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Outdoor skating rinks and warming houses

For the most up-to-date rink conditions and openings, please check the weather line at 952-563-8878, Option 3, or subscribe to receive outdoor skating email and text message alerts. 

Dates: December 15, 2018 - February 18, 2019. Hours vary based on location and staff availability. Please see the site calendars below for specific hours. During rink hours, all facilities will be lighted.  Also below read about rink closures due to inclement weather.

Ice Rink Locations 2015

Rinks may be rented. Please call Parks and Recreation at 952-563-8877 for more information.  Skate rental is not available at our outdoor sites.  Consider checking out Bloomington Ice Garden where skate rental is available during open skate sessions.

Features and hours

For up-to-date individual site hours, please see the site calendars below.

Locations and Features for Ice Rinks

**Staffed on a volunteer basis, see individual site calendars below for specific hours.

Bryant, Running, Sunrise, Westwood

Regular

School Release Days

Special

Days

Dec 15-23, 29, 30

Jan 5-20, 22-31

Feb 2, 4-17

Dec 26-28


Jan 1-4, 21


Feb 1, 18

Dec 24 
Dec 31


Feb 3

Hours

M-F: 4 - 9 p.m.

Sat: Noon - 9 p.m.

Sun: 1 - 8 p.m.

Noon - 9 p.m.

Noon - 4 p.m.

Brookside, Brye, Oak Grove, Poplar Bridge

Regular

School Release Days

Special

Days

Dec 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

Jan 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27

Feb 2, 9, 10, 16, 17

Dec 26-28

Jan 1-4, 21

Feb 1, 18

Dec 24
 

Dec 31

Feb 3

Hours

Sat: Noon - 9 p.m.

Sun: 1 - 8 p.m.

Noon - 9 p.m.

Noon - 4 p.m.

Individual site calendars

Please click on the following links for site specific warming house hours. Warming houses are kept locked except when staff or volunteers are present. All sites will be lit during evening hours whether or not the warming house is open. Lights at non-staffed sites are turned on daily between 4 and 5 p.m. and off between 8 and 9 p.m. (7 and 8 p.m. on Sundays) Outdoor benches are always available for changing into and out of skates.

Staffed sites:

Brookside.pdf - 10000 Xerxes Ave S.
Bryant.pdf - 1001 W. 85th St.
Brye.pdf - 10500 Xavier Ave S.
Oak Grove.pdf- 1301 W. 104th St.
Poplar Bridge.pdf - 4600 W. 85th St.
Running.pdf - 9501 12th Ave S.
Sunrise.pdf - 9401 Bloomington Ferry Rd.
Westwood.pdf - 3490 W 109th St.

Volunteer sites:

Haeg.pdf - 8301 Penn Ave S. 
Kelly.pdf - 185 E. 102nd St. 
Ridgeview.pdf - 6001 W. 94th St. 
Southwood.pdf  - 4800 Terracewood Dr. 
Tarnhill.pdf- 9650 Little Rd. 

Public skating policies and rules

Public Skating Polices and Rules – City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation

  • Please follow all direction from rink attendants and City of Bloomington staff.
  • Rink attendant staff is responsible for safe skating conditions and will make the final decision, relative to safety considerations.
  • Report all accidents and injuries to staff immediately.
  • Skate at a sensible and safe speed in the same direction as other skaters.
  • Hockey sticks and pucks may not be used on the general skating rink.
  • Refrain from throwing snow and ice.
  • Sleds, strollers, pylons and other obstructions are not permitted on the ice surface.
  • Youth hockey teams are scheduled to use some hockey rinks for practices and games. During these times the neighborhood hockey rink users must relinquish the rink. Youth hockey teams must have scheduled ice time with the Coordinator.

Prohibited Activities

  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times while on park property, and dogs are NOT allowed inside the park shelters.
  • No smoking or Tobacco use is allowed in the City Parks by city ordinance.
  • Sale of food, beverages, and other miscellaneous items are prohibited on park property without a permit and concession license granted by the City.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages anywhere on park property is prohibited by city ordinance.
  • Carrying children while on the ice surface (including baby carriers).

Rink setup and maintenance

Creating ice: 

Establishing and maintaining an ice rink is largely affected by the condition of the ground or surface underneath, daily temperatures, and precipitation. It takes a minimum of ten consecutive days of below freezing temperatures during the day and night to establish properly.

Step one: Seal the ground and hockey boards. Once the ground is frozen, we seal any nearby drains. Hockey boards are sealed with snow from the ice gardens and by other means (sandbags, dirt berms) to prevent water from leaking out.

Step two: Build a base. The next step is to saturate the field with water, adding moisture to the ground to help establish the first layer of ice. No two rinks are alike; the amount of water to build the foundation varies based on field conditions. Some fields have low pockets that must be filled in more than fields that are flat. Until a layer of frost has been created, it is not possible to have solid ice.

Step three: Flood the field. When temperatures are right, we flood the fields using fire hoses or a 3,000 gallon tank truck. Anything more or less than one inch of water at a time will create air pockets and prevent smooth, solid ice from forming. The ideal temperature for this process is between zero and ten degrees. If it is too cold (-10 degrees or lower) the ice would freeze too quickly and become brittle.

By following this process we result in a smooth finish on the ice! Setbacks that may require additional flooding include: 

  • Snowfall: Snow needs to be removed because a blanket of snow insulates the rink and slows the freezing process. 
  • Warm temperatures: Thawing softens the ice and something the ground underneath. Thawing also breaks down the areas that cover low pockets creating weak spots.

Daily maintenance: 

This includes clearing the snow or shavings from previous day's activities, repairing the gouges and ruts and putting down more water as time permits. Hockey and broomball boards, netting, goals and runways are inspected for needed repair. Our ice rink maintenance team is also responsible for plowing our city streets and sidewalks, if a heavy snow occurs it is not likely rinks will be skateable that day. In addition, if temperatures are considered too warm, the ice can be further damaged by our equipment. Soft ice creates unsafe conditions that can lead to injuries. 

Why do the rinks close in February?

Like many other park systems, our rink season typically runs until mid-February regardless of when the season starts. After mid-February, ice conditions start to deteriorate very quickly due to the late-winter sun. Even if temperatures are around freezing, the higher, stronger sun causes issues such as frost boils, honeycombing and melting along the edged f the rinks which make the rink unsafe for skaters.

To extend the season, our maintenance staff works to keep a few rinks in each area throughout the city open until early March. These rinks are selected because of their location (in the city and in the park itself), ice rink base (athletic field or other area) and several other factors. However, even with the additional staff and extra effort, those rinks are not always in the best condition. Additionally, if the weather is unusually warm for more than a few days, those rinks will also become unsafe and need to close for the season. 

Broomball in Bloomington

Tretbaugh park has two BROOMBALL ONLY rinks. No skating allowed. For information regarding Broomball leagues please click on the following links.

Inclement weather procedures

While the guidelines below are generally the criteria which will be followed to determine outdoor rink and shelter closures, we reserve the right to close rinks whenever we feel it is in the best interest and safety of the participants.  You may also check the Weather Line at 952-563-8878, Option 3 for up to date information. 

All regularly scheduled rinks and lights will remain open unless:

  1. The air temperature is -10 degrees or below.
  2. The wind chill factor is -20 degrees or below.
  3. Unusually warm temperature has softened the ice, making the rinks unsafe for skating.
  4. We receive a snowfall of more than two inches. This could delay cleaning the rinks and opening the building. 

Another skating option

The Bloomington Ice Garden offers year-round indoor skating programs and opportunities.