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!
Cool ice rinks with places to drink nearby!
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 for adults) 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). This year there will also be a snack bar serving up treats. If you don’t own ice skates, you can rent them for $3. The rink is open 3-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (extended hours for school vacation week). check the website for more info.
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 hill. 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 spiked hot cocoa just feels right here. For info on Riverside Grill, the bar/restaurant that looks out onto the course, see Riverside Grill on Facebook. Grill hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Trivia at 6:30), Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Live music at 6), Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Mill Creek Pond + Foulmouthed Brewing, South Portland
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, like the Knightvillain, a German-style black ale that’s “light bodied, yet chocolatey and roasty.” Foulmouthed is open 3-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.
The Waterhouse Center + The Kennebunk Inn, Kennebunk
The rink is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The ice gets the Zamboni treatment and there’s even a live web cam so you can see what’s happening. Just next door is The Kennebunk Inn, with its Academe Brasserie and Tavern. It’s a quiet 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.
Family Ice Center + Rivalries, Falmouth
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 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.
Orland H. Blake Skating Pond + Gather, Yarmouth
The pond is easy to spot from Route 1 – a decent-sized space where skaters can glide and spin and maybe 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 Facebook page 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?
Mall Ice Rink + Joshua’s Tavern, Brunswick
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 one 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.