Back in November of 2015 I remember looking out at our backyard with Andy one night and saying "We should put an ice rink in our yard" and he was all for it! We (he more than I) did a bunch of research on it. He consulted with people who have done it themselves before, read things online and watched videos so we could try and do it "right" the first time. Well, no matter how much information you have, there's more than likely going to be a few bumps in the road and learning experiences along the way!
Here Andy is working out the shape of the rink. We ended up expanding it into an 'L' shape instead of sticking with this smaller rectangle. We may or may not come to regret the shape change!
He ordered the rink liner from a local MN company out of Sauk Center. It was quite difficult to get the liner to lay flat because of the creases it came with. We were also putting the liner in on a breezy day.. not a good idea BUT it was either that or do it the next day when the bitter cold had set in. The day we started flooding it was a bit of a headache. We had to thaw out the faucet and completely take apart the spigot outside. The hose wasn't long enough to reach the other side of the rink so Andy had to go get another hose. And the biggest issue was that we realized the slope of the yard was a lot bigger than we planned for so we got an inch away from the frame with the water and the rink wasn't even half flooded. Whoops!
After reworking the frame and building the sides up with snow and boards to keep the liner in place we were able to finally finish flooding the rink 6 days after we first started.
What we will do different next year:
- Reposition the rink (which will mean moving the swing set over the summer)
- Build up the boards a few feet taller
- Install the liner on a calm day
- Turn the water off to the outside faucet before it could freeze
Here's the 3 year old his first time on the ice this winter (when it was only half flooded).
We are very anxious for the temps to rise (it currently feels like -30 degrees F) so we can have friends and family over to skate in our backyard! It's going to be a fun winter at our house!