How to Make an Ice Rink in the Summer: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Make an Ice Rink in the Summer: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you tired of waiting for winter to enjoy ice skating? With some planning, preparation, and effort, you can make an ice rink in the summer and enjoy this fun activity even when the temperature is warm. 

This guide will walk you through the steps of making an ice rink in the summer and provide some tips for using and maintaining it.

Planning and Preparation

Before you start building the ice rink, you need to do some planning and preparation to ensure a successful and safe project.

 Here are the key steps:

Determine the location and size of the rink

Choose a flat and level area in your yard or another outdoor space. Make sure it is big enough for the size of rink you want to make. 

A common size for a backyard rink is 20×40 feet.

Gather materials and tools needed

You will need a tarp or plastic liner to contain the water, wooden boards or barriers to keep the water in place, and a water source. 

You may also need a hose, a shovel, a level, and some basic tools like a saw, hammer, and nails.

Check for potential safety hazards

Inspect the area for any obstacles, such as rocks, roots, or sharp objects that could damage the liner or injure skaters.

 Remove any debris or hazards, and mark the boundaries of the rink with cones or flags.

Building the Foundation

Once you have prepared the site, you can start building the foundation for the ice rink. 

This involves creating a barrier to hold the water in place and prevent leaks. Follow these steps:

Clear the area of debris and level the ground

  • Use a shovel or a rake to remove any grass, rocks, or other debris from the area.
  •  Then use a level to make sure the ground is even and flat.
  • Lay down a tarp or plastic liner to contain the water
  • Spread the tarp or liner over the area, making sure it covers the entire surface and extends at least a foot beyond the edges of the rink.
  • Create boards or barriers to keep the water in place
  • Use wooden boards, PVC pipes, or other materials to create a barrier around the perimeter of the rink. 
  • Make sure the barrier is at least 6 inches high and is securely anchored to the ground. Use a level to ensure that the boards are straight and even.

Making the Ice

Once the foundation is in place, you can start making the ice.

 This is the most crucial and time-consuming part of the process, so be patient and diligent. Follow these steps:

Fill the rink with water

Use a hose or other water source to fill the rink with water. Fill it to a depth of about 2-3 inches.

Monitor the temperature and conditions for optimal freezing

Keep an eye on the weather forecast and the temperature. The ideal temperature for making ice is around 20-25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 to -7 degrees Celsius).

 If the temperature is too warm, the ice may not freeze properly. If it’s too cold, the water may freeze too quickly and create cracks.

Layer the ice with multiple coats

Wait for the first layer of water to freeze completely, then add another layer. Repeat this process until the ice is thick enough for skating. 

It usually takes about 2-3 days for each layer to freeze. Aim for a thickness of at least 4-6 inches.

Maintaining the Rink

Once the ice is frozen, you need to maintain the rink to ensure it stays safe and usable. Here are some tips:

Remove snow and debris

Use a shovel or a broom to remove any snow or debris from the ice rink. This will keep the surface smooth and prevent injuries.

Check and repair any cracks or holes in the ice

Inspect the ice regularly for any cracks, holes, or other damage.

 If you notice any, fill them with slush (a mixture of snow and water) or with water and let them freeze.

Add more layers of ice as needed

If the ice becomes too thin or gets damaged, add more layers of water and let them freeze.

 This will strengthen the surface and ensure safe skating.

Using the Rink

Now that you have made an ice rink in the summer and maintained it properly, it’s time to enjoy it! Here are some tips for using the rink:

Tips for safe and enjoyable skating

Make sure everyone wears appropriate gear, such as helmets, gloves, and warm clothing.

 Check the ice regularly for any hazards or damage. Don’t skate alone, and avoid overcrowding the rink.

Ideas for fun activities and events on the rink

Invite friends and family for a skating party, or host a tournament or a game of ice hockey

You can also use the rink for figure skating, ice dancing, or other fun activities.

Taking down the rink at the end of the summer season

When the summer is over, it’s time to take down the ice rink. 

Drain the water and remove the boards and the liner. Store them properly for next year.


Making an ice rink in the summer can be a fun and rewarding project that allows you to enjoy skating even when the weather is warm. 

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a safe and usable rink in your backyard or another outdoor space. 

Remember to plan and prepare carefully, build a sturdy foundation, make the ice carefully, maintain the rink properly, and enjoy the results!


Is it possible to make an ice rink in the summer?

Yes, it is possible to make an ice rink in the summer with the right planning, preparation, and effort. You need to create a foundation with a tarp or plastic liner and barriers to hold the water in place, and then layer the water with multiple coats to make the ice.

What size of the rink should I make?

The size of the rink depends on the available space you have and the number of people who will use it. A common size for a backyard rink is 20×40 feet, but you can adjust it based on your needs and preferences.

How long does it take to make the ice rink?

The time it takes to make the ice rink depends on several factors, such as the size of the rink, the temperature, and the thickness of the ice you want to achieve. Generally, it takes at least a few days to build the foundation, fill the rink with water, and let the layers freeze. You also need to maintain the rink regularly to ensure its usability.

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