When snow and wintery weather turn the city into a sparkling white paradise, chase away the cold by ice skating.
Boston offers excellent public rinks including the famous Frog Pond rink on Boston Common and an "Insider Secret" rink in the North End. You can find a couple more in Cambridge.
Boston ice skating brings out crowds who love this winter activity. On warmer days, refrigeration under the ice and surface-smoothing zambonis keep the skaters happy.
If you're visiting Boston, no need to pack your skates - rinks offer rentals for a small fee.
Get ready to love winter in Boston!
From mid-November through mid-March, Frog Pond (no longer an actual pond but instead, a shallow concrete-lined pool with a depth of about 6 inches) transforms into a magical expanse of ice in the middle of the city.
Conveniently located in Boston Common right in the center of the city, the rink is an easy walk from most Downtown, Back Bay, and Beacon Hill hotels.
Take a spin on the ice right in the middle of Boston Common. An opening ceremony features performances by local skating stars followed by public skating.
With picturesque Beacon Hill in the background, skating on Frog Pond is one of the things that makes so Boston terrific in the winter. Bring your own skates, or rent them at the rink for a reasonable fee.
Frog Pond does get fairly crowded at times - especially on sunny weekend afternoons.
By contrast, Boston school holidays typically draw fewer crowds than you might expect, as a lot of Bostonians leave the city to go skiing.Amenities: The Frog Pond Pavilion snack bar shown in the photo above serves great hot chocolate, coffee, and other treats - try the made-to-order Belgium waffles. You can also rent a locker for a couple of dollars, and get your skates sharpened for under $10.
Cost: $5 if you are 58 inches or taller; free if you are under 58 inches
Open: Usually from mid-November (check Boston Event calendar for November for exact date) through mid-March - may vary by a week or two based on weather
- Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 9pm
- Monday, 10am to 4pm
- Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm
Skate rental: Adults $10; children 13 and under are $5; locker rentals are $2
Nearest T station: Red and Green Line/Park
Parking: Boston Common Garage.
More information: Boston Common Frog Pond website
Look for Boston Harbor Hotel's seasonal ice skating rink right under the hotel's iconic arch, giving skaters spectacular views of the waterfront as they spin around the ice.
The ice rink is part of BHH's Winter on the Wharf program - so look for other fun activities here throughout Boston's sparkling winter season.
Location: Boston Harbor Hotel, Boston
Cost: Adults $10, children $5, children under 5 free
Open: Mid-December through late February - check the December events calendar for exact date
- Monday - Friday 3pm-8pm
- Saturday & Sunday 10am - 8pm
Skate rental: Adults $10, Children $8
Other amenities: Heart-warming beverages, libations, and snacks at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Nearest T station: Red Line/South Station
Come try the ice skating venue in Boston at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in historic Downtown Boston. Look for the rink on the outdoor plaza among the shops, restaurants, and food vendors, usually starting in early January.
The seasonal rink is a perfect winter attraction for this Freedom Trail site and popular shopping area, and the night hours on Friday and Saturday make it part of the lively nightlife scene in this area.
No need to bring skates, as you can rent them on-site.
Location: Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Boston
Cost: Adults $5, Children $3, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $10
Open: Late January through late February
- Sunday - Thursday 11am - 7pm
- Friday & Saturday 11am - 11pm
Skate rental: Adults $5, Children $3, Family (2 adults, 2 children) $10
Other amenities: 13 full service restaurants, 36 food kiosks, and 75 shops in Boston's most historic marketplace
Nearest T station: Blue Line/Aquarium; Blue and Orange Lines/State
The Steriti Ice Rink in Boston's North End is sort of an Insider's Secret: It's an easy walk from North Station, it's open from the end of November until mid-March, and skating is free!
The catch? The Steriti is heavily used by ice skating by Boston and North End teams and has limited public skating hours - usually a few afternoon hours on the weekend and a few weekdays, plus a couple of hours on Friday and Saturday nights.
If those hours happen to work with your schedule, you'll love this large, well-maintained rink, one of the 41 rinks throughout the state overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).
Steriti Rink's indoor location offers a big advantage when outdoor conditions aren't perfect for ice skating. Another plus: spectacular waterfront views across to Charlestown and East Boston.
Location: 561 Commercial Street, North End, Boston
Open: Daily, late November - mid March
Skate rental: $5 (skating is free)
Other amenities: Limited snack bar (but who cares? You're in the North End, with plenty of fabulous bakery/coffee shops on nearby Hanover Street.)
Nearest T station: Orange and Green Lines/North Station
For public skating hours: 617-523-9327
How many hotels magically produce their own outdoor rink for winter ice skating?
Boston tourists, Cambridge locals, and of course the hotel guests all love the 2,900 square foot ice skating rink at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge's Harvard Square.
Open 7 days a week (depending on the weather), this compact rink gives you a panoramic view of Harvard Square as you whirl across the ice.
Available to the public, as well as to hotel guests; skate rentals available.
You can also easily arrange reasonably-priced skating lessons.
Location: Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA
Cost: Adults $5; children 11 and under $3.
Open: Rink hours depend on the weather - so call before coming to confirm: 617-864-1200
Other amenities: Snack bar serves hot and cold beverages, plus snacks
Nearest T station: Red Line/Harvard
You'll find Kendall Square Community Skating in East Cambridge, just across the Charles River from Boston, in a bustling neighborhood loaded with hotels, restaurants, businesses, and retail space.
The seasonal outdoor rink is only a block from the edge of the campus of Cambridge's renowned MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) - so if you're at MIT for an interview or campus tour during the winter, stop by for some stress-relieving ice skating. Boston is only 5 minutes away by T.
The refrigerated Kendall rink is open 7 days a week, and a zamboni keeps it smooth. A small cafe offers hot drinks and snacks.
Address: 300 Athenaeum Street; Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA
Cost: Adults $5; seniors and students $3; children 10 and under $1. Season passes also available
Open: Daily, November - mid March; call for hours and dates
Skate rental: $8 ($5 ages 13 and under)
Other amenities: Locker rental for $1; skate sharpening for $7; skating school offering lessons to all ages.
Nearest T station: Red Line/Kendall-MIT. When you get off the T, walk through the Marriott lobby, exit onto Broadway and turn right. The first intersection is Third Street (you'll see a big globe). Turn left onto Third, walk 3 blocks to Athenaeum, and turn right. The rink is one block away, on your left.
For more information: 617-492-0941; www.kendallsquare.org
Tip: If the weather isn't good (sleet, rain, strong wind, heavy snow), call first to make sure the rink is open.
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