As the snow blankets the ground and the cold ocean breeze sweeps over Portland, it may feel like it’s time to cuddle up and hibernate for the winter. But if you did that, you would be missing out on so much of the fun that happens during winter in Maine.
Portland Maine itself becomes a winter wonderland of sorts, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the crisp, fresh air of winter despite the short days and long, dark hours. One of the best activities is enjoying ice skating Portland experiences.
About Portland Maine Ice Skating
The city has indoor and outdoor ice rinks for the public to use, allowing people of all ages and skill levels to enjoy an experience that best suits their needs.
Outdoor Ice Rinks
Anyone who owns property on a lake or pond knows that skating on your own private property is a lot of work. Clearing a space for ice skating can take hours of shoveling snow.
If the ice is thick enough, you can take a snow plow onto the ice to clear an area for pond hockey or ice skating. Still, by the time you’ve finished, you’ll want nothing more than to sit and relax or take a nap.
Because of that, we recommend public outdoor skating areas, they are safe and someone else does the shoveling and resurfacing to provide the best ice. Also, public ice rinks are more social and typically well lit with benches and, sometimes, even bonfires.
Indoor Ice Rinks
Skating at an ice arena — where the Zamboni creates the ideal conditions — certainly has its perks. Plus, it’s one of the cheapest Maine winter activities to do. It’s ideal if you’re looking for an inexpensive activity with kids or friends, and it makes for a cute date with your sweetheart.
As you’re planning your getaway, check out the best places to go ice skating in Portland Maine.
The Rink at Thompson’s Point
207 Thompsons Point, Portland, ME 04102
The Rink at Thompson’s Point is more than just an outdoor skating rink in downtown Portland. It is, essentially, the heart of the city during the entire winter season.
The outdoor rink is a relatively new addition to the city’s landscape. It was established less than 10 years ago as an entertainment hub and community gathering space.
At The Rink, as it is affectionately known by the locals, skaters can glide along more than 10,000 square feet of ice under a covered pavilion, which offers some shelter from the outdoor elements.
The sheer size of the ice rink ensures that people of all ages are able to safely enjoy the ice while also soaking up the glittering waterfront views that can be found just outside of the pavilion.
Around the pavilion, there are several heating stations to keep everyone feeling warm and toasty and to ensure that you can spend as much time as possible enjoying this winter activity space.
Future plans for The Rink at Thompson’s Point include food stands, beverage stations, and more, so there is a lot to look forward to at one of the best places for ice skating in Portland.
Note: The rink is closed for the 2022-23 winter season for renovations.
William B. Troubh Ice Arena
225 Park Ave, Portland, ME 04102
If you prefer indoor skating to outdoor skating, then you will be thrilled to know that there is a state-of-the-art arena located in the center of Portland. The William B. Troubh Ice Arena is a local treasure that has been the home of ice skating in Portland Maine for more than 30 years.
This municipal rink opened in 1985 and has been committed to serving all of the ice skating community in Portland. While most people head to the arena to enjoy public skating hours, which are held at various dates and times throughout the month, there are many other skating opportunities too.
People of all ages can enroll in ice skating lessons — including hockey skating and figure skating. Those who want to rent an ice team for their hockey time or for a private event can do so as well.
In addition, there are youth and adult hockey and curling leagues that operate out of the rink, giving people the opportunity to participate in their favorite skating sports.
Considered to be one of the finest skating rinks in Portland, this arena plays an integral role in the city’s recreational programming. It not only hosts games and tournaments but also has the capacity to host large-scale events.
Parking is free and the rink is open daily, so it’s easy to find time to enjoy a skate at the William B. Troubh Ice Arena.
Deering Oaks Pond
Portland, ME 04101
Deering Oaks is, perhaps, one of the most iconic ice skating destinations in Portland. This spacious park is one of the most perfectly-manicured places in the city, with visitors from around the area coming to enjoy the scenic gardens and recreational spaces that surround the Castle in the Park.
During the winter, a small stormwater basin just down the way from the castle — and near a charming stone bridge — freezes over and becomes one of the best outdoor ice skating ponds in the area.
The conditions can vary because the depth of the basin changes based on weather patterns. When the ice is frozen and skatable, the city of Portland staff groom and maintain it to keep it safe for everyone who wants to enjoy it.
Skating on the Deering Oaks pond is considered a classic Portland experience. So whether you are in town for a winter weekend or staying for the season, keep an eye on the conditions. You won’t want to miss the chance to glide on the ice in this truly idyllic location.
Riverside Golf Course
1158 Riverside St, Portland, ME 04103
For outdoor ice skating that you can count on, head to the Riverside Golf Course where you will find two outdoor ice skating rinks.
Each winter, the management team at the golf course works to create two distinct ice rinks for the public to enjoy. They are available for those who want to enjoy skating around the pond or for those who want to play a pick-up game of pond hockey.
What sets the Riverside ice rinks apart from other outdoor ice rinks is that the golf course actually creates the ice as needed and keeps the rinks maintained throughout the winter season.
The other outdoor ice rinks at local parks are only available when the weather conditions are right and the ice is thick enough, which can make it difficult to plan a day on the ice. For an ice skating Portland experience that you can count on, the Riverside ice rinks are your best bet.
You can find the outdoor ice rinks on the North Course of the Riverside Golf Course. Both rinks are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week throughout the season. However, only one rink is lit up each night, so you will want to plan accordingly.
Ludlow St, Portland, ME 04103
Tucked away in the heart of a Portland neighborhood, you will find an ice skating pond that offers a quiet, peaceful, and even romantic escape. Ludlow Pond is a hidden gem that offers some of the best ice skating Portland experiences.
Located near Deering High School, the pond was first constructed in 1932 to be a skating pond, so it’s the perfect size and shape for an afternoon of skating. The city’s parks and recreation department regularly maintains and grooms the ice, ensuring that it is both safe and enjoyable for everyone who wants to use it.
In addition to ice skating at Ludlow Pond, you will find that it’s a wonderful spot to enjoy the wildlife that calls the Portland region home. It’s like discovering your own winter wonderland in the heart of the city. Many of the people who visit Ludlow Pond find that it is their favorite spot in the city for ice skating.
Baxter Blvd and I-295, Portland, ME 04103
Payson Park is one of the top spots for winter fun in Portland. Families of all sizes and visitors of all ages often find themselves here on the snowiest winter days because the park boasts one of the largest sled hills in Portland.
However, in addition to the spectacular sled hill, this park is home to a large outdoor ice skating pond. It is about 0.6 acres, making it a great place for large crowds. Given that there are usually crowds of people at the park on the weekend, the size of this outdoor rink is very appealing.
It’s important to be aware that the park is only open for skating when the conditions are right and the ice is thick enough, but the city of Portland maintains and grooms the ice throughout the season.
Whether you are planning to spend the entire afternoon skating on the pond or you want to have a winter outing that includes both sledding and skating, you will find that Payson Park is your one-stop shop for winter activities in Portland.
Experience More Than Ice Skating Portland Maine Arenas & Ponds
Locals find that ice skating in Portland is an opportunity to exercise, have fun, and make memories during the winter months. The youngest Portland residents often put on a pair of skates before they can walk.
If you happen to be visiting Portland during the winter, you should include ice skating in Portland Maine on your itinerary. It’s a quintessential Portland Maine winter experience, and it will give you a taste of the local flavor and culture of this community.
However, it’s not the only experience that you should have during your visit. While you’re here, check out several of the other things to do in Portland Maine. Plus, there are great Portland restaurants where you can warm up after a day of fun in the cold. With so much to do, consider booking a Portland hotel for several days.