Right in Bushnell park, with a view of the state capital building, you will find the sweetest outdoor ice skating rink adorned with winter wreaths and a red hut providing free ice skate rentals. Yes, completely free! There are no fees to use the rink and on weekends street parking is also free. I have heard about Winterfest in Hartford Connecticut for some time now and unfortunately did not make it in the past. Even though it was freezing, I knew I would regret it if I didn’t go this year.
Although Winterfest has now ended, the rink will reopen to the public for a special day of skating on January 20th and 21st. You will find the rink by this cute building.
Bushnell Park in Hartford is the oldest publicly funded park in the United States. Down the way you will see the carousal building which houses a restored 1914 carousel created by the carousel makers Stein and Goldstein, very famous Carousel makers best known for their designs for Coney Island. It is one of three Stein and Goldstein carousels left in existence! However, the carousel is closed every year from January through March.
As you walk along you may also see the famous Soldiers and Sailors Arch by George Keller, a memorial for the 4,000 Hartford citizens who served in the civil war and the 400 who perished. This lovely park is full of stunning history and is also close to my personal favorite building in Connecticut, the Connecticut State Library!
It was a freezing 7 degree day in Hartford during our visit! I highly recommend visiting the rink before Christmas to avoid the dangerously cold January temperatures.
Matthew makes skating look so easy. He knows how to skate backwards and races across the ice. You will want to dress super warm when on the rink! The extra padding isn’t a bad idea in case of a fall. I found these skates at a Goodwill several years ago when I was living in Maryland. There was an indoor rink close by and this saved me a lot of rental fees. Still, I have discovered that hockey skates (although less not as cute as figure skates) are so much easier to skate in. Save yourself the hassle and pick up a free rental at the Bushnell Park ice rink. If you have any questions about ice skating in Connecticut, please ask away. It is one of my favorite New Years day traditions.
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