This is our third year to build an ice skating rink in the back yard. We took last year off because we had such a mild winter that we didn’t think it would be worth the effort. This year, in contrast, we were already getting some super cold days in November, so we decided it was time to once again transform our backyard into an ice rink.
Building the rink is a simple process. But it IS a lot of work. CapableDad has it down to a science at this point. He keeps the same wood each year to build a large wood frame that is about 40 feet long and 30 feet wide. Then we buy a large sheet of plastic to lay inside the frame. The plastic is sold in rolls that are 100 by 20. That means, we have to roll out the plastic, cut it in half and then very carefully tape and glue the two strips together to make it wide enough. This was the first year I helped with this process. It’s really not hard, but it is a major pain. We put two strips of duct tape on each side and fill the overlap with caulk. After about an hour of crawling along on my knees, carefully pushing the air bubbles out of the duct tape, I was seriously wondering if it could be possibly worth so much effort!
A few days later, the rink was full of water and frozen over and the kids went out for their first skate. I immediately decided it was totally worth it!
We already have had many weekend games of broom ball on the ice rink, and lots of skating time. I put Christmas lights on the back of the house this year, and my husband got a sound system that can withstand the cold so I can listen to music while I skate. He also built a homemade “zamboni” to smooth out the ice after it snows.