Skating Through Winter
By Peggy O’Dell
Picture this: It’s a beautiful winter day in Michigan. The snow is gently falling, frosting the trees in fluffy white. The air is cold and crisp. The sky is blue. And instead of hunkering down in a dry, overheated house, you’re outside soaring on top of ice, enjoying the fresh air and getting some much needed exercise! Sound like fun? It can happen with a visit to one of Macomb County’s outdoor public ice rinks.
BEEBE STREET PARK ICE RINK
For an old-fashioned ice rink experience, grab your skates and head outdoors to the friendly town of Richmond, where residents and non-residents alike are always welcome to come out and skate for free. The Beebe Street Park rink is flooded in early January and counts on Mother Nature to keep it frozen. The rink is open to the elements, and unlike other public rinks, sets aside specific hours when hockey can be played. “Richmond is an amazing little town that has so much to offer. We have a lot of people who come from the surrounding areas to skate, especially at night when the rink is lit,” said Richmond Recreation Director Margo VanHove.
WARREN CITY SQUARE RINK
Warren residents have enjoyed a public rink for 20 years, and it’s still a popular winter recreation spot, particularly when there are special events being held on city hall grounds. “When we have our tree lighting ceremony, we have rented up to 500 pairs of skates in one night. Even after all these years some people still tell me they didn’t know Warren had a rink. So when they come out for the tree lighting and see it, they rent skates and hit the ice,” said Dino Turcato, Warren Parks and Recreation director. “The tree lighting is a big day for families here. That’s what it’s all about.” This year’s tree lighting is Dec 2, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
LAKE ST. CLAIR METROPARK
When Mother Nature cooperates and the conditions are right, skating on the Lake St. Clair Metropark ice rink is a wonderful way to get in some quality family time. Pack a thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks, as the rink is located by the west playfield, where there is a picnic area and restrooms nearby. There isn’t any skate rental so be sure to bring your own. The rink is meant for mixed use, so hockey is allowed when no one else is on the ice. To check on the ice conditions, Danielle Mauter, chief of marketing and communications, recommends calling the park at (586) 463-4581 or checking the website metroparks.com.
By Peggy O’Dell Picture this: It’s a beautiful winter day in Michigan. The snow is gently falling, frosting the trees in fl uffy white. The air is cold and crisp. The sky is blue. And instead of hunkering down in a dry, overheated house, you’re outside soaring on top of ice, enjoying the fresh air and getting some much needed exercise! Sound like fun? It can happen with a visit to one of Macomb County’s outdoor public ice rinks.
DODGE PARK ICE RINK
In the warmer months, the Sterling Heights Dodge Park pavilion hosts the farmer’s market, but in November the transformation begins to turn it into Macomb County’s only covered outdoor ice rink. “The rink first opened in 2018,” said Kyle Langlois, Sterling Heights Parks and Recreation director. “We had the refrigeration put in under the concrete, and when the concrete gets cold enough, we flood it. With refrigeration, we can sustain ice with temperatures up to the mid 50s, so we’re not dependent on Mother Nature. We have our own Zamboni to keep the ice in good shape. We don’t like to do anything halfway.” The rink opened December 1.
Dodge Park is aglow with twinkling lights all winter, which adds to the overall experience. The rink has proven to be popular with people of all ages, from toddlers to senior citizens who haven’t skated in decades. For small children new to skating, they have skate trainers for them to hold on to as they move around the rink. For older kids or adults, the trainers can be stacked two high. Concessions are available on weekends and school breaks, and skaters can gather around a warming station with a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. “We want everyone who comes out to the rink to have a good time,” Langlois said.
Over the winter the rink hosts a few special events, including Cocoa with CORE (Community Outreach and Resident Engagement) where Sterling Heights police officers lace up their skates and take to the rink. It’s a great opportunity for the community to meet and interact with the officers in a casual setting. The kids especially enjoy it. It shows them the police officers are good people, said Langlois. This season’s Cocoa with CORE is Wednesday, December 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Residents with proper ID can rent skates for free.
DODGE PARK ICE RINK
40620 Utica Rd, Sterling Heights
Monday-Thursday, Noon – 9 p.m.
Friday, Noon – 10 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, Dec 24 and 31: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1: Closed
Skate rental: $4
*Photo IDs required. NO pucks or sticks.
LAKE ST. CLAIR METROPARK
31300 Metro Parkway,
Daily 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Park pass required.
RICHMOND ICE RINK
Beebe Street Park
69310 Beebe St., Richmond
M-F: 3 – 6 p.m.; 9 – 11 p.m.
S-S: 9 a.m. – Noon; 3 – 6 p.m.; 9 – 11 p.m.
* Rink is open from dawn to 11 p.m. All hours NOT designated for hockey are open skating for individuals and families ONLY.
WARREN ICE RINK
1 City Square, Warren
Friday, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
NO pucks or sticks.
For indoor skating visit one of our Macomb’s public rinks. St. Clair Shores Civic Arena, Suburban Ice Macomb, Big Boy Arena in Fraser, and Mount Clemens Ice Arena, all have indoor skating.