Winter’s Coming and so is a Redesign!

As summer winds to a close, I can’t help but look forward to the winter skating season. We may have two to three months left before out favorite rinks open for business, but in the meantime, this site will be undergoing a major redesign. I’ve noticed that it’s always difficult to track down information on outdoor rinks…not only are they seasonal, but they tend to come and go over the years, making accurate information tough to pin down. To make it easier for outdoor ice skating fans like myself to find these rinks, I’ll be adding a list of rinks by state, along with the most up-to-date information about each one. I’ll also add features that allow you to post news and reviews about your favorite rinks. Stay tuned….the site should be complete by the end of September, in plenty of time to get ready for the season!

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Rockville Town Square opens new outdoor ice skating rink!

 

Those of you in the Maryland or Washington DC area who are looking for a great place to ice skate outdoors will love the new rink at Rockville Town Square. I checked it out last night and had a chance to skate on it on opening night. The rink here is made of synthetic ice, meaning that it will stand up in any temperature. Since it’s not refrigerated, it won’t leave you with cold feet, so to speak. It’s also easier to skate on than real ice, especially if you’re a beginner. You have to work a little harder to get moving, but you’re a lot less likely to take a spill.

Here are a few pictures from opening night:

The rink is open plenty of extra hours during the Christmas season so you can it in some ice skating while finishing up your shopping or simply relaxing after the holidays.

Hours from December 23 – January 4th

Christmas Eve 10 am to 6 pm

Christmas Day Noon to 10 pm

Monday through Friday 10 am to 10 pm

Saturday 10 am to 10 pm

Sunday 10 am to 8 pm

Hours from January 5th through mid-March

Monday through Friday 3pm to 10 pm

Saturday 10 am to 10 pm

Sunday 10 am to 8 pm

Admission Prices

$6 for kids 12 and under

$8 for adults 13 and up

$2 to rent skates

 

The skate rental both is located in a storefront between Acqua Nails and Town Square Jewelers. There are signs directing you there from the ice rink, which is about just around the corner.

From now through January 4th, parking at all of the Rockville Town Center garages is FREE! Don’t miss your chance to try out ice skating at Rockville Town Square ice rink this winter.

Build Your Own Backyard Ice Skating Rink!

So what if there are no outdoor ice skating rinks near you? How about building your own rink in your backyard? My family and I have wanted to purchase one of these backyard skating rinks for years and last year we finally did. I was worried about putting it together, but it was no problem. The kit we bought was from NiceRink and everything we needed was included except for some 2×4’s which we bought from Home Depot. The only problem was waiting for the temperatures to fall below 32 degrees so it would freeze!

Once the rink finally froze, it stayed solid through early March. This year’s rink will be going up once we get to Christmas vacation and the whole family (and most of the neighbors!) can’t wait.

Here’s a link to the rink that we purchased:

NiceRink 20' x 40' Backyard Ice Rink Kit NiceRink 20′ x 40′ Backyard Ice Rink KitBuild a private ice or hockey rink in your own backyard with this kit from NiceRink. The package includes everything but the wooden side boards and water for a 20′; X 40′; NiceRink. The package comes with complete directions and the rink is simple to set up and adapts to uneven ground using the patented NiceRink Bracket System (included).


More Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Boston

So much attention is given to the Boston Common Frog Pond that people tend to overlook the lovely Public Garden, which is adjacent to the park. The Friends of the Public Garden not only maintain the parks, they also make sure the Lagoon at the Public Garden is cleared of snow in winter for ice skaters. The Lagoon is a throwback to that old childhood memory of lacing your skates up at a neighborhood pond. It’s kept clear of snow, but that’s the limit to the maintanence, so it’s a skate-at-your-own risk situation, and no skate rentals or facilities are available. In addition, the Lagoon at the Public Garden is only safe for skating when it’s solidly frozen, so signs will generally be posted if skating is off limits at a certain time.

