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Rinks & Drinks: Great places to ice skate (with hot toddies and beer close by)

Rinks & Drinks: Great places to ice skate (with hot toddies and beer close by)

When we feel like ice skating, there are a plethora of ponds and array of ice rinks to choose from in Maine. There’s ice skating all over the place. And after we skate, it feels really nice to get a drink of something warm and spiked with whiskey. You know, the kind of drink that makes your already-flushed cheeks feel even toastier. Of course, an after-skate beer, wine, or Moscow Mule is nice, too.

To help you in your future skating and drinking adventures, here are just some of the possible pairings from Kennebunk to Brunswick. I had a hell of a good time “researching” this roundup – I look forward to adding to it this winter. (If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Comment below or shannon@fitmaine.com

Cool ice rinks with places to drink nearby!


NEED ICE SKATES? BUY USED SKATES FOR A BARGAIN AT PORTLAND GEAR HUB


The Rink at Thompson’s Point sure is pretty at sunset. There are on-site food trucks and a beer yurt, so you can eat and drink without having to take your skates off. Shannon Bryan photos

The Rink at Thompson’s Point + Beer Yurt, Portland

All located at Thompson’s Point, Portland
www.therinkatthompsonspoint.com | 207-747-9399

The Rink at Thompson’s Point is the only rink on this list that isn’t free (skate admission is $8 for a 2-hour session) but it’s worth checking out for a number of reasons. It’s the only rink on this list where you can keep your skates on when you decide it’s time for a drink break, for starters, and the on-site beer yurt is a cool place to warm up (there are a handful of local craft beers on tap and wine is available, too). Food trucks (Maker’s Mug, Urban Sugar, and Classic Sliders) are on the grounds as well, but have limited hours (check the website). And there’s a four-lane tubing hill this year. If you don’t own ice skates, you can rent them for $2. The rink is open 2-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday

Riverside Golf Course has two outdoor rinks and they happen to be right near Riverside Grill, where you can order yourself a spiked hot cocoa. Shannon Bryan photos

Riverside Golf Course + Riverside Grill, Portland

1158 Riverside St., Portland | www.riversidegolfcourseme.com | 207-797-3524 Ext 2

Cross-country skiers are well-acquainted with Riverside’s trails, which are groomed for skate and classic skiing, but there are also two ice rinks on the grounds, not far from the club house and sledding hills. The ice is well-maintained and the two rinks mean there’s space for hockey and for folks to just goof around. Check the Riverside Golf Course Facebook page for ice conditions (as well as trail conditions if you want to cross-country ski). Riverside Grill, which has a patio that looks out onto the course in warmer months, serves up fries and wings, along with beer, wine, and cocktails. A hot cocoa with whiskey just feels right here. For info on Riverside Grill, the bar/restaurant that looks out onto the course, see Riverside Grill on Facebook. Closed Monday and Tuesday, opens at 11 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, opens at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The pond at Mill Creek makes for some nice winter skating. Not far away is Foulmouthed Brewing. Shannon Bryan photos

Mill Creek Pond + Foulmouthed Brewing, South Portland

Mill Creek Pond: Hinkley Drive, South Portland | www.southportland.org
Foulmouthed Brewing: 15 Ocean Street, South Portland | foulmouthedbrewing.com | 207-618-6977

There’s plenty of space to practice your ice tricks at the frozen pond at Mill Creek Park. No Zambonis here, so the ice can get a bit craggy, but the lights on the trees make the park look lovely in the evening and it’s nice to have room to roam. Less than a half-mile away, in Knightville, is Foulmouthed Brewing, where you can experiment with a flight of their beers or pick one outright. For a nice jolt, order the Eye Opener cocktail, made with coffee-infused vodka, Frangelico, Thai iced coffee, and cream. Or get the spiked hot cocoa. Foulmouthed is open 3-11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (bruuuuuunch).

The covered Waterhouse Center is just off Main Street in Kennebunk, right next door to The Kennebunk Inn. Shannon Bryan photos

The Waterhouse Center + The Kennebunk Inn, Kennebunk

The Waterhouse Center: 51-55 Main St., Kennebunk | www.kennebunkmaine.us
The Kennebunk Inn, 45 Main St., Kennebunk | www.thekennebunkinn.com | 207-985-3351

The rink is open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Thursday, when it opens an hour later at 8 a.m. The ice gets the Zamboni treatment and there’s even a live web cam so you can see what’s happening. There’s a food cart on site, too, if you need munchies. Just next door is The Kennebunk Inn, with its Academe Brasserie and Tavern. It’s a quite time of year and the bar is a cozy respite after some skating. Order up a glass of wine or a hot toddy or whatever suits you at the full bar. The restaurant/bar is open 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The outdoor rink in front of the Family Ice Center in Falmouth has smooth ice and a sweet warming hut with fireplace. Rivalries is located just up the street. Shannon Bryan photos

Family Ice Center + Rivalries, Falmouth

Family Ice Center: 20 Hat Trick Drive, Falmouth | www.familyice.org |207-781-4200
Rivalries: 2 Hat Trick Drive, Falmouth | www.facebook.com/RivalriesMaine | 207-747-4020

The Lee Twombly Pond at Falmouth’s Family Ice Center boasts smooth ice and a warming hut with big tables and a fireplace. It’s open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (weather permitting). And just up Hat Trick Drive there’s a brand-new Rivalries location filled with pub grub and beer and big TVs. The rink and the Rivalries are just far enough from each other that it makes sense to drive from one to the other, but close enough that it seems entirely silly. You can get all sorts of drinks at Rivalries – it has a full bar, after all – but a beer just makes sense here.

The Orland H. Blake Skating Pond in Yarmouth has lots of space and a neat little warming hut. It also happens to be just across the street from Gather. Shannon Bryan photos

Orland H. Blake Skating Pond + Gather, Yarmouth

The skating pond: 196 Main St., Yarmouth | www.yarmouthcommunityservices.org
Gather: 189 Main St. Yarmouth | www.gathermaine.com | 207-847-3250

The pond is easy to spot from Route 1 – a decent-sized space where skaters can glide and spin and maybe even knock around a hockey puck. There’s a warming hut and fireplace, and the ice is lit until 11 p.m. at night. Check the website for status. Gather is located conveniently across the street (Brussels sprouts! Fish tacos!), although it doesn’t open until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. (Night skate, anyone?!) It is open for Sunday brunch, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Brunch skate, anyone?!) Plenty of beer and wine to choose from, plus a selection of cocktails. I ordered my first Moscow Mule here, because why wouldn’t I?

The Mall ice rink in Brunswick is right downtown and walkable to Joshua’s Tavern on Maine Street (where they have hot toddies, among other things). Shannon Bryan photos

Mall Ice Rink + Joshua’s Tavern, Brunswick

Mall Ice Rink: Maine Street, Brunswick (near the gazebo) | www.brunswickme.org
Joshua’s Tavern: 123 Maine St, Brunswick | joshuastavern.com | 207-725-7981

Brunswick’s Maine Street Mall is a nice place to loiter outside any time of year, and the ice rink is no exception. It’s open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (depending on the weather). Check the website for conditions. The rink is also right downtown, so the ambience is nice, and it’s just a couple minutes to walk to the shops and restaurants down Maine Street. Joshua’s Tavern is good spot to stop for pub food and a beer or cocktail. I asked for a hot toddy the afternoon I was there, even though it was 40 degrees outside, but hot toddies are lovely even when it feels like spring.

Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.