The South Shore rinks offer free and low-cost public skating time


ROCKLAND – It’s a New England rite of passage to put on a helmet and put on your ice skates when the temperatures drop, something Brian Magner taught his 3-year-old daughter on Thursday afternoon.

“We’re going to bring our stroller,” he told Lulu, helping her put on her pink training skates and caged helmet.

A Rockland resident, Magner said it was her daughter’s second time playing on the ice. The week before they took another trip and she was on the ice for a few minutes with her father, he said.

“I just wanted to give her a positive experience,” he said as they both prepared to step onto the ice at Rockland Rink for Thursday morning free skating time.

This is the time of year when people go to the rinks to ice skate. Cities on the South Shore offer both indoor and outdoor skating areas, but indoor ones are not weather dependent and many offer free or inexpensive public skating hours throughout the week.

Rockland Ice Rink offers free public skating from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and free hockey from noon to 2 p.m. Monday and Friday.

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Brian Magner said it’s important to have fun skating, especially with young children.

“Hockey is not a very comfortable experience,” said Magner, between the cold, tight skates and heavy masks.

But Magner managed to get Lulu out onto the ice, as she clung to a red push bar, and the two skated on the ice together. When he led Lulu to the door a few minutes later, she protested – she wanted to take one more turn on the ice.

Lulu Magner, 3, and her father Brian sliding on smooth ice at the Rockland rink on Thursday, January 6, 2022.

Elsewhere at the rink during free skating time Thursday, Madison Reid, 22, a Pembroke resident, and Jodee Savery, 23, a Hanson resident, were skating together.

Reid said she hasn’t skated for about five years and that the first time back on the ice can be tough.

“Nothing’s really frozen over this year,” she said, making it harder for skaters to find places to skate outside on icy ponds or bogs.

Whitman's Caity MacFarlane goes once a week to the

Savery said she skates every year just for fun and finds something liberating about sliding on the ice.

Her friend agreed.

“It’s graceful,” said Reid. “If you can get up.”

Zooming in across the rink are Amy Davis, a Rockland resident, and her homeschooled son Isaac.

His home-schooled gym class arrives at the rink Thursday, Davis said. Isaac, 12, plays for the Boston Junior Terriers hockey team and is comfortable on the ice. As she spoke, Isaac practiced with his hockey stick and puck, like bouncing the puck off his stick while sliding on the ice.

Isaac Davis, 12, home student, from Rockland, uses free time skating at the Rockland rink as a gym class.

She said if he had time they would be at the rink twice a week for free skating.

“There aren’t a lot of open skates available (elsewhere),” said Davis, watching his son skate.

Mum Jackie Sousa helps her daughter Lexi, 8, put on skates at the Norwell Ice Rink on Pine Street on Monday, February 15, 2021.

Are you looking for a cheap place to skate? Discover these rinks:

Rockland ice rink

Or: 599 Summer Street # 7218, Rockland.

Cost: Free during public skating hours

More information: rocklandicerink.com/patinage-public

Shea Memorial Ice Rink

Or: 651 Willard Street, Quincy.

Cost: $ 5 during public skating hours

More information: shearink.net/public-skating-news

Connell Ice Rink

Or: 220 Broad Street, Weymouth.

Cost: $ 5 during public skating hours

More information: weymouth.ma.us/recreation/

Armstrong Arena

Or: 103 Long Pond Road, Plymouth.

Cost: $ 6 during public skating hours

More information: fmcicesports.com

Ulin ice rink

Or: 11 Unquity Road, Milton

Cost: $ 5 during public skating hours

More information: ulinrink.com/ulin_14080.html

Metropolis skating rink.

Or: 2167, rue Washington, Canton

Cost: $ 5 during public skating hours

More information: cantonrec.com

Pilgrim Skating Arena, Inc.

Or: 75 Parkway Amusement Park, Hingham

Cost: $ 5 Little People skating time for Kindergarten and Kindergarten skaters

More information: tepilgrim.com

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Contact Alex Weliever at [email protected].


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