Another great spot for ice skating in the Cambridge dec 6 to mar 5

Admission & Season Passes ADULT STUDENTS/
SENIORS
CHILD
10 & under
One-day admission $4 $3 $1
Season pass $70 $50 $20
Lunchtime season pass (12pm-3pm weekdays) $50 $35
Rentals & Services PRICE
Season Rental Pass $70
Skate rental (high-quality figure and hockey skates) $5
Locker rental $1
Professional skate sharpening (figure and hockey skates) $5
Validated Parking in the Kendall Sq. South Garage (make sure we validate your stub!)
Weekdays after 5pm $1/hour for first 3 hours
Saturdays, Sundays, Holidays $1/hour for first 3 hours

Saturday:
Sunday & Holidays:

Noon – 5:00 pmmon


Noon – 8:00 pmtue-thur

Noon – 9:00 pmfri

11:00 am – 9:00 pmsat

11:00 am – 6:00 pmsun

Charles Hotel Ice Skating

The Rink at the Charles Hotel

This one-of-a-kind amenity is open for all winter enthusiasts, including Bostonians and hotel guests. The 2,900 square-foot ice skating rink is located just steps from the property’s front door.

The Rink is open Monday-Friday from 4-8pm
and on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-8pm

Part 3

Skaters at Larz Anderson Skating Rink in Brookline enjoy a majestic view of the city while crisscrossing the ice. The regulation-size hockey rink rests on the former site of the Larz Anderson family’s sprawling mansion. The family donated the land (along with the view) to the city, with the condition that it always be used for open-air recreational purposes. After major snow storms, it can take a few days for the ice to be cleared. But, usually, the city makes short work of the job. And, even better, the rink is groomed with a Zamboni, which remains one of those fantastical wonders from childhood, and means that the ice is generally smooth. There are changing rooms and warming buildings, and the snack shop features kiddy favorites — from hot chocolate to pizza. For little ones making their first foray onto the ice, half-hour skating lessons are offered on Saturday and Sunday mornings for $3, followed by a 15-minute open skate. Helmets are required during lessons, and are sold at the rink. (Bike helmets also work.) And the nice thing about outdoor skating is you don’t need pads; if you take a digger, you’ll be cushioned by layers of clothing. The rink is located at 23 Newton St., Brookline. 617-739-7518. Public skating hours: Tues and Thurs 10 a.m.-noon, Fri 7:30-9:30 p.m., Sat-Sun noon-5 p.m. Admission is $7 adults, $4 children 18 and under. Ice skate rentals are $5. The rink is available for private party rentals. www.townofbrooklinemass.com/recreation/LarzAnderson.html

Kelly Outdoor Rink

The Southwest Corridor Parkway, which offers a slice of green space from the South End out to Jamaica Plain, is known for offering all sorts of summertime activities. But it also boasts a special wintertime treat, the Kelly Outdoor Rink, near the Stonybrook stop on the Orange Line. It’s a modest little slip of ice, only 100 feet by 65 feet, but it’s in the open air. And the city’s parks and recreation workers maintain it along with the rest of the park, using Bobcats and snow blowers to clear the snow and a Zamboni to groom the ice.

Kelly Outdoor Rink

Weather dependent – Tentative opening date December 20
1 Marbury Terrace
Stonybrook T stop
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
(617)727-7000

2008-2009 Public Skating Hours

Mon – Fri          12:00pm-7:30pm

Sat                  1:00pm-7:30pm

Sun                 12:00pm-7:30pm

Skating Lessons

Saturdays 11:30am – 1:00pm

The rink is located at 1 Marbury Terrace, off Amory Street in Jamaica Plain. 617-727-7000. Public skating hours: Daily noon-7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Skate rentals are $2.

SALEM — Free public ice skating could come to Salem Common this winter — if Mother Nature cooperates.

The city hopes to set up a 50-by-100-foot rink in the middle of the Common, flood it with a few inches of water and allow the public to skate free of charge.

The concept is similar to that of the Frog Pond in Boston, only with no cost to skate. The rink could hold about 50 skaters.

“We definitely want to give it a shot,” said Doug Bollen, head of the city’s Recreation Department.

