We have outdoor ice rinks at 24 parks, citywide. Many of them offer separate spaces for general skating and recreational uses such as hockey, broomball and pond hockey.
Donate Your Sticks & Skates
We welcome hockey sticks and ice skates in good condition. Call or visit a Recreation Center.
As soon as ice conditions allow-February 19, 2018
Lake of the Isles, Loring (presented by Wells Fargo), McRae, North Commons, and Van Cleve will remain open until March 1, 2018, weather and ice permitting.
*Ice Safety: For guidelines and safety information regarding lake ice thickness, visit Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
All outdoor ice rink locations have a warming room and offer free loaner skates available on a first come, first served basis. Sizes and quantities vary by location. Note: Bryn Mawr Meadows does not offer loaner skates.
Bryn Mawr Meadows
Open during broomball league games only
Monday-Friday: 6-10 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12:30-4:30 pm
Open during pond hockey league games only
Monday-Thursday: 5-10 pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12:30-3:30 pm
Lake of the Isles and Loring (Presented by Wells Fargo)
Monday-Friday: 3-9 pm
Saturday: 9 am-9 pm
Sunday: 10 am-6 pm
All Other Warming Rooms
Monday-Friday: 3-9 pm
Saturday: 10 am-9 pm
Sunday: noon-6 pm
Minneapolis School Release Days
December 26-January 5, January 15, January 25, January 26, February 16, February 19
Lake of the Isles, Loring, McRae, North Commons, Van Cleve only open
December 24: noon-4 pm
December 31-January 1: noon-6 pm
In the event of inclement weather (heavy snow or a combined temperature and wind chill of 20 degrees below zero), the warming rooms will be closed.
The following locations have timed rink lights on Sundays until 9 pm:
Establishing and maintaining an ice rink is largely affected by the condition of the ground or lake underneath, daily temperatures, and precipitation. It takes a minimum of ten consecutive days of below freezing temperatures during the day and night for ice to establish properly.
1. Seal the Field
Once the ground is frozen, we seal the field drains with newspaper and clay.
2. Build a Base
The next step is to saturate the field with water, adding moisture to the ground to help establish the first layer of ice. No two rinks are alike; the amount of water to build the foundation varies based on field conditions. Some fields have low pockets that must be filled in more than fields that are flat.
3. Flood the Field
When temperatures are right, we flood the fields using sprinklers and fire hoses one inch at a time, twice daily, to build up the ice. Anything more or less than one inch of water at a time will create air pockets, and prevent smooth, solid ice from forming. The ideal temperature for this process is between zero and ten degrees. If it is too cold (-10 degrees or lower) the ice would freeze too quickly, and become brittle.
4. Results in a Smooth Finish
Setbacks that may require additional flooding include:
This includes clearing the snow or shavings from previous day’s activities, repairing the gouges and ruts and putting down more water as time permits. Hockey and broomball boards, netting, goals and runways are inspected for needed repair.
Why do the rinks close in February?
Like many other park systems, our rink season typically runs until mid-February regardless of when the season starts. After mid-February, ice conditions start to deteriorate very quickly due to the late-winter sun. Even if temperatures are around freezing, the higher, stronger sun causes issues such as frost boils, honeycombing and melting along the edges of the rinks which make the rink unsafe for skaters.
To extend the season, our maintenance staff works to keep a few rinks in each area of throughout the city open until early March. These rinks are selected because their location (in the city and in the park itself), ice rink base (athletic field or other area) and several other factors. However, even with the additional staff and extra effort, those rinks are not always in the best condition. Additionally, if the weather is unusually warm for more than a few days, those rinks will also become unsafe and need to be closed for the season.
Lake ice is never deemed totally safe as water movement, fish movement, etc., can erode ice from underneath and thin spots can emerge near an area of good thick ice.
We are constantly doing ice checks on lake rinks. Please be alert to "Thin Ice" warning signs posted on lakes that we manage and stay away from those areas.