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It's not too late! You're only 8 steps away from a backyard ice rink.

Turn your yard into an ice palace this winter for unforgetable family fun.
Turn your yard into an ice palace this winter for unforgetable family fun.
Photographer: Nathalie Blais

The ground is a blanket of snow. Outdoor temperatures have dipped below -10°C for 4 consecutive days.

Well what are you waiting for!

This is your chance to mould your backyard into an ice palace for the whole family to enjoy. And the best part is, no experience is necessary.

Follow these 8 fool proof steps and you'll be on your way to stars on ice in just a few short days:

  1. The ideal site will be flat, near a tap and shaded to minimize daytime melting under the glare of winter sun.
  2. Grass or pavement? Either is fine. To prevent damage to your lawn, be conscientious about changing the location of the rink each year. (You can also use a plastic tarp to protect the area you plan to freeze).
    If you decide on the driveway as your best bet, consider spreading gravel before you start flooding asphalt. Concrete makes a great underlying surface.
  3. Once a nice blanket of snow has settled on your spot, get out there with the kids and plan for a two hour stomp fest. Ideally you want to achieve a 4 in. (10cm) thick base.
  4. Build up the sides of your rink with snowbanks at least 24 in. (60 cm) high.
  5. Spray your base with just enough water to form a slush. The slush will freeze overnight to form an icy crust that will then hold the water in when you start to flood.
  6. Over the next two days flood your base in the evening, building up layers each time. Leave it to freeze overnight. Be sure to spray evenly around the surface to avoid creating holes or ripples.
  7. After 2 or 3 nights of flooding, you’ll be ready to move into the maintenance phase. Scrape the surface clean of all snow, dirt and ice chips with a shovel.
  8. Spray your rink every night, packing snow in cracks before flooding. Ripples and small bumps will be worn away by the kids skating.

Good luck and enjoy.


  • Sara 4 years ago

    Great article! This would have saved my husband a lot of time researching rinks if he'd read it before building ours. Just a couple of helpful hints for anyone building a rink: 1) build a perimeter with wood if you are going to plan hockey on the rink, otherwise you'll be spending a lot of time searching for pucks in snowbanks, and 2) disconnect and drain your hose after each watering and keep it in the garage, and keep the nozzle in your house. Happy skating!

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