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Lace up your skates at these 5 Boston-area ice rinks

Posted by Alex Pearlman  December 15, 2011 05:22 PM

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boston ice skating frog pond.jpgBy Christi Kim

Now that it’s getting colder, ice rinks are starting to open up for the winter. Not only is skating great exercise -- seriously, your legs will feel it later -- it's a fun way to spend a couple hours with friends, a date, or even by yourself.

Bundle up and head out to one of these Boston-area skating rinks.

Boston Common Frog Pond. Boston's famous Frog Pond is usually pretty crowded, but you shouldn't live in the city without going at least once. Plus, the scenery in the nation's oldest park is lovely, day or night, with lighted trees for the holidays. The rink offers group classes, private lessons, and early-morning freestyle skating, if you're angling to become the next Apolo Ohno or Michelle Kwan. And new this year, Tuesday nights are Frog Pond College Night; a college ID will get you $2 admission from 5 p.m. until close. Details: Open Mondays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Admission is $5, and skate rentals are $9.

Public Gardens Swan Boat Pond. This rink is a less-crowded alternative right nearby the Frog Pond. The city does not maintain the ice, so the ice isn't very smooth or even, and you'll need your own skates. But if you're willing to take the risk, you can enjoy the open space and picturesque surroundings. Details: Skate at your own risk. Admission is free. No posted hours, but obey the Gardens' opening and closing times.

Kendall Square Rink (300 Athenaeum St.). This lesser-known outdoor rink is fantastic; smaller crowds mean more room for skating without bumping into little children. The scenery isn't as nice as the Frog Pond or the Swan Boat Pond, but it's a lot better if you want to do some serious skating. The rink also has a snack bar and offers skating courses for beginners. Details: Open Mondays-Thursday 12 p.m.-8 p.m., Fridays 12 p.m.-9 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Hours vary on holidays. Admission is $5 ($3 with a student ID), and skate rentals are $8.

Steriti Memorial Rink (561 Commercial St., North End). Unlike the other rinks on this list, this one is indoors. Glass panels encase the rink, which makes for a beautiful view of Boston Harbor and the North End. Steriti Rink is generally full, but not to an extent that would make you claustrophobic. The hours are a little goofy, but it's free to skate; you'll only have to pay if you need to rent skates. This rink is definitely worth trying out. Details: Open Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m., Tuesdays 1:30 p.m.-4:50 p.m., Fridays 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.-8:50 p.m., Saturdays 2 p.m.-3:50 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9:50 p.m., and Sundays 2 p.m.-4:50 p.m. Skate rentals are $5.

Fenway Park. As part of Frozen Fenway 2012, about 3,600 Boston residents will be able to skate for free on the ballpark's rink. The city will distribute tickets at multiple locations -- including the Quincy Community Center, Hyde Park Community Center, and Boston Public Library -- this Saturday morning. Residents who wait in line but do not receive tickets can enter a raffle for extras through the Red Sox. If you can show proof of Boston residency, this is an extraordinary opportunity you won’t want to miss! Details: Skating times will be on Sunday, Jan. 1 and Monday, Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Skate rentals will not be available. Maximum of four tickets per family.

Where's your favorite ice skating rink?

Photo by dvanhorn (Flickr)

About Christi -- I'm a student and copy editor in Boston. I have an interest in pretty much everything. I like to spend my free time as part photographer, writer, graphic designer, foodie, artist, and musician. I enjoy reading in a quiet sunlit room and watching movies with friends.

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