Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks Near Boston Open in 2021
Whether your kids are skating first-timers or hockey players, gliding on one of the outdoor ice skating rinks around Boston can be a fun, affordable way for families to get fresh air and exercise in the wintertime. It's also pretty thrilling to glide along the ice and look at the city and park scenery. Read on for some of our favorite outdoor rinks in the Boston area, including the beloved Boston Common Frog Pond, the Canal District Kendall Square ice rink, and Patriot Place—all of which are back this winter!
While these fresh-air rinks have a special charm, many of these free indoor skating facilities around Boston are open this winter for public skating and lessons, too. If your kids enjoy a slope as much (or more than) a rink, check out these Northeast ski mountains.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Boston
The Frog Pond ice skating rink is back for 2021! Photo courtesy of the Boston Common Frog Pond, Facebook
Boston Common Frog Pond—Boston
2021 update: Public skating opens the week of November 20.
Set in the heart of Boston Common, the Frog Pond is packed with energy and rimmed by trees and some of Boston's most iconic buildings. Skate rentals and sharpening available. There’s a café for snacking and hot cocoa is available at the rental station. There's also a free holiday Skating Spectacular on December 2 with national and international competitive figure skaters, synchronized skating, and more.
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Boston kids can learn to skate or play hockey at the Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink in Brookline. Photo courtesy of the rink
Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink—Brookline
2021 update: Public skating opens December 10; reservations and masks required, no concessions or skate sharpening, bathrooms available.
Located in stately, pastoral, 64-acre Larz Anderson Park, the Jack Kirrane Ice Skating Rink offers skate rentals, therapeutic skating, skating lessons, and for kids in Metro Boston, two ice hockey programs—the Ice Mice and House League. When there’s snow on the ground, there's also nearby sledding.
The Rink at 401 Park—Fenway
2021 update: Public skating opens November 20.
Set next to the Time Out Market, this urban outdoor skating rink offers skate rental, skating lessons, and more with nearby parking.
The volunteer-run Kelly Outdoor Skating Rink in Jamaica Plain offers low-cost skate rentals. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Kelly Rink
Kelly Outdoor Skating Rink—Jamaica Plain
2021 update: Public skating begins December 18.
Some might say that the best thing here is the price (free!), while others appreciate the family and neighborhood atmosphere. Neighborhood children practice skating to the sound of Motown and soul music pulsing out of the speakers. This volunteer-run operation offers low-cost skate rentals. Note that the 65-by-100 foot outdoor ice rink—run by the Massachusetts DCR, which runs indoor and outdoor skating rinks throughout the state—can get crowded at times.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks Near Boston
Skate at Canal District Kendall offers ice skating lessons on well-groomed ice. Photo by Michael J. Maloney
Kendall Square Community Outdoor Ice Skating—East Cambridge
2021 update: Public skating is set to start December 1.
Tucked right off of Third Street in Kendall Square, Skate at Canal District Kendall's community rink has a modern feel with its funky-shaped rink and well-groomed ice. Amenities include locker rentals, skate rentals, skate sharpening, ice skating lessons, season passes, and a snack bar. There's also a free holiday ice show on December 11 with professional ice skaters performing.
2021 update: Public skating is set to start November 13.
This 50-by-100-foot rink is nestled in the middle of an upscale shopping center that includes Whole Foods, J. Crew, J.P. Licks (for the best cocoa), and more. The rink plays holiday music and is illuminated by snowflake lights at night. Skate rentals and warming tent available.
Featherland Ice Skating Rink—Sudbury
2021 update: Public skating is set to start November 8; capacity reduced to 50%; masks required.
Near Featherland Park's upper baseball field, this rink has no set hours of admission—which means as long as there's ice (and you've got skates), you can skate! Nighttime skaters will find lighting available. The rink opens to the public once weather temperatures are conducive to freezing, so if you're unsure if it's open, it's a good bet to call ahead.
Go ice skating right outside the Gillette Stadium Pro Shop. Photo courtesy of Patriotplace.com
Winter Skate at Patriot Place—Foxboro
2021 update: Public skating is set to start November 11.
The 60-by-140-foot skating rink outside of Gillette Stadium has a refrigerated ice surface is designed specifically for recreational skating, non-contact hockey, and figure skating. The rink features an observation deck for non-skaters. It is large enough to accommodate beginners and experts alike. On-site skate rentals, concessions, and bathrooms are available, and parking is free.
BankNewport City Center Providence Rink—Providence, RI
2021 update: The opening announcement for ice skating and ice bumper cars should come by Thanksgiving.
Worth the drive? Yes! Plan a day trip to nearby Providence in the wintertime and make skating at the Providence Rink a highlight. Skate aids are available for little ones who are learning, and don't miss a spin on the ice bumper cars!
Originally published December 2011.
Lead photo Skating on the Boston Frog Pond, photo by Mott, Flickr