Tips on How to Build an Ice Rink in Your Backyard

When the weather is nice, and there are lots of things to do outside, it’s easy to think of something to do with the kids. In the winter, it can be harder. This could be the year to make your ice rink and enjoy it. With a few simple tools and some know-how, you can turn your backyard into a place where the whole family can have fun. Best of all, you won’t have to drive far to skate if you have a home rink. Here are some tips for constructing an ice rink in your backyard.

Consider Constructing a Classic Rink

It must be taken care of regularly to keep a backyard ice rink smooth and ready for skating. If you don’t like shoveling snow off your driveway, remember that you have to shovel your ice rink every time it snows. If this is your first backyard rink, you might want to build it the old-fashioned way to keep things simple. You won’t need a tarp or a plastic liner. Just wait until it’s consistently below freezing, pack the snow down with your feet until it’s the right shape and size, then flood the surface with water from companies like and let it freeze.

Choose the Best Place

The most important step in building a rink is finding out how steep your yard is. You need to know where the water line will be before you set up your boards. If you don’t, water might run over one end of the rink while your tarp stays dry on the other. To make up for the slope, the boards at the lower end of your yard will need to be higher.


All ice rinks need a water source that is easy to get to and won’t freeze and break taps and pipes. If you want to use your outdoor faucet, turn the water off and on at the shutoff valve and let the water drain out of the faucet, so it doesn’t freeze. You could also hook up a hose to a tap inside the house. Bring the hose inside so that it doesn’t get frozen up.


In the winter, the sun sets early, so you might want to light up the rink to use it later. You could just turn on the lights you already have outside, but if you want to play hockey, you’ll want to avoid shadows that could hide the puck.

Construct a Strong Frame

Most people build backyard rinks at the end of November or early December before the ground freezes. This makes it easier to drive the frame’s stakes into the ground. Think of a backyard rink as a temporary pool that is above ground. Only a frame, brackets to hold the frame up, and a liner to keep the water in are needed.


You can use either plywood or wood for the frame. Plywood is easier to work with and costs less than lumber, but it doesn’t last as long. Because lumber is heavy, it needs more storage space when the building season is over. To hold up the boards, you’ll need some brackets that can be staked into the ground. You can buy brackets already made for backyard rinks or build them yourself and save money.


Once your boards are in place, and your brackets are securely fastened to the ground, wait until it is consistently cold to put your liner inside your frame and fill it with water. Make sure you get a thick, light-colored liner since dark liners may soak up the sun’s heat and melt the ice.

Make Fantastic Ice

When it’s going to be cold for two days in a row, it’s time to start filling your rink. Fill your rink all at once with the help of skating rink filling services if needed, so the surface is even. If you build the ice up in layers, the surface may not be even, which could damage your liner. When the ice is 8 to 10 cm thick, you can start skating.

Regularly Maintain Your Rink

Clear the snow off your rink every time it snows. When snow remains on the ground for a long time, it can make bumps and other shapes. Once the snow is gone or you’re done skating for the day, pour a thin layer of water over the ice. This will freeze overnight, leaving a smooth, level surface.


With just a few days of work and supplies, you can build an ice rink in your backyard and skate there all winter. There are kits for making an ice rink home, but they can be pricey. If you follow the steps above, you and your family will have an ice rink up and running in no time. It’s not as difficult as you might think. All you need is space, time, and cold weather.