But the plan also hinges on the unpredictability of New England weather. The city actually bought the rink last year but was never able to install it because the weather never remained cold enough. Since then, the rink has sat in storage.

Bollen said temperatures have to be in the teens for 10 to 12 days for the water to transform into a rink that can support public skating.

“We’re ready to go,” Bollen said. “It all depends on the weather.”

The rink would probably be placed in the middle of the Common, close to the flagpole. The lighting already on the Common should be bright enough to allow nighttime skating, Bollen said.

The rink cost $3,000, which the Recreation Department raised through program fees.

“A lot of people were disappointed they weren’t able to use it (last year),” said Michael Coleman, president of the Salem Common Neighborhood Association. “It’ll be an asset to the neighborhood and to people who want to stop by and visit our neighborhood.”

Already, residents occasionally use the Common for cross-country skiing, Bollen said.

“It’ll be a full winter wonderland,” he said.

Boston Common Frog Pond Ice Skating

Located in America’s oldest park, skating at the Boston Common Frog Pond in Massachusetts is a once in a lifetime experience. You’re surrounded by history, with Boston’s Beacon Hill just steps away, yet you’re also nestled in an oasis, surrounded by the beauty of the park.

Unlike many other big city rinks, the Boston Common Frog Pond Ice Skating Rink is fairly affordable. Admission is $4, and free for those 13 and under. Skate rentals are $8 or $5 for those 13 and under. Compared to some of New York City’s outdoor ice skating rinks, this is a real bargain. If you plan to come to the rink often, check out one of their season pass offers.

  • Individual Pass $100
  • Family Pass with children age 13 and under $150
  • Lunch Pass $60 (Restricted to Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Holidays excluded)

People who purchase the lunchtime pass will be thrilled to know that this is the rink’s least busy time, so you can really get a chance to stretch your legs and try some jumps or twirls.

If you’re in need of a bit of skating instruction, the rink offers lessons for skaters of all ages and abilities, including adults. There’s also hockey and figure skating lessons. Unlike many outdoor rinks, the Frog Pond also features early morning freestyle sessions for figure skaters 7 days a week at 7 am.

Public skating is held during the following times:

Monday 10am – 5pm
Tuesday 10am – 9pm
Wednesday 10am – 9pm
Thursday 10am – 9pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
Saturday 10am – 10pm
Sunday 10am – 9pm

Don’t miss the chance to skate at the historic and lovely Boston Common Frog Pond this winter, open from November through March.

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Outdoor Ice Skating in New York Part 3

Being such a big state, you’d better believe that New York has plenty of outdoor ice skating rinks. Today we’ll take a look at a few more, and in the next post, we’ll take a look at ice skating rinks in Boston, so make sure to check back for that!

  • Rochester, NY: Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink

The popular Manhattan Square Park Ice Rink reopened to the public on February 8 and will remain open tentatively through March 29 (weather permitting). Patrons will be greeted by an expanded warming shelter that features a heated floor and fireplace, new rental skates, a new sound and lighting system and a kidney-shaped rink surface that is 30 percent larger than the original rink. In the summer, the rink will double as a reflecting pool. Heavy snowfall may cancel or delay sessions. Call to confirm times.

OPEN SKATES

MON through FRI:   12-1:30, 1:50-3:20 (Adults Only), 3:40-5:10, 5:30-7 pm, 7:20-8:50 pm
SAT:      12-1:30, 1:50-3:20, 3:40-5:10, 7:20-8:50 pm
SUN:     12-1:30, 1:50-3:20, 3:40-5:10 pm, 5:30-7 pm

Parking is free after 6 p.m. in the lot directly across from the rink on Manhattan Square Dr. or for a fee at meters on Court St. or in the nearby Washington Square Garage.

Fees: $3, adults; $2, youth 17 and under; $1, age 60 and over. A fee of $2.75 for skate rental will apply to all.

  • Syracuse, NY: Clinton Square Ice Rink


Located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, the Clinton Square Ice rink is one of the city’s most popular destinations.  The rink opened in 2001 as part of  a complete renovation in an effort to attract visitors downtown.  More than 20,000 skaters enjoy the open air facility each year.  The skating season at Clinton Square begins the last week of November and runs until March 17th.  The rink is open weather permitting, so please call in advance- 423-0129. All youth 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Public sessions are as follows:

Mon through Thur – 11 am to 8 pm

Friday – 11 am to 10 pm

Saturday – 10 am to 10 pm

Sunday – 10 am to 8 pm

Admission is only $3, or $1.50 for kids. Skate rentals are $1.50.

Don’t miss family night 4 pm to 8 pm, where the whole family can skate for only $15.

  • Syosset, NY (Long Island) :Syosset-Woodbury Community Park Ice Rink

This is the second of two outdoor public rinks on Long Island, and both have a down home friendly atmosphere that’s great for families. Public session times change frequently, so all the Division of Recreation at (516) 797-4120 for an ice skating schedule.

Admission is $4 for adults 18 and over, and $3 for kids 4-18.

One nice bonus here is that volunteer firefighters and auxilary police get in for just $1 with valid id.

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Outdoor Ice Skating in New York Part 2 – Beyond Manhattan

Yes folks, there are ice skating rinks in New York outside of Manhattan. Here’s a look at some of the best.

  • Buffalo, NY : Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza

For the 9th consecutive season, Buffalo Place is sponsoring the free ice skating rink at Fountain Plaza. Skate rentals are a very reasonable $3 for adults and $2 for kids, and the rink will be open through March 15, 2009. Free skating with cheap skate rentals are a great bargain in New York, so if you’re in the area, be sure to check this rink out. Hours are as follows:

Tue-Fri 11-2 and  5-9

Sat 11-10

Sun 11-6

The rink is closed on Mondays, and may not be open when temperatures top 45 degrees, so call 716-854-RINK to confirm hours before your come down.

  • Bear Mountain, NY :Bear Mountain Skating Rink

Bear Mountain features a huge rink in a beautiful mountain atmosphere. The rink is open from November 1st through March 8th, and is situated in stunning Palisades Park. Public skating hours are as follows:
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday- 10 am to 9:30 pm
Saturday – 10 am to 9:30 pm
Sunday – 10 am to 7:30pm
Rates are pretty reasonable, with admission fees set at $4 for adults over 12, $3 for kids, and free admission for kids 3 and under. Seniors and those who aren’t skating are required to pay only $2, and skate rentals are $4. There’s a $6 parking fee on  weekends

For more information, contact Bear Mountain State Park at (845) 786-2701.

  • Massapequa (Long Island), NY: Majorie R. Post Community Park Ice Rink

This is one of two outdoor public rinks on Long Island, and both have a down home friendly atmosphere that’s great for families. Public session times change frequently, so all the Division of Recreation at (516) 797-4120 for an ice skating schedule.

Admission is $4 for adults 18 and over, and $3 for kids 4-18.

One nice bonus here is that volunteer firefighters and auxilary police get in for just $1 with valid id.

  • Port Jefferson, NY: The Rinx at Harborfront Park (Village Center Skating Rink)

This beautiful rink on the waterfront is great for visitors and locals alike. The rink is during the following times:

Monday though Thursday – 10 am to 8 pm

Friday – 10 am to 10 pm

Saturday – 10 am to 10 pm

Sunday 10 am to pm

Admission is $9.50 for adults and $10.50 on weekends. During the week, kids cost $7 and on weekends, $8. Skate rental is always $5.

  • A few great indoor rinks

If you’re in the Larchmont area, consider checking out the Hommocks Ice Skating rink. It’s nice and new and plenty of fun on those days when the weather just doesn’t cooperate enough for outdoor skating.

For a truly unique experience, check out the Flushing Meadows Ice Skating Rink in Corona Park, Queens. It was built on the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fair, so it’s got a bit of historic flair in addition to plenty of good skating fun.

