“What wacky winter sport has Boston not really seen yet?” asked the Seaport team as it was gearing up for its Snowport festival back in 2019.
Three years later, it turns out the answer was iceless curling.
Sick of skiing and sledding and snowboarding and snowshoeing and all the other tired, normative winter activities? Curling just might be for you, and you’re in luck because the Seaport has extended free iceless curling through Feb. 27.
A lot can drive a person to curling. The graceful poses, the 42-pound stones, and let’s not even talk about the brooms. Maybe you’re like Paul Aronofsky and