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 for enjoying this top winter sport.
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!
Top photo: Ice rink on Frog Pond near Beacon Hill
Ice Skating at Boston Common's Frog Pond
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.
With picturesque Beacon Hill in the background, skating on Frog Pond is one of the things that makes so Boston terrific in the winter. Take a spin on the ice right in the middle of Boston Common.
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.
Frog Pond Amenities
Great hot chocolate, coffee, and other treats at the Frog Pond Pavilion snack bar - try the made-to-order Belgium waffles
Bobby Seals - Don't know how to skate? Rent a Bobby Seal, hang on to it as you glide across the ice, and you'll be able to skate on your own faster than you might expect
Frog Pond Essential Information
Cost: $6 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 Regular hours:
Monday, 10am to 3:45pm
Tuesday to Thursday, 10am to 9pm
- Friday and Saturday, 10am to 10pm
Sunday, 10am to 9pm
Skate rental: Adults $12; children 13 and under are $6; locker rentals are $5 Skate Sharpening: $10/pair Bobby the Skating Seal: $15 hour Nearest T station: Red and Green Line/Park Parking: Boston Common Garage.
Snowport - Seaport's Pop-Up Ice Rink & Winter Village
Snowport is Seaport's pop-up Winter Village, and while it's not a shopping-oriented holiday market, it offers something equally exciting: a brand-new 3,000 foot ice rink - plus an assortment of related winter activities like iceless curling, yoga, live music, themed skate nights, and hot drinks.
Look for more fun things to come in the next few weeks: fresh-baked waffles, the festive Fjällhäus (a tiny but cozy cabin with a visitors lounge and free hot coffee) from December 9-January 4, winter games, and special holiday events.
Snowport Essential Information
Location: 65 Northern Avenue, at the corner of Seaport and Fan Pier Boulevards
Cost: Skating is $5 adults, $3 ages 4-12, free for children 3 and younger and active duty military with military ID Open: Early December through February Regular hours:
Monday - Thursday, 4pm-9pm
- Friday, 4pm-10pm
- Saturday, 11am-10pm
- Sunday, 11am-8pm
Skate rental: Bring your own or rent them for $5 (all ages) Nearest T station: Silver Line/Courthouse stop, or a 10-minute walk from Red Line/South Station
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 late 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 couple to a few hours daily. But hey, it's free.
If the hours happen to work with your schedule, you'll love the frendly vibe at 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.
Spectacular waterfront views across to Charlestown and East Boston.
Limited snack bar (but who cares? You're in the North End, with plenty of fabulous bakery/coffee shops on nearby Hanover Street.)
Location: 561 Commercial Street, North End, Boston Open: Daily, late November through mid-March Skate rental: $5 (skating is free)
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
Community Ice Skating @ Kendall
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.
Free skating during Holiday on Ice event (usually in mid-December)
Occasional Ice Bocce Tournaments
Address: 300 Athenaeum Street; Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA Cost: Adults $5; seniors (65+) and students (K-12, college students with ID) $3; children 10 and under $1. Season passes also available. Open: Daily, mid-December - mid March, weather permitting; hours - see website (below)
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 and skating schedule:website Tip: If the weather isn't good (sleet, rain, strong wind, heavy snow, too-warm temperature), check the website to make sure the rink is open.
Ice Skating Path at Boston's City Hall Plaza (CANCELLED for this year)
PLEASE NOTE: Construction at City Hall Plaza has shut down this popular event this year - so check out the other skating venues instead. We're leaving the information up so that you can plan ahead for next year!
A first for Boston and New England: a custom-designed outdoor skating path around City Hall Plaza.
Also sharing the space through mid-January will be a European-style Winter Holiday Market featuring 85 chalets with vendors and artisans, with over half of them being local vendors such as Boston Olive Oil Company, Yankee Lobster Company, and Etsy Artists of Boston.
Look for Santa's Cottage, a sparkling holiday tree, and special events. For refreshments, stop by Vinopolis, where you'll find hot drinks, beer, wine, and snacks.
Boston Harbor Hotel Ice Skating Rink - NOT AVAILABLE this year
PLEASE NOTE: The ice rink will not be up this year.
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.
Heart-warming beverages, libations, and snacks at Rowes Wharf Sea Grille
Enjoy the hotel's wonderful location next to the waterfront and the Rose Kennedy Greenway - plus close to Boston's historic and modern attractions!
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 Nearest T station: Red Line/South Station
Stay at Boston Harbor Hotel, or in a Nearby Waterfront Hotel
Take advantage of being close to BHH's skating rink - and enjoy low winter rates on the Waterfront.
Enjoy the views plus all of the fun activities along Boston's waterfront when you stay at the Boston Harbor Hotel.