A backyard ice rink in the winter months is a great way for a large family to enjoy the long winter months, especially for a lot of boys. We have made a rink in the backyard most winters. I can remember having a rink when I was about 5 years old and just learning to skate.

Making an ice rink is a great family affair but quite a lot of work if you try to do it alone. Back in the days when my boys were young, I did most of it myself, but for the last many years the older boys have taken over most of the work of making and maintaining the rink.

Here in the Upper Peninsula or anywhere that there is a lot of snow, one must first pack the snow somehow, either by foot, or with a vehicle: a car, truck or an ORV.AndyWheelerPackingRink

We started ours soon after returning from Alaska and finally, yesterday, Andy skated on it for the first time. It’s still a little bumpy, but skatable.

Kids, and especially boys, need a way to burn off energy, and an ice rink is a great way to do it. In our house there has not been a more worthwhile project for winter fun and exercise than a backyard rink. It brings all the “boy” commotion outside and makes for a quieter, happier house on the inside. One dad of a large family that I talked to recently said they always had one, except one year when the snow came on too strong and made it too difficult to make ice. With many boys in their household they vowed to never live another ice-rink less winter as long as they had boys at home! I feel the same way, even though we just have 4 boys left at home. (I’ll have to post some picts from the backyard when it’s in full swing, as it’s buried in snow right now)


Before the ice rink was done, the boys and Joyce skated on Lac la Belle.


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