Winter is for Families:
Building Your Own Backyard Ice Rink
Ingredients: A hose, a bunch of plywood, a plastic tarp or liner, a yard.
How: The first thing you need to understand is that no yard was created equal. You might think your backyard is perfectly flat, but there’s a good chance one side is a few inches taller than the other. Here’s what you do:
1. First thing’s first, decide how big you want your rink to be. With that you’ll be able to figure out how much plywood you need to make the perimeter.
2. The perimeter can be made one of two ways. The more efficient option is cut a line in the yard and wedge the board into the earth. However if you’re worried about the safety of your lawn, the other option is to sandwich the board into a standing position with some snow. Whichever way you choose, make sure the height of the boards are level with each other (for instance, the steeper side of the yard will need the taller chunk of plywood, and vice versa).
3. Attach your liner. You can either staple the plastic to the outside of the plywood, or if your tarp is big enough, wrap it over the boards and tuck it underneath like you would do a sheet and a mattress.
4. Fill it. You are now ready to fill it up. It is best to wait until you are getting some consistently cold temperatures, but this is often hard to predict. Fill it from with a hose to a depth of two inches at the shallowest. When it freezes it will expand making it a little deeper.
5. Wait. It will take awhile to freeze all the way through, so be patient. If you get on the ice too soon it will just break and freeze uneven. Try and fish out any leaves, branches, or critters that find their way into the water.
6. Have fun.