Ice Skating at Citizen's Park
Temporary rink will remain open unto spring.
Although the holidays are officially in our collective rearview mirror, Old Man Winter is still around for a few more weeks. So, why not take a if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em and head over to Barrington's newest Citizen's Park where an ice skating rink is now positioned over the basketball courts.
Ice-skating in Barrington is nothing new, according to Jamie Dioguardi, Recreation Supervisor for The Barrington Parks and Recreation Department. "We've done it long before I can remember and I've been coming to the park district since I've been in kindergarten," Dioguardi said.
The rink most likely wasn't prepared as it was when Diguardio was a boy though. "It inflates, believe it or not, and it has four solid sides within a liner and then they fill the liner with water and when it freezes, you have a rink." The design makes it removable when it's no longer in season.
Free skating brings out families as well as hockey players and since the two combined are a recipe for danger or at least frustration; the areas are kept separate. On a recent visit though, when the thermometer read less than twenty degrees, three hockey players had the run of the rink.
"We came here because it has a net," said Kevin Coffman, 19, who is home from college on winter break. "We usually skate on my lake, but this is really smooth."
However, even total possession of the smooth ice couldn't coax a pick up game, according to Jeff Robinson, who is also home on break. "I texted about 20 people and nobody's coming," he said, his words nearly freezing in the air.
The weather will dictate how long the rink will remain in place, once a long term thaw takes hold, the rink will be history. Until then, it's open from sunrise to 9 p.m. and is lit at night. The lodge isn't open but restroom facilities are.
Parents should be aware that the rink is unsupervised, so young people should be accompanied by well-bundled adults who should consider bringing ice skates. Simply standing at the edge of the rink is an extremely cold endeavor.