Let’s get real for a hot second. It’s already getting dark at 5pm here in Boston and that’s straight up depressing. Cabin fever is setting in for the season. It’s tempting to put on your PJs and hibernate for the next six months, but we’ve got a better idea. Get out and skate!
Boston has awesome outdoor ice skating rinks just waiting for you. Never skated before? Not to worry, there are rinks that are super friendly to even those with no ice experience. Plus, we love any excuse to drink cocoa…extra marshmallows, of course.
Boston Common Frog Pond
If you’re going to hit up just one outdoor ice skating rink in Boston this winter, the Frog Pond on the Boston Common is the place to go. You can’t beat the beautiful, historic setting, especially once the city’s Christmas tree is all lit up nearby. You can bring your own skates or rent them on site – and if you’re a skating newbie, you can even take lessons. Once you’ve taken a few spins around the rink, thaw your toes in the cafe. College students take note: Every Tuesday night you can skate for half-price with a current student ID!
Boston Harbor Hotel Ice Rink
You can’t beat the views from the ice rink at the Boston Harbor Hotel. On one side you have Boston Harbor in all its glory and on the other, our city’s skyline shimmers. To top it all off, you’re skating under the hotel’s gorgeous rotunda. Lucky for us, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to skate, and rentals are available at the rink. There’s even a warming room – on top of terrific restaurants – at the hotel so you can defrost and refuel between skate sessions.
Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink
Head to Brookline’s lovely Larz Anderson Park to skate in a quaint, old-fashioned setting. Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink is open to the public, whether you call Brookline home or not. The rink is open in the winter for public skating and lessons, with skate rentals available if you don’t have your own. And if you’re looking for a fun and different way to stay fit all winter long, channel your inner Chara at the rink’s hockey leagues.
Kelly Outdoor Skating Rink
Skating at Boston’s outdoor rinks can get pretty pricey, but not when you visit Kelly Outdoor Skating Rink in Jamaica Plain. That’s because it’s totally free to skate there! And skate rentals are only $2, so an afternoon of skating at Kelly is the perfect low-cost option for winter fun in the city. The rink has a real neighborhood feel – you’ll often hear soul music being played during skate sessions – so this is a great place to take to the ice for the first time.
Winter Skate at Patriot Place
Probably the most unique ice skating rink on our list is the Winter Skate at Patriot Place. Show us the athleticism of Tom Brady and company when you lace up your skates in the shadow of Gillette Stadium. The Winter Skate rink is big enough for expert and newbie skaters alike, so no one will mind if you take a few spills (you’ll just a few bruised knees and egos). Skate rentals and on-site concessions are available, so you can just show up and find everything you need. Plus, parking is free!
Kendall Square Community Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
Kendall Square is all about biotech, so it’s no surprise that the Community Outdoor Ice Skating Rink in the neighborhood has an amoeba-like shape. Formerly a brownfield site (basically, trash to treasure), the area has been transformed and is now home to a twinkling skating rink. The ice is groomed by a Zamboni, so it’s always smooth, and a snack bar is on site for hot chocolate breaks. You can rent skates, take lessons, or event rent the ice for a special event.
Kendall Square isn’t the only neighborhood in Cambridge with an outdoor skating rink. For the last few years, Harvard has had one too, and we just love this sweet little spot. For one thing, public ice time at Harvard Skate is totally free – and skate rentals are only $5. The no-frills rink is only open when the temperatures drop, so be sure to check the Facebook page for opening hours. When you’re ready to thaw out, grab a coffee or a healthy snack in Harvard.
Skating Path at City Hall Plaza
It’s no secret that Boston’s City Hall Plaza isn’t exactly easy on the eyes. But that’s all going to change when Boston Winter takes over the area with a Skating Path, holiday market, and even an urban lodge serving up cold beers and hot coffees. There’s an even a special Rock ‘N’ Skate every Friday night with live DJs, games on the ice, and prizes. It’s like that perfect holiday scene in a snow globe, but with more music and beer.