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Outdoor Ice Skating in New York Part 1 – Manhattan

The Rink at Rockefeller Center - This rink is THE first place people think of when they look for outdoor ice rinks in NYC. Located at 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th streets, this rink is situated on a sunken plaza, which does a great job of sheltering skaters from the wind. The rink is open from October 11th though March. Admission is a bit steep, with adult tickets costing $19 plus $9 for skates. Children under 11 years old are $12.50, but skate rentals are $9 for them as well.

Rockefeller Center Picture

The Rockefeller Center ice skating schedule is as follows:

Monday thru Thursday  – 9am to 1030pm

Friday – 830am to midnite

Saturday – 830amto midnite

Sunday – 830am to 10pm

Arrive early when skating at Rockefeller Center, as lines and crowds persist all winter long. Also be sure to brush up on your skating skills first, because thousands of people are generally crowding the area and watching the skaters.

The Pond at Bryant Park – Sure, Rockefeller Center is nice. When people think of outdoor ice skating in New York, that’s the first place  they think of. But what if you could skate for free at a rink that’s even larger than Rockefeller? You can at Bryant Park. Located at the intersection of 42nd Street and 6th Ave, this rink is open from October 24th through January 25th each year, and admission is absolutely free! If you need to rent skates, the fee is a little steep, at $12, but you can’t beat free admission and the beautiful NYC atmosphere, within walking distance of Times Square and many other major attractions.

Hours are as follows:

Sunday – Thursday 8am – 10pm
Friday & Saturday 8am – Midnight

Quiet Times at Bryant Park

Skaters who want to skate in the famous Central Park have two options available, with both in operation from November through March.

The more famous Central Park rink is the Wollman rink, located at 63rd and Central Park. Admission is $9(weekdays) and $12(weekends) for adults and $5 for children. Skate rental is an additional $5. The rink also offers skating lessons and early morning freestyle and ice dance sessions for figure skaters, which is unusual for outdoor rinks. Ice hockey lessons and games are available, and offer a great opportunity for spectators and players alike.

Birthday parties, rink rentals, and private events are all available, so you can celebrate your event in the Winter Wonderland of Central Park. The rink’s hours of operation vary, but the general schedule is:

Monday 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

In an area as big as Central Park, you’d expect there to be more than one ice rink right? Luckily, there is!

The Lasker Ice Rink is located at the north end of the park, at 110th and Lenox, and actually features two separate ice surfaces.  Admission is $6 for adults, $3.50 for children, and skate rental is $5.25. At these rates, Lasker is a relative bargain for those who want to ice skate outdoor in NYC! Like Wollman, the rink offers lessons, figure skating sessions, and ice hockey games. The rink is open from November through March.

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Outdoor Ice Skating in Virginia

Fountain Square Ice Rink at Reston Town Center – The Reston Town Center ice rink is surrounded by shops and restaurants and topped by a beautiful pavilion. Located at 1818 Discovery Street in Reston, Virginia, the rink is open from Novemner 1st through March. Admission is $9 for adults and $7 for kids, with skate rentals available for $4.

The beautiful Reston Town Center Ice Rink

The beautiful Reston Town Center Ice Rink

Opening hours are as follows:

Sunday: 10 am – 7 pm
Monday: 11 am – 7 pm
Tuesday: 11 am – 7 pm
Wednesday: 11 am – 10 pm
Thursday: 11 am – 10 pm
Friday: 11 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 11 am – 11 pm

The rink also offers birthday parties, skating lessons, and broomball for players of all abilities.

Pentagon Row Ice Rink – This rink is located at the Plaza at Pentagon Row, which can be found at 1201 South Joyce Street in Arlington, Virginia. Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for kids. Rental skates are available for $3, and the rink offers both figure and hockey skates.

Ice skating lessons and birthday parties are available. Pentagon Row will be open from November 1st through mid-March, depending on the weather.

