Ice Skating in Western MA
Ice skating is an activity that takes practice, but even for beginner skaters it’s still a fun activity to try with a group of friends! Rinks offer neighbors and friends a chance to come together and engage in a new or beloved activity. There are many rinks, outdoor and indoor, for ice skating in Western Massachusetts. Note that the conditions of outdoor rinks can vary daily based on the weather.
The earliest form of ice skating is thought to date back to about 3,000 years ago in Finland. The original skates used were constructed with lengths of animal bone strapped to the bottom of boots.
Skating as we understand it today originated when steel blades were added to the skates by the Dutch in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Dutch sharpened the edges of the blades to aid movement. In fact, the word “Skate” derives from the Dutch word “schaats” which means leg bone – referring to the original skate material that steel replaced.
Our local skating culture traces its roots to Scottish immigrants who brought skates with them when they resettled in the U.S. Whether you like to skate slow or fast, practice turns or hold onto the wall as you go, there’s fun for all to be had on an ice skating rink. During the winter months, the Massachusetts’ Department of Conservation and Recreation offers a Universal Access Program in the state’s parks providing adaptive ice skating to Western Massachusetts families. Open to individuals with disabilities and their families and/or friends, these events offer free access to adaptive technology (including sleds and walkers) and instruction for people of all abilities.
Find an ice skating rink near your family and get out on the ice for a winter activity that’s good for both your body and spirit! Call for open skate times and to inquire about rentals and costs.
Outdoor rinks, often set up by a town recreation department, are dependent on weather conditions. Here is a short list of outdoor rinks worth researching to see if they are being maintained this year
- Blandford: Watson Park on Main Street
- Conway: Ball Park
- Florence: Florence Civic Center Outdoor Ice Skating
- Goshen: DAR State Park Outdoor Ice Skating
- Greenfield: Beacon Field Outdoor Ice Skating Rink
- Holyoke: Community Field Outdoor Ice Skating
- Northampton: Paradise Pond at Smith College
- Williamsburg: Burgy Ice Rink
- Amherst: Mullins Memorial Center.
- Chicopee: Olympia Ice Skating Arena.
- Easthampton: Lossone Rink at Williston Northampton School.
- Greenfield: Collins/Moylan Skating Rink.
- Holyoke: Fitzpatrick Arena.
- North Adams: Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink
- Pittsfield: Pittsfield Boys & Girls Club Skating Arena.
- Springfield: Smead Ice Arena.
- Westfield: Amelia Park Arena & Garden.
Download our Jan/Feb edition of Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts for places to ski, skate and snowshoe in Western MA.