Ice Skating Party: a homemade ice skating rink gets ready for fun with Nordic inspired decor, hot chocolate and cookies.
In these cold January days, what could be more perfect than an ice skating party on a homemade backyard ice skating rink? We have been working on a little ice skating rink that is a loop in the forest behind our house.
Making Our Homemade Ice Rink
The rink idea started one day when I was looking out our window, and noticed ice forming in the forest behind our house. It’s always been a little bit swampy back there. It’s a low area of the forest, and I have to admit I’ve always judged it a little bit harshly, wishing we had a more usable spot directly behind us. In the summer it’s full of mosquitoes and beautiful to look at from a distance but never a spot the kids could even play in when they were little.
Looking out at the ice forming though I had a fun idea. What if I could make it into a little skating path for them? So my daughter, Maddie and I, headed out and used some pruning shears to cut some brush back, and move some branches where the ice was starting to form already, to see what this little spot could become. Since it was naturally wet, and there was already a base of ice forming we didn’t build this like a traditional backyard ice rink where you set up wood sides, add a plastic liner , and flood it.
Clearing, Flooding, and Maintaining
We just cleared things out a little, and flooded the already forming ice a few times with our garden hose. We had some cracks and holes and did a little on-line research, patching here and there with hot water and snow as needed. It doesn’t seem to get consistently really cold here, just outside of Toronto where we live. I swear it was colder when I was a kid. So we’ve had some freezing and melting to deal with off and on. A few days ago we even made a little homemade zamboni to fix our skating ruts in our outdoor ice rink. It’s been a really great project for us all to work together on and so much fun to skate on. We’ve had so much ice time. It’s become an after school favourite.
Since it’s a backyard and there’s no skate rentals, I asked a few of my kids friends what size they were and made a little note on phone. The next few times I was at a thrift store I kept an eye out and was able to get a few extra pair of ice skates really inexpensively. It’s a great idea to get them sharpened at a local rink and have them ready. Next time party guests don’t have their own skates, you’ll be all set.
Everyone enjoyed skating around to their favourite music. We created a personalized skating playlist and used a mini portable speaker to play it. My girls also loved playing freeze skate. You can stop the music for freeze or just have someone call it out. If you’re caught moving, you’re out. Tag on skates is also a fan favourite. You could also consider making obstacle courses, having limbo competitions, or classic skating races as a fun way to add some games to the skating.
This project has reminded me that everything and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. It’s this swampy, forgotten little spots moment to shine and bring us so much joy. A seemingly worthless un-usable area that’s been turned into a favourite, delightful, and surprising blessing. A great reminder that there is a season for everyone and everything to shine.
So I thought, once we got our ice in reasonable shape it would be fun to create a little skating party one Saturday.
I kept the decor really simple and Nordic inspired. I added a little white bunting to the dogwood bushes in front of our little bench.
To make the bunting I used an old white tablecloth and cut it into triangles and hot glued them onto some twine. It was really easy to make and is so pretty in the forest. I think bunting can turn just about any activity into a special occasion, and it made our spot into a winter wonderland extravaganza. It would be really fun to add string lights to this space too for night time skating.
We used an old garden bench as a spot to put your skates on, or take a little rest from skating. On top of the bench I layered a sheep skin and a pretty vintage wool blanket. This made the perfect spot to put our skates on. An old stump adds an extra surface for some of our treats.
I thought it would be fun to bring out a few sweet treats to enjoy while we skated that fit with our skating party theme. First I made a thermos of hot chocolate, complete with some whip cream on top, and marshmallows. Some enamelware mugs were perfect for serving, since they won’t break.
Is there any better way to warm up cold fingers after skating for awhile than sipping on a cup of steaming hot cocoa? To keep my thermos extra warm and cozy, I made the simplest thermos cozy. I used a sleeve from an old felted wool sweater that fit the thermos perfectly. Another fun idea would be to set up a hot chocolate bar with lots of different toppings like mini marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate mints, white chocolate chips, and sprinkles.
And we also included some beautiful snowflake sugar cookies, that my friend made us for Christmas. They were perfect to go with our snow and ice theme. Lastly a few Toblerone shortbread cookies -a real family favourite, get the recipe here. Hot chocolate and cookies seems like the perfect sweet treat for skating.
Our party was just for fun, but this would be a really fun birthday party idea for a winter birthday. you could make a birthday cake in the shape of an ice skate for the birthday child.
Outdoor Winter Parties
We’re trying to embrace the seasons here, and enjoy the outdoors as much as we can even in these winter months. A backyard rink and ice skating party in your own backyard is the perfect way to do it.
More fun ideas, might be a little sledding party at your favourite hill, especially after a fresh snowfall. Or how about doing some cross country skiing if you’re looking for fun winter sports? Another idea that would be lots of fun is a backyard fire with marshmallows or even hot dogs. And if you don’t have a hill or skis or a fire pit… how about a snowman building party?
You could of course do something similar at a local outdoor ice rink, or regular indoor local ice rink if you don’t have one in your own backyard.
With a fun little ice skating party to enjoy, life really is a party!
You might also enjoy our Snowman Themed Dinner here.
Also check out our Snow Ice Cream Recipe here.
You might also like our Hygge Living Room Decor here.