The rink is open during the following hours:

Sunday 10am – 7pm or 10pm*
Monday Noon – 10pm
Tuesday Noon – 10pm
Wednesday Noon – 10pm
Thursday Noon – 7pm or 10pm*
Friday Noon – 10pm
Saturday 10am – 11pm
The Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink at night

The Pentagon Row Ice Skating Rink at night

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Outdoor Ice Skating in Washington DC

The nation’s capital is home to some beautiful outdoor rinks, which is great for the many tourists who are visiting Washington DC year round. Not only are the rinks themselves nice, they are surrounded by some pretty amazing scenery, and are close to many major attractions.

Rotating Pictures

Pershing Park Ice Rink, located at 14th St and Pennsylvania Ave is a local favorite right in the heart of DC. It’s 2 blocks from the White House, and compared to many other downtown rinks, it’s a fairly nicely sized rink.

Pershing Park Rink is open from the week of Thanksgiving through March, and admission is $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids. Skate rentals are an additional $2.50, and the rink only offers figure skates, in sizes toddler 8 to mens 14.

During weekdays, skaters can save $1 off the admission price if they arrive before 5pm, and college students can get admission and skate rental for $4 on Thursday (bring your id).

Hours for the Pershing Park Rink are:

Mon thru Thursday 11am-9 pm

Friday 11am-11pm

Sat 10am-11pm

Sun 10am-7pm

The D.C Ice Rink is Now Open by cherbert.

Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink at The National Gallery of Art – This is another favorite Washington DC outdoor ice skating rink. Located at the National Gallery of Art, it’s right on the National Mall, and surrounded by DC landmarks like the Smithsonian Museums, the US Capitol Building, and the Washington Monument. The rink is open November 15th through early March, and offers the following hours of operation:

Mon thru Saturday 10am-5pm

Sun 11am-6pm

Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for children. Skate rentals are an additional $3.This is a small price to pay to get to skate in the museum’s sculpture garden and enjoy the magnificent art work and atmosphere.

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Outdoor Ice Skating in Maryland

Many people think of Maryland as a Southern state, but there are actually a number of excellent outdoor ice rinks in this state. In fact, it’s my hometown, so I’ve skated in all of these rinks over the years. I even work at one of them!

A beautiful day at Glen Burnie Ice Rink

A beautiful day at Glen Burnie Ice Rink

  • Glen Burnie Ice Rink  – Located at 103C N Crain Highway in Glen Burnie, MD, this rink is open from November 1st through the middle of March each year. Admission is $6.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids, plus $3 for skate rentals. The rink offers birthday parties and skating lessons too. Rental skates are available starting at an infants size 6 and going up through an adults size 15. The rink offers both figure and hockey skates, and unlike most other rinks, does offer some half sizes.

Hours are as follows:

Monday 12pm-9pm

Tuesday 12pm-9pm(closed for lessons from 5-6pm)

Wednesday 12pm-9pm

Thursday 12pm-9pm

Friday 10pm-10pm

Saturday 10am-10pm

Sunday 10am-7pm

Want the ice all to yourself? Skaters who visit the rink during the weekday hours are often excited to find they are the only ones on the ice. This is a great time for parents to bring young children who are just learning to skate. For more information, you can call the rink at 410-590-5990.

  • Quiet Waters Ice Rink – Located in Quiet Waters park in the state’s capital of Annapolis, this rink is finally reopening after being closed for several years due to maintenance issues. The rink will be opening for the season on November 29.
Sunday 8am – 9pm
Monday 10pm – 9pm
Tuesday
Closed
Wednesday 10pm – 9pm
Thursday 10pm – 9pm
Friday 10pm – 10pm
Saturday 8am – 10pm

Finally, no discussion of outdoor ice skating rinks in Maryland is complete without a nod to the rinks that are no more. One of my personal favorites is the Baltimore Ice Rink, which was located on Rash Field at the Inner Harbor for many years. After it closed, a local group tried to revive it in Fells Point, where it was known as the Baltimore Ice Rink at Harbor Point. After two seasons, this rink too, was closed. Every season, I hold out hope for a new Baltimore rink, but so far no luck.

Did I miss your favorite outdoor ice rink in Maryland, past or present? Email me  at admin@outdooriceskating.org and let me know!

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