Community Skating Rinks – The Hippo Press
Find a local pond for skating and hockey
Many communities have ponds or outdoor rinks for ice skating, stick practice, and pond hockey. The town and city-maintained ponds are free to use, making it a fun outdoor activity that costs nothing if you already have skates – and a hockey stick, if you want to play, which player to longtime hockey and Black Ice Pond According to Hockey Association Chairman of the Board, Daniel Luker, it can totally change your experience on the ice.
“Find a buddy, show up, bring a stick and some pucks…and get out there and you’ll automatically start playing hockey,” Luker said. “Once you start skating and once you pick up a stick, it’s a whole different ball game. … Once you pick up a stick, you can’t stop playing and you’re chasing the puck forever.
Whether you want to try pond hockey or just prefer to skate free, here are some local rinks to check out. The open/closed status of the rinks can change from day to day depending on the temperatures. Call or check the town or city’s website or social media for the most up-to-date information.
• Amherst Middle School Ice Rink, 14 Cross Road, Amherst, 673-6248, amherstnh.myrec.com. During the opening hours, the hours are every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Beaver Meadow Pond at Beaver Meadow Golf Course, 1 Beaver Meadow Drive, Concord, 225-8690, concordnh.gov. When open, hours are daily from dawn to dusk.
• Bow Town Pondnext to Bow Community Center, 3 Bow Center Road, Bow, 223-3920, bow-nh.com.
• Brown Memorial Field, 740 Swanzey Road, Swanzey, 352-4614, find him on Facebook. When open, hours are daily from dawn to dusk.
• Davis Lane Ice Rinks, Davis Lane, Amherst, 673-6248, amherstnh.myrec.com. When open, hours are daily from 10:00 a.m. to dusk.
• Dorrs Pond, next to Livingston Park, 56 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 624-6444, manchesternh.gov. When open, hours are daily from dawn to dusk.
• Four corners, behind Holman Stadium, Sargent Avenue, Nashua, 589-3370, nashuanh.gov. When open, hours are daily from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for general skating, and before 11 a.m. and between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. for hockey.
• Hood Park at 4 Rollins St., Derry, 432-6136, derrynh.org. When open, hours are daily from dawn to dusk.
• Skating rink at Watson Park, 441 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 882-1046, merrimackparksandrec.org/watson-park. During the opening hours, the hours are every day from dawn to 9 p.m.
• Jeff Morin Fields at Roby Park, 126 Spit Brook Road, Nashua, 589-3370, nashuanh.gov. When open, hours are daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for general skating and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. for hockey.
• Kimball Lake, 47 Kimball Lake Road, Hopkinton, 746-8263, hopkintonrec.com. During the opening hours, the hours are every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Riverside Ice Rink 223 Route 103, Warner, 491-9019, facebook.com/riversideicerink. When open, hours are daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information and to find out if it is currently open for skating, visit the Facebook page.
• Rollins Park at 33 Bow St., Concord, 225-8690, concordnh.gov. When open, hours are daily from dawn to dusk.
• Shepard Park, 418 Nashua St., Milford, 249-0625, facebook.com/milfordrecdept. During the opening hours, the hours are every day from dawn to 9:30 p.m.
• white park, 1 White St., Concord, 225-8690, concordnh.gov. When open, skating hours are daily from dawn until dusk. The Merrimack Lodge offers skate rentals for $5. Lodge hours vary; find it on Facebook for the most up-to-date times.
duck pond puddle
duck pond puddle
This outdoor rink at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth is another option for those who want a better chance of getting on the ice even if the weather conditions haven’t been good.
“The ice is maintained with a refrigeration system and Zamboni, which helps the rink stay open in warmer air temperatures,” Veronica Lester of the Strawbery Banke Museum said via email. “Unless the ice is deemed unsafe for skating, Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond is open rain, snow and shine. Opening and closing calls are made daily by rink operations staff.
The rink is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $12 for skaters ages 5 and up. Skate rentals are available for $6 and skate sharpening is available for $7.
Winter Fest returns to downtown Concord
By Angie Sykeny
Coinciding with the Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, the fourth annual Concord NH Winter Festival will take place on Saturday, January 29. There will be indoor and outdoor festivities for all ages, including shopping, food, entertainment, tours and more.
“There aren’t a lot of family events this time of year, and that’s what makes this event special,” said Jessica Martin, executive director of Intown Concord, which organizes the Winter Festival in partnership with The Hotel Concord.
The highlight of the event is the live ice sculpting competition featuring “New England’s finest ice sculptors,” Martin said. It’s free and open to the public on the Statehouse lawn from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The ice sculptors will also be there on Friday, January 28, the day before the festival, to give live ice sculpting demonstrations from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“This year we have seven sculptors participating in the competition, which is the most we’ve had to date,” Martin said, adding that the sculptures will remain on display at the Statehouse for the week following the festival.
Main Street restaurants and retail stores will be open for a winter shopping stroll; Red River Theaters will have a matinee screening of the family-friendly animated film Small foot (2018, PG) at 10 a.m. (tickets are $5); and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center will offer games and interactive activities starting at 10:30 a.m.
Guided tours of the interior of the Statehouse will be offered, starting every 30 minutes from noon to 3:30 p.m. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and will include opportunities to view the Hall of Colors, which has over 100 battle flags on display from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam War; the House of Representatives Chamber and the Senate Chambers, which are of national significance as the oldest continuously used legislative chambers in the United States; the governor’s and executive council chambers and more.
“There are over 200 portraits to view as you tour the building,” Martin said, “and it’s always fun to see the Visitor Center’s primary First in the Nation exhibit and the Bicentennial dioramas. “
The Winter Festival Stage, which will be set up on South Main Street next to O Steaks and Seafood Restaurant, will be a hot spot of activity, including an ice cream bar, free hot chocolate, s’mores grill and more. The stage will feature a variety of live entertainment, starting with a dance party with DJ Darren Roy at 11 a.m., followed by storyteller Ade Shields (11:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.), local the singer-songwriter Jasmine Mann (11:50 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.), New England folk-rock band The Penniles Jacks (12:20 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. and 2:10 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.) and family dragster ChiChi Marvel (1 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. and 1:55 p.m. to 2:05 p.m.)
Complimentary shuttle service will be available between the Statehouse, Concord Hotel, Holiday Inn and the Black Ice Hockey Tournament in White Park throughout the day.
Martin said attendees should continue to practice Covid safety — masks are not required but are strongly encouraged for indoor activities — and should have no trouble keeping spread out.
“This outdoor festival will give people the space they need to socially distance themselves,” she said.
Concord NH Winter Festival
Or: Main Street, Concorde
When: Saturday January 29. Most activities will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ice sculpting demonstrations will take place on Friday, January 28 from 3 to 9 p.m.
Cost: Free entry. Some activities may be chargeable.
More information: Visit intownconcord.org or call 226-2150.
Feature photo: Photo courtesy of the Black Ice Pond Hockey Association.