The weather outside will soon be frightful, but do not let it put a damper on your outdoor fun. Ice skating is a wonderful way to enjoy colder weather, and in Boston, there is no shortage of options. With an extra pair of socks and a warm mug of hot chocolate awaiting you as your reward, head outside for a little ice skating, and use this list to select the best spot.
Because opening dates of these outdoor rinks is weather dependent, be sure to check their websites before you head out.
Frog Pond on the Boston Common
Bounded by Charles St., Beacon St., Park St., and Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02108
www.bostonfrogpond.comPrices: $9 adults/$5 children
If a trip to downtown Boston is part of your plans this season, a visit to the Frog Pond for ice skating is definitely a must. Centrally located on the Boston Common, the pond offers unspoiled views of Beacon Hill and the State House. Consider visiting at night; the trees surrounding the pond are decorated with lights, making a lovely sight against the ice. Conveniences including concessions, lockers and restrooms are available. Public transportation options are available at the Park Street T station and the Boylston Street station. Parking is available underneath the Common and metered spots are available on the majority of adjacent streets.
Related: Guide to Boston Area Figure Skating
Opened during winter, the Prudential Center Rink is the newest addition to downtown skating venues. With its central location on Boylston Street, you can skate among the foot traffic that makes Boylston street so popular. Conveniences are available inside the Prudential Center including restrooms, a food court and shopping. Private parking is available on site, and the nearest T stations are Hynes Convention Center (Green Line) and Copley (Green Line). After a skate, head across the street to Max Brenner for a hot chocolate or a chocolate-inspired dessert.
Another great option for outdoor skating is the rink at the Charles Hotel. Centrally located in Harvard Square, there are a number of options available for additional activities like sightseeing. To warm up afterward, try a visit to L.A. Burdick a few blocks away on Brattle Street for what some argue is the best hot chocolate in greater Boston. Harvard Square is T accessible and there are also meters and private parking available both at the hotel and in the surrounding area.
A newer fixture in the Boston ice skating scene is the rink at Faneuil Hall. While the rink may be small, the location is perfect for enjoying an afternoon downtown with people watching, views of the Quincy Marketplace and shopping. There are a number of conveniences available including restrooms (inside the Quincy Markets) and food vendors. Discounted parking is available at the 75 State Street garage, and public transportation options include the Green Line (Government Center or Haymarket) and the Orange and Blue Lines (State Street).
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway St., Suite 600
Boston, MA 02114
www.mass.gov/Call for more information about sponsored ponds for the 2012/2013 winter season.
Outdoor skating on dry ice is a great option, but there are also options to skate on open, natural ponds. If you are interested, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation does maintain a small number of ponds for outdoor skating during the winter season. These ponds are located across the state. Last year’s ponds were DAR State Forest in Goshen, Wendell State Forest in Montague, and Mount Tom State Reservation in Holyoke. Visitors to these locations must bring their own skates and all conveniences. Skating is free unless otherwise posted.
Cristy is a city dwelling enthusiast, an arts, culture, and technology lover, and an all around curious person. As an examiner, she covers all things Boston. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.