Outdoor skating and Connecticut have an on-again off-again relationship. When it snows, the ice has to be shoveled. When we have a string of warm temps, we get slush. A frozen pond in this state has become a rare commodity. And, sure, indoor skating has its benefits with its reliable ice, comfortable temperature and lack of bumps and all.
But there is just nothing like skating outdoors when the ice is good and the sun is shining. Think a picturesque pond surrounded by woods to block any breeze. Think rosy cheeks and cozy scarves. Think Currier & Ives. Are you with me?
We have rounded up some postcard perfect ponds, municipal skating spots, and one particular open-air rink that has drawn in crowds for more than two decades. For even more winter fun check out our winter guide and CT winter bucket list!
Veteran's Memorial Park-Norwalk
A pair of seasonal ice skating rinks at Veterans Memorial Park in East Norwalk courtesy of the SoNo Ice House, have become a seasonal fixture to look forward to each winter. The Rinks at Veterans Park offer learn how to skate lessons and offer a venue for local hockey teams. Public sessions are offered Tuesday-Friday at lunch time and in the late afternoons on the weekend. Skate rentals are available.
42 Seaview Ave, Norwalk 06855
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 11 p.m.
9 Keyser Rd, Westport 06880
This brand new addition to Stratford’s Longbrook Park, home to the Vikki Soto Playground and splash pad, operates from 9am-9pm as long as there is ice to skate on. And, it’s Free!
103 Glendale St, Stratford 06614
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 or Owen Fish Park in Fairifled. The Parks Department measures the thickness of the ice daily when the temperature dips and deems it safe to skate.
655 Holland Hill Rd, Fairfield 06824
Known for its postcard-perfect winter scenes of ice-skating and hockey playing, Gorham’s Pond invites families for a picturesque afternoon of skating.
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 thick enough ice (decided by park rangers), skaters can be found gliding across Pickett’s Pond. Warm up next to the roaring fire in the pavilions fireplace and don’t forget to bring your marshmallow and hot chocolate. Bright lights illuminate the night for skating after dark.
555 Roosevelt Dr, Derby 06418
Redding Community Center-Redding
The new seasonal ice rink at the Redding Community Center will be open dawn to dusk everyday in addition to designated evening skate time Tuesday through Saturday 4-8pm and “stick and puck” time on Saturday and Sunday 9-11am and Thursday 4-8pm.
37 Lonetown Rd, Redding 06896
Photo courtesy of the Longshore Park Skating Rink