12 Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks Across Connecticut for Winter Family Fun
One of New England's most enchanting winter offerings is the opportunity to skate outdoors on frozen ponds or quaint, tree-lined rinks. Whether it is the fresh air, the gentle winter sunlight, or starry night sky, outdoor rinks offer kids a feel of frosty (Frozen?) magic. These outdoor rinks offer a special setting for family time,and playdates in Connecticut, from the sparkly new Cohen Ice Skating Center in Stamford to a state-park-maintained pond (complete with a crackling fireplace for marshmallow roasting) in Derby.
If you find yourself heading north for the holidays, see our roundup of Outdoor Skating Rinks in Boston and New England. If you prefer skating inside, do not worry; there are plenty of indoor ice skating rinks to choose from in Connecticut.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in the Fairfield Area
Skaters of all stripes are welcome at the new Steven & Alexandra Cohen rink in Stamford. Photo by Ally Noel
Steven & Alexandra Cohen Ice Skating Center - Stamford
This new outdoor rink (opened in 2018) spans more than 9,000 feet of ice, allowing plenty of space for triple axels, scratch spins, or just gliding with friends. Open 7 days a week, you can skate here through mid March. The Lodge (Warming Hut) at Mill River Park provides skate rental, blade sharpening, snacks, and hot chocolate.
Westport PAL Rink - Westport
For more than 20 years, this open-air rink nestled just a few yards from Long Island Sound has been a longstanding winter tradition in Westport. While there are some lessons and private parties, and an occasional bout of “pond hockey,” the rink is mostly dedicated for open skate time - up until 11pm.
Gorham's Pond - Darien
Known for its postcard-perfect winter scenes of ice skating and hockey playing, Gorham’s Pond invites families for a picturesque afternoon of skating.
Redding Community Center - Redding
The new seasonal ice rink at the Redding Community Center will be open dawn to dusk every day in addition to designated evening skate times Tuesday through Saturday from 4 to 8pm. There's “stick and puck” time on Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 11am and Thursday 4 to 8pm.
Gould Manor Park - Fairfield
When the weather turns cold, you’re sure to see a Currier & Ives scene of children skating across Gould Manor Park.
Owen Fish Park - Fairfield
Another classic New England winter scene comes to life here once the Parks & Recreation Department measures the thickness of the ice daily when the temperature dips and deems it safe to skate. The tree-lined pond is a a great place for a game of hockey or ice skating practice.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in the New Haven Area
Osbornedale State Park - Derby
One of the only state parks with a designated skating area, Pickett’s Pond in Osbornedale State Park offers a perfect setting for skating. When the weather allows for sufficiently thick ice (decided by park rangers), skaters can be found gliding across Pickett’s Pond. Warm up next to the roaring fire in the pavilion's fireplace (don’t forget to bring your own marshmallows and hot chocolate). Bright lights illuminate the night for skating after the sun sets.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in the Hartford Area
The Bushnell - Hartford
In the heart of downtown Hartford, a frozen oasis awaits from late November through early January. Winterfest offers free skating, rentals, and even skating lessons at various times.
Simsbury Farms - Simsbury
This rink is covered, but you will still experience the thrill of fresh air. Skates available for rental, along with a heated changing/waiting area.
Winding Trails - Farmington
When (and if) Walton Pond freezes sufficiently to at least 6 inches thick (ice depth is regularly tested), skating here is a wonderfully old-fashioned experience surrounded by snow-encrusted pines, a scenic bridge, and a rustic lodge.
Eastbury Pond - Glastonbury
If the weather allows, this pond offers a thrilling skating adventure. It is one of the few outdoor rinks that does not offer rentals, so make sure to pack your own skates.
Beaverbrook Linear Park - Weathersfield
Spring Street Pond is available for ice skating when the weather cooperates. Follow posted signs regarding safety conditions of ice.