City, state ice skating rinks open for season

Boston Winter, now open to the public on City Hall Plaza, features a skating rink. Mayor's Office Photo by Jeremiah Robinson

As November comes to a close, the region is gliding headlong into ice skating season. The Department of Conservation and Recreation announced the start of public skate season last week, with schedules and programs beginning at DCR managed rinks across the state. This season Boston area residents will be able to enjoy multiple newly renovated ice rinks, including two very close to home.

South Boston’s Murphy Memorial Rink received over $5 million worth of improvements. In addition to a new roof, a new LED lighting system and refurbished locker rooms, the rink now features a state of the art refrigeration system that works more efficiently to keep the ice at a chilly 17 degrees, giving Southie some of the hardest ice around.

The updates were much needed at the facility, which was built in 1961. Murphy’s small rink, adjacent to its full size one, is ideal for beginner skaters. Registration is open for Murphy Rink’s Learn to Skate program, which meets Sundays at 4:00 pm.

Dorchester’s Devine Memorial Rink, which underwent similar renovations last year, is another great spot for free public skating. Dorchester Youth Hockey offers a Learn to Skate program at the rink for children age 3 and up. Registration is now open for the program, which offers two classes each Saturday at 3 and 4p.m.

“The maintenance and upkeep of Massachusetts’ public skating rinks is a continued priority of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and we are thrilled to have completed millions of dollars in investments at several of our most popular locations ahead of the winter recreation season,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “Providing residents of all abilities with safe, accessible and affordable skating locations has been a hallmark of the agency’s efforts to encourage active, healthy lifestyles during the winter months, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of their nearest DCR rink this holiday season.”

Public skating is also now open at the Boston Commons Frog Pond, which offers group and private skating lessons for all ages. Elsewhere, the City Hall skating path has reopened for the second time after last year’s inaugural season, which Mayor Martin Walsh dubbed “an overwhelming success” in a recent press release. The path is open seven days a week and is accompanied by a winter holiday market, a Christmas tree maze, a Santa’s workshop, and a stage for musical performances. Adults $10, kids $8, children under 5 free.