Ice Skating Season in Massachusetts Attracts Visitors and Local Residents

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Image: Worcester Oval

Massachusetts kicked off its ice skating season recently, opening up outdoor and indoor rinks across the Commonwealth. Skating is a favorite pastime for generations of local residents and visitors to the Bay State.

“Boys and girls begin to skate almost as soon as they are able to walk, and one of the first Christmas presents a child receives…is a pair of skates,” wrote The Boston Globe in a story on January 5, 1896 entitled Origin of Skating. “The meadow ponds and the frozen hollows in the hills are the favorite resorts.”

Over Thanksgiving Weekend, the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced the start of its annual ice skating season at 42 agency rinks across the Commonwealth. Find the DCR ice skating rinks closest to you.

Among the most popular places to skate outdoors includes the Boston Common Frog Pond, the Boston Harbor Hotel Rotunda Rink, and the Kendall Square Skating Rink in Cambridge and Boston City Hall Outdoor Skating Path.

Other spots around Massachusetts include Worcester Common Oval and Winter Skate at Patriot Place in Foxborough, and various rinks on Cape Cod. A great resource for learning to skate is the Skating Club of Boston.

Winter sports is a key element of the Commonwealth’s four-season tourism outreach. In 2016 approximately 220,000 domestic, 10,000 Overseas and 10,000 Canadian visitors participated in snow sport activities in Massachusetts, for a total of 240,000 visitors, according to the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.

“The January-March quarter accounts for about 13% of traveler spending in Massachusetts, or approximately $2.8 billion this year,” said MOTT Executive Director Francois Nivaud. “The 240,000 visitors who enjoyed snow sports in Massachusetts last winter spent just under $100 million.”

Visit for more information on winter sports.