Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Connecticut
Experience an old-fashioned winter tradition when you lace up your skates and take to the ice. When the temperature is cold enough, a pond might be the perfect choice for an afternoon of ice skating. Or, when it's a bit warmer, there are many outdoor ice rinks that offer hours of safe skating. Either way, it's time to bundle up Connecticut families, because an afternoon of ice skating is great cold weather fun, but the wind whipping by your face will be mighty brisk.
Skaters of all stripes are welcome at the new Steven & Alexandra Cohen rink in Stamford. Photo by Ally Noel
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks near Fairfield
Steven & Alexandra Cohen Ice Skating Center — Stamford
This outdoor ice rink spans more than 9,000 feet of ice allowing plenty of space for first timers to slip and slide, and the more experienced to glide and glide. The ice rink is open most days though February. Opening for 2021 is planned for late November/early December.
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 outdoor hockey, the rink is mostly dedicated for open skate time, up until 11pm. Opening for 2021 is scheduled for November 26, weather permitting.
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 ice skating as weather permits.
Everyone is welcome to ice skate and practice pond hockey. Photo courtesy of Friends of Gorham's Pond
Redding Community Center — Redding
Located in a parking lot, the seasonal ice rink at the Redding Community Center will be open from dawn to dusk every day, in addition to designated evening skate times. The ice rink is provided for the enjoyment of Redding residents and their guests. They will be open for the 2021 season with COVID-19 rules in place.
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. Ice thickness is measured daily. Note: Gould Manor Park is closed temporarily in 2021 for renovation, and is expected to reopen in early 2022.
After renovations, Gould Manor Park will be open for ice skating in early 2022. Photo courtesy of Stepoutside org
Owen Fish Park — Fairfield
Another classic New England winter scene comes to life in Fairfield. The tree-lined pond is a a great place for a game of ice hockey or ice skating practice. When the temperature is right, the city Parks Department measures the ice thickness daily, and posts it on the city website.
Whalen Pond — Brookfield
During the winter months, skating is available to the public, just look for the "skating" sign to make sure the ice is thick enough.
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks near New Haven
Osbornedale State Park — Derby
One of the only state parks with a designated ice 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. Come and warm up by the fun, stone fire pit. Bright lights illuminate the night for skating after the sun sets.
Wright's Pond — Orange
A fun and beautiful place with lots of wildlife, it's also a great place to go sledding and then lace up your skates for ice skating. Wright's Pond is monitored by the city Parks and Recreation Department for ice safety. There are signs posted when it's safe to skate.
Ice skating is a great family activity and really good exercise. Photo courtesy of Stepoutside.org
Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks near Hartford
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 and they are back in 2021 starting November 26. Open daily from 11am to 8pm
Simsbury Farms — Simsbury
This rink is covered, but you will still experience the thrill of fresh air in this huge space. Skates available for rental, along with a heated changing/waiting area. Ask for a skating trainer for first timers.
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. The plan is to open as soon as weather allows in 2021.
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.
Pond hockey and pond skating is a New England tradition. Photo courtesy of Ice Skating at Eastbury Pond, Facebook
Beaverbrook Linear Park — Wethersfield
Spring Street Pond is available for ice skating when the weather cooperates. Follow posted signs regarding ice safety conditions.
This post was first published on November 12, 2019