Northlanders Enjoy Warmer Winter at Outdoor Hockey Rinks

With the multiple different outdoor rinks in Duluth and hours of open skate time available, there's plenty of options for people to experience the Northland tradition. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Spending time on the outdoor rinks is a winter tradition in Northern Minnesota.

“Everybody loves it. Even if you didn’t grow up playing hockey, people come and they give it their all, you’ve got people of all skill levels, everybody tries and everybody’s just a really great sport about it,” Duluth resident Lee Harvener said.

“You don’t have this in the Cities, you don’t have this anywhere else, you only have it here in Duluth,” President of the Portman Hockey Association Kevin Chick added.

People can go skate around with friends, practice some skills or play a friendly game of hockey.

“I came with a couple of buddies but we met some people and played some pickup hockey,” Harvener said.

The outdoor rinks have also been popular for kids to go to for a break during virtual learning.

“To have the kids out here and just to see their smiles and listen to the pucks hit the boards and just the camaraderie that the kids have, it’s amazing,” Chick said.

And the ice is always maintained well, making them easier to enjoy.

“It’s just great ice. A lot of the rinks have zambonis. Sometimes it’s snowy, sometimes it’s hard and fast you kind of get a little bit of both, you never know what to expect. Sometimes it’s really soft ice,” Harvener said.

With the multiple different outdoor rinks in Duluth and hours of open skate time available, there’s plenty of options for people to experience the Northland tradition.

“Everybody just knows it’s there. You can drive by and you can see people are playing so you can go grab your skates and go join,” Harvener added.

To view a list of outdoor rinks and see open skate hours, visit the Duluth parks website.

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