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Wendy Almeida

Wendy Almeida wrote about enjoying the outdoors with kids in her monthly Kid Tracks Outdoors column for the Maine Sunday Telegram for more than 10 years. Her kids have grown up exploring the trails of Maine on foot, skis and bikes as well as through the Geocaching and EarthCache games. The family has found treasures of all sorts while out on the trail and the journey continues to be as much fun now that the kids are teenagers as it was when they were preschoolers. Follower on Twitter @wea1021 and Instagram instagram.com/wea1021

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Posted: January 8, 2016

Skate into sunset at outdoor ice rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland

Written by: Wendy Almeida
Ice Skating at The Rink at Thompson's Point

Sunset at The Rint at Thompson’s Point. Photos by Wendy Almeida

An early escape from the office to The Rink at Thompson’s Point to ice skate turned into a surprising and wonderful way to end a work day. The surprise? Watching the beautiful sunset over Thompson’s Point.

You’ve likely heard some buzz about the new outdoor skating venue this winter – the rink, the yurt serving the 21-plus crowd and the food truck. Now you’ll want to know the specifics.

Ice skating at The Rink at Thompson's Point

Our late afternoon visit started off bright with a hint of red. 

Ice skating at The Rink at Thompson's Point

As we watched the horizon colors changing, we also saw a plane landing into the orange hues.

Here are a few things you might want to know before you visit.

Getting There

The signage is plentiful once you turn onto Thompson’s Point Road from Fore River Parkway in Portland. The road around the bus station and into an industrial area and unpaved parking lot/path is what my daughter described as “a little sketchy.” But once you round the big empty warehouse you’ll see the new yurt and lovely rink beyond it. Get Google map directions.

Convenient Hours

The Rink has “sessions” offered in two- to three-hour intervals every day. On weekdays the sessions start at 3 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays they start at 10 a.m. Check the website for a full schedule.

The Cost

It’s $8 per session, which can make it pricey if you have a couple of kids in tow. But if you’re only paying for one ticket, it’s a great way to spend an hour or two (and watch the sunset. I’m kinda stuck on that feature.)

Rentals

My daughter and I had our own figure skates, so we didn’t rent at The Rink, and I can’t attest to their comfort or blade sharpness. What I can say is that the only option for rentals is hockey skates. Novice skaters will not care much about this, but those who have done a lot of skating on figure skate blades, take note and bring your own if you have them.

Smooth Ice

They have a Zamboni and clean the ice after every session. My daughter is a Zamboni ice kinda gal, so the smooth ice was very appealing to her.

Ice skating at The Rink at Thompson's Point

The red hues inside the cozy warming yurt were nice too.

Warming Hut & Bathrooms

The yurt-style warming hut, complete with gas fireplace and card games to borrow from the bar, is quite cozy. So is the glass-walled warming hut overlooking the rink. The yurt has a bar, which opens around 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sundays, it usually opens around noon and closes when the rink does. There is also a food truck, PB&ME, offering snacks and warm (non-alcoholic) drinks. I was told it is generally open Thursday to Sunday with hours that vary by day. Check website for details. They also have a couple of porta-potty by the rink and a bathroom behind the yurt.

Sunset? Totally worth it!

If you’re looking for a way to embrace the cold, get some exercise and take in a beautiful view, this is a can’t-miss destination for you this winter. Watch a cold day turn into night – while you stay warm on skates – in brilliant colors over the Fore River.

Find more skating options: 5 Free Outdoor Skating Venues in Southern Maine

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