8 Safety Tips & 24 Ice Skating Rinks
8 Safety Tips
Ice skating is a fun winter activity, and also a great exercise! The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) offers 8 tips to help you and your family enjoy safe skating:
- Never go onto the ice alone.
- Always keep your pets on a leash. If a pet falls through the ice, do not attempt a rescue – go for help.
- Beware of ice covered with snow. Snow can insulate ice and keep it strong, but it also can insulate the ice and keep it from freezing. Snow also can hide cracks as well as weak and open ice.
- Ice formed over flowing water (including springs under the surface) is generally weaker than ice over still water.
- Ice seldom freezes or thaws at a uniform rate. It can be a foot thick in one spot or an inch thick in another.
- If a companion falls through the ice and you are unable to reach that person from shore, throw something to them (a rope, tree branch, even jumper cables from the car, etc.). If this doesn’t work, go or phone for help before you also become a victim. Get medical assistance for the victim immediately.
- If you fall in, try not to panic. Turn toward the direction you came from. Place your hands and arms on the unbroken surface, working forward by kicking your feet. Once the ice is solid enough to hold you, and you can pull yourself out, remain lying on the ice (do not stand; lying down spreads your weight across a wider area, lessening the weight on any one spot) and roll away from the hole. Crawl back the way you came, keeping your weight distributed, until you return to solid ice or ground.
- As the season progresses, plan accordingly and use caution, as the condition of older ice greatly varies and is subject to rapidly changing conditions.
For further tips from MEMA, including information on hypothermia and cold water dangers, please visit the featured section “Stay safe, keep warm in extreme weather” at www.mass.gov. MassWildlife also offers additional ice safety tips.
24 Ice Skating Rinks in Western Mass
Note that the availability of Outdoor Rinks will not only vary from year to year, but they also will vary daily according to temperature and snow fall.
- [AMHERST] Mullins Memorial Center 413-545-3990
Skate Rentals Available, Snack Bar
- [AMHERST] Orr Rink at Amherst College 413-542-7950
- [BLANFORD] Watson Park on Main Street. Outdoor rink. (No Skate Rentals Available)
- [CONWAY] Ball park as an Outdoor rink. Lighting at night. (No Skate Rentals Available)
- [EASTHAMPTON] Lossone Rink at Williston Northampton School (No Skate Rentals Available) Public skate times are every Sunday in the winter from 3-5pm and are organized by the Easthampton PRD. 413-529-1440
- [FLORENCE] Florence Civic Center Outdoors Ice Skating (No Skate Rentals Available)
- [GOSHEN] DAR State Park Outdoors Ice Skating (No Skate Rentals Available; Warming Hut)
- [GREENFIELD] Collins/Moylan Skating Rink 413-772-6891
Skate Rentals Available, Snack Bar
- [GREENFIELD] Beacon Field Outdoor Ice Skating Rink. (No Skate Rentals) Beacon Street & Gerrett Street.
- [HOLYOKE] Fitzpatrick Arena 413-532-2929
- [HOLYOKE] Community Field. Outdoors Ice skating. Admission $3/person. Limited skate rentals $2/person. Staffed by Parks & Rec. Ice is resurfaced. Restrooms, warming house, & lockers. 2013 schedule: Fridays, 6pm – 9pm; Saturdays, 12pm – 4pm & 6pm – 9pm; Sundays 12pm – 4pm. Located off Cherry Street at 1 Community Field Road. Weather dependent. 413-322-5620
- [HUNTINGTON] Outdoor Ice Skating Rink on the Town Common (No Skate Rentals)
- [LENOX] Outdoor Ice Rink at Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club. Day passes and skate rental available. 413-637-1364
- [MONTEREY] Monterey Outdoor Ice Pavilion. (No Skate Rentals Available) 413-528-1443 x248
- [NORTH ADAMS] Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink 413-664-8185
- [NORTHAMPTON] Smith College Outdoor Ice Skating (No Skate Rentals Available) 413-585-2400 (CLOSED FOR 2013)
- [PITTSFIELD] Pittsfield Boys & Girls Club Skating Arena 413-448-8258
- [SPRINGFIELD] Smead Ice Arena 413-781-2599
- [SPRINGFIELD] Cyr Arena 413-787-6438
- [SHEFFIELD] Berkshire School – Rovenski Rink
- [STURBRIDGE] Old Sturbridge Village Ice Skating Outdoors in the Center Village (No Skate Rentals Available)
- [WILLIAMSTOWN] Lansing Chapman Rink at Williams College. 76 Latham St. 413-597-3131
- [WESTFIELD] Amelia Park Arena 413-568-2503 Skate Rentals, Two Rink Facility
- [WEST SPRINGFIELD] Olympia Ice Center 413-736-8100
Add your favorite spot to the list. Recommend an indoor or outdoor rink in our comment box below.