As the winter season descends upon the city of Portland, Maine, the landscape transforms into a picturesque winter wonderland. The city, known for its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, and stunning coastal views, takes on a new charm under a blanket of snow. Among the many winter activities that Portland offers, ice skating stands out as a favorite among locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, Portland’s ice rinks and frozen ponds provide a magical setting for this classic winter pastime.

The Charm of Outdoor Ice Skating

There’s something inherently magical about outdoor ice skating. The crisp winter air, the crunch of blades on ice, and the laughter and camaraderie of fellow skaters create an atmosphere that indoor rinks simply can’t replicate. In Portland, the experience is further enhanced by the city’s stunning winter scenery, from the twinkling lights of the Old Port to the serene beauty of Deering Oaks Park.

Portland’s Premier Ice Skating Locations

Portland offers a variety of locations for outdoor ice skating, each with its own unique charm and appeal. Here are some of the top spots to lace up your skates and hit the ice.

Thompson’s Point

Thompson’s Point offers one of the most popular outdoor ice skating experiences in Portland. The rink is large and well-maintained, with skate rentals and sharpening services available on-site. The location also features a warming hut and a snack bar, making it a perfect destination for a full day of winter fun.

Deering Oaks Park

Deering Oaks Park, with its picturesque pond and beautiful surrounding scenery, is another favorite spot for outdoor ice skating in Portland. The park’s pond is transformed into a skating rink in the winter, providing a serene and scenic setting for skaters of all levels.

Payson Park

Payson Park offers a more secluded and tranquil ice skating experience. The park’s pond is smaller and less crowded than other locations, making it a great choice for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed skating experience.

Ice Skating Events in Portland

Portland’s ice skating scene is not just about the locations; it’s also about the events. The city hosts a variety of ice skating events throughout the winter season, providing fun and festive opportunities for skaters to show off their skills and enjoy the winter atmosphere.


Winterfest is Portland’s annual winter celebration, featuring a variety of outdoor activities, including ice skating. The event typically includes a skating exhibition, free skate rentals, and other winter-themed activities.

Ice Dance Performances

Throughout the winter season, local ice dance groups often perform at Portland’s outdoor rinks. These performances are a wonderful opportunity to see skilled skaters in action and to appreciate the artistry and athleticism of ice dance.

Tips for Ice Skating in Portland

If you’re planning to go ice skating in Portland, here are some tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Check the weather: Outdoor ice skating is dependent on the weather. Always check the forecast before heading out to ensure the conditions are safe for skating.

  • Wear appropriate clothing: Dress in layers and wear warm, waterproof clothing. Don’t forget your gloves and a hat!

  • Bring your own skates if possible: While most locations offer skate rentals, bringing your own skates can ensure a better fit and more comfortable skating experience.

  • Take a lesson: If you’re new to ice skating, consider taking a lesson. Many rinks offer lessons for beginners.


Ice skating in Portland, Maine, is a delightful winter activity that combines physical exercise with the beauty and charm of the city’s winter landscape. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, the city’s rinks and ponds offer a magical setting for this classic winter pastime. So lace up your skates, bundle up, and hit the ice in Portland this winter!

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