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Ice Skating

Ice Skating

Ice Skating in Madison Parks

No ice is ever 100% safe. As such, declaring an ice rink or lagoon open for skating is a big deal and it is a process to get us there. Here's what you should know about ice skating in Madison Parks.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Always check the status online or by calling the Parks office before you head out onto the ice. Each rink and lagoon is separately listed on this webpage and updated as soon as information from the field is available. 

EVENTS & GROUP PARTIES: Attend a winter event open to the community or reserve a winter recreation party for your group. All winter activities depend on the weather and conditions and are subject to change.

ICE DEPTH: Ice depth is critically important. You may see a human on a rink or lagoon and think it must be open. Not always true. Skating on a rink or lagoon before declared open is unsafe and can damage the ice, slowing the grooming process and opening. Staff measures the ice depth on designated rinks and lagoons in multiple spots to determine the best and most efficient grooming equipment.

GROOMING: Ice grooming is important for safety by creating a nice smooth skating surface. The grooming equipment used depends on the area and ice depth. Due to this, you may see staff using hand-held equipment (slower process) or big machines (faster process). While a human can skate on lesser ice depth, ice grooming equipment needs at least 5-6 inches of consistent ice depth to support the weight of the equipment.

NICE ICE: Several parks have a NiceRink® (including Elver, Goodman, Heritage Heights and Olbrich), which is an above-ground, framed liner filled with water that freezes quicker and stays frozen longer – ideally creating a longer skating season, however, this year's above-freezing temps have made these a challenge.

SNOW DELAY: In case you didn't know, Parks staff is responsible for priority snow removal areas before snow or ice grooming begins. These priority areas are roads, more than 400 bus stops, bike trails, sidewalks, and parking lots. We appreciate your patience and understanding as winter safety will always come before winter fun.

SPEAKING OF SNOW: After a snowfall, please do not attempt to move snow off a rink or lagoon. Did you know snow is a great insulator? If snow is improperly "removed" from an ice rink or lagoon it will melt the ice. This is why it is hugely important to allow time for Parks staff or the Adopt Ice program volunteers to properly remove the snow before skating. 

RESTROOMS: See the webpage for open locations. 

DOGS & BIKES: Are never allowed on any ice rink or lagoon.  

A big thank you to our many volunteers and the ADOPT ICE PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM