Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Backyard Ice Skating

Since we still have one more official day of winter I thought I would share our ice rink with you today.

I have always loved ice skating so building this rink was kind of a childhood dream for me.  This winter we started spending a lot of time at our local outdoor rink and the little one started taking lessons so it was the perfect time to give it a try.  I started my research right away on the best ways to build one and how to maintain the ice for a smooth finish.

Then came the part where I had to convince Mr. 65th that this was a great idea.  The weather can be unpredictable here in Chicago so we weren't sure our rink would be a success.  As you can see we went for it and started to assemble the frame.

We used left over cement board siding for the frame and used wooden stakes to keep the boards strong. 

Next we used clear plastic from Home Depot as a liner and started to fill it up with our fingers crossed.  Our yard is not level so we ended up adding another board on the back of the rink by the playhouse, that way we had at least three inches of water in the shallow end.

While everyone was taking their Christmas lights down after the holidays we were decking out our backyard for night time skating ambiance.

This is where I was planning to have a hot chocolate station but we always went inside for cocoa to warm up.

Mr. 65th lacing up for a skate under the moonlight.  Of course we had to have Van Morrison's dancing in the moonlight playing that night. 

We used a pool noodle where we got on and off the ice to protect the plastic liner from a toe pick tear.

After the little one went to bed one night we dug out the old baby monitor and had a date night skating under the stars, it was very romantic.


After skating we would drag the hose out from the basement and put a thin layer of hot water on the ice to smooth it out.  We did this at night when the tempeature was below freezing and there was no snow in the forecast.

The little one is turning seven next week and decided to have an ice skating party at the rink where she takes lessons.  I found the cutest invitations from an Etsy shop that I will share soon.

Her request seemed appropriate considering how much fun we had skating this winter. 

The ice melted and we took the rink down this weekend.  I'm sad to see it go but I'm ready for winter to be over and for the nice weather to be here. 

Sharing with the CSI project


  1. How fun! Hubby and I grew up in the north where frozen lakes and ponds were a plenty. Both our girls skated here in the south (they competed for many years). So wish we could have done this in our backyard, but not going to happen in Atlanta.

  2. Wonderful job on the rink! The lights are such an awesome touch! It looks like it should be on Michigan Ave!!! And what a great experience for your daughter...but I'm with you...I can't wait for spring!!!

  3. that looks so purely magical!!!!! i would love to skate there!

  4. That is the coolest thing EVER! How fun!!!!!

  5. What an amazing idea! Who would think of that, lol. Your hubby must be pretty cool too for helping you make it happen. You will be the envy of the neighborhood. I must show my husband this - never going to happen for me in Florida though =D Sally x

  6. WHAT FUN!!! I love it all!!! The skating rink , the lights ~ the memories!!!
    It's just great!
    Have a pretty day!

  7. So cool! The memories you are creating...I love it! I'll bet everyone sleeps so well after all that fresh air and ice skating.

  8. coolest parents ever!


  9. What a great idea for a birthday party. That backyard rink was incredible, it worked out so well!

    Michelle. thebashfulnest.com

  10. SHUT UP!!! That is incredible!! I'm from the south so this would never happen in my neck of the woods, but that's probably every little girl's dream. Great idea!

  11. Sensational!!! Keep that awesome family tradition going. Here at Iron Sleek, we have all the components required to help build a backyard rink.