lunch hour, etc).
If you're planning on driving here you'll want to park at the Boston Common Garage or even using Boston public transportation such as T as there's a train station close nearby. All this information is listed below:
Outdoor Ice Skating - Frog Pond Essentials
Phone: (617) 635-2120
Skate Rental: Adults - $8. Children 13 and under $5
Skating Season: November to mid-March
Non-Holiday Hours Open: Monday 10am - 4pm; Tuesday - Thursday, 10am- 9pm; Friday & Saturday, 10am - 10pm; Sunday 10am - 9pm
Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving & Christmas Day - CLOSED; Christmas Eve 10am - 5 pm; New Years Eve 10am - 8pm; New Years Day 12pm - 5pm
Services: A pavilion which houses a full snack bar (coffee, hot chocolate, snacks), locker rental for $1, skate sharpening for $5, all ages - skating school, season pass availability.
Closest T Station: Red/Green Line - Park Street Station
Best Parking Option: Boston Common Garage located on Charles St., Boston within Boston Common. Other surrounding parking garages available in Chinatown.
Website: Frog Pond Ice Skating
Located next to the Stonybrook stop on the Orange Line, Kelly outdoor skating rink is a real winter treat. Although the skating surface area is not the largest, 100 feet by 65 feet and doesn't provide such amenities like a snack bar, it is in the open air and Boston's DCR workers maintain it with snow blowers and Bobcats to clear the snow and a Zamboni to keep the ice slick and groomed. It's a nice alternative to the rather congested Frog Pond ice skating rink.
If you're driving, to get to the Kelly outdoor skating rink you'll want continue down to the end of Marbury Street although the official address is 1 Marbury St. in Jamaica Plain aka JP (which is at the intersection of Marbury and Amory Streets). There is a small parking lot here.
Ideally, the best way to get here is from the Stonybrook T stop. Coming out of the Stonybrook T building, turn left and then head north along the train tracks (there's a small park with a sidewalk) about 200 feet and you'll see the rink straight ahead.
The best thing about Kelly outdoor rink? Admission is free!
When it's time to come off the ice, thaw out in front of the fire at James's Gatex, a cozy Irish Pub with yummy heart warming pub fare. It's located right down the street at 5 McBride Street in Jamaica Plain. Call (617) 983-2000.
Outdoor Ice Skating - Kelly Outdoor Essentials
Phone: (617) 727-7000
Skate Rental: $2
Hours Open: Monday - Friday 12 pm - 7:30 pm;
Services: Skating Lessons are provided on Saturdays from 11:30 am - 1pm
Closest T Station: Orange Line - Stony Brook Station
Best Parking Option: Small parking lot located at the end of Marbury Terrace.
Website: Kelly Outdoor Skating
Located right outside of Boston and one block away from the campus of MIT in the heart of of East Cambridge at Kendall Square is an outdoor ice skating rink. With plenty of shops, hotels, and restaurants nearby, ice skating at Kendall Square is a great way to get some exercise outdoors with family and friends but close enough to the action for some nearby fun things to do off the ice.
The rink is open 7 days a week and hours are spread out through the day so finding a time to skate is easy. The refrigerated ice is professionally maintained and groomed so you'll know the skating experience will be both fun and safe.
Photo courtesy of emdurso
Outdoor Ice Skating - Kendall Square Community Essentials
Phone: (617) 492-0941
Skate Rental: Adults $8 per person. Children 13 and under $5 per person. Students/Seniors $8 per person.
Non-Holiday Hours Open: Monday* 12 pm - 5 pm; Tuesday - Thursday 12 pm - 8 pm; Friday 12 pm - 9 pm; Saturday 11 am - 9 pm; Sunday* 11am - 5 pm. *Open until 6 pm on Sunday nights and 8 pm on Monday nights if no private event is scheduled. Call number above for details.
Holiday Hours: 11 am - 5 pm
Services: Snack bar, season passes, lunchtime season admission passes, season rental passes, locker rentals $1, skate sharpening $5, validated parking - see below.
Closest T Station: Red Line - Kendall/MIT Square Station
Best Parking Option: Kendall Square South Garage (Pilgrim Parking Inc.) at 350 Kendall Street, Cambridge, MA 02142. Parking Validated - make sure to bring your stub to the snack building at Kendall Square Ice Skating - $1 per hour for first 3 hours.
Website: Kendall Square Community Ice Skating
One of the best outdoor ice skating areas in Massachusetts has to be Larz Anderson skating rink, located just southwest of downtown Boston in Brookline. The property, and awesome views of the city of Boston, was donated by Isabel Anderson in memory of her husband Larz and part of that land has been converted into a skating rink.
A regulation size hockey rink, the ice is groomed by a Zamboni and although it can take a few days to clear the ice after a snow storm, the staff make quick work of the job. Some of the amenities include warming buildings and changing rooms with a full snack bar featuring kid favorites like pizza, chips and hot chocolate. There is onsite parking available so no need to worry about a parking garage. Also on-site is a Museum of Transportation with a collection of America's old cars.
Done ice skating? Head down the road to the Fireplace restaurant located at 1634 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA - 617-975-1900. Dine on their signature spit-roasted maple glazed chicken with mashed potatoes & sage brown butter in front of the majestic fire. Yum!
Photo courtesy of juan23for
Outdoor Ice Skating - Larz Anderson Essentials
Phone: (617) 739-7518
Skate Rental: $5 per pair
Skating Season: Approximately December through February.
Non-Holiday Hours Open: Tuesday and Thursday 10 am - 12 pm; Friday 7:45 pm - 9:45 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm.
Services: Heated skating pavilion, snack bar, skating clinics, adult beginner hockey, birthday parties, skate sharpening $6 per pair
Closest T Station: Orange Line - Forest Hills Station or Green St. Station - you may want to call a cab from here to Larz Anderson park as it's about a 2 mile walk (Brookline Taxi - 857-241-0086).
Best Parking Option: Parking on-site off Goddard Ave. Address for the GPS is approx. 360 Goddard Ave., Brookline, MA.
Website: Larz Anderson Skating Rink
Located just a few miles from the Kendall Square Community Ice Skating rink is the The Rink at Charles Hotel. Being within Harvard Square, the area is jam packed with attractions and fun things to do like shopping, restaurants, hotels and a bustling college environment with Harvard University right next door so getting bored is very hard to do.
The rentals and refreshments are available within the hotel restaurant, Henrietta's Table, with snacks and beverages including coffee, hot chocolate, vitamin water, hot apple cider, sodas, candy bars, hot pretzels, energy bars, cookies and potato chips. Ice skating is open to both hotel guests and the public.
The 2,900 square foot outdoor ice skating rink is even available for private parties! The phone numbers and information are listed below:
Outdoor Ice Skating - The Rink @ Charles Hotel Essentials
Contact: (617) 234-8008
Skate Rental: Adults - $5, Children under the age of 12 - $3, Family - $10 (2 adults and 2 children).
Skating Season: December to early March.
Non-Holiday Hours Open: Monday - Friday 4 pm - 7 pm; Saturday and Sunday 10 am - 6pm.
Holiday Hours Open: 10 am - 6 pm.
Services: Hotel, snack & restaurant, skating passes (10 day pass - Child $20, Adult $30, Family $70; Season Pass - Individual - Child $55, Adult $95, Family $175), private lessons for one or two children available by appointment (15 minutes - $10, 30 minutes - $20, 45 minutes - $30).
Closest T Station: Red Line - Harvard Square Station.
Best Parking Option: Parking garage underneath Charles Hotel.
Website: The Rink at Charles Hotel
Ahh Patriot Place, home of the 3-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. A perfect place for football, dining, shopping and . . . ice skating? That's right! Winter Skate at Patriot Place hosts a huge 60 x 140 foot outdoor ice skating surface for both day and evening public skating that is perfect for skaters of all skill levels.
The rink is professionally maintained to ensure an ideal skating experience every time you're out on the ice. Winter Skate is affordable, especially for families, and parking is free. Skating rates are $6 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under and seniors 65 and up. Skate rentals is $4.
Best of all, you can take a short walk over to Patriot Place after you're done skating and enjoy a meal at one of 16 restaurants, shopping at a number of premier stores, or even take in a movie at the 14-screen Cinema de Lux movie theater. These options also make Winter Skate a great date night destination.
As Patriot Place is home to the Patriots football team, make sure to call ahead as hours may vary due to Patriots home games, inclement weather or pre-scheduled events.
Outdoor Ice Skating - Winter Skate @ Patriot Place Essentials
Contact: (508) 203-2100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission Prices: Adults - $5, Children under the age of 12 - $4, Seniors 65 and up - $4.
Skate Rental: $4 per pair
Skating Season: December to late March.
Hours Open: *Monday - Thursday 11:00 am - 9:00 pm; Fridays 11:00 am - 11:00 pm; Saturdays 11:00 am - 11:00 pm; Sundays 11:00 am - 9:00 pm. *Hours may vary - call ahead or check website for current information.*
Services: Dunkin Donuts concessions on site, 16 dining facilities at Patriot Place, Season Passes available (Family Season Pass - $100 per family*; Individual Season Pass (Adult) - $75 per person*; Individual Season Pass (Children and Seniors) - $60 per person*; Lunch Pass (Mon-Fri, 12pm - 3pm) - $48 per person.*
Best Parking Option: Free parking lot on site.
Website: Winter Skate at Patriot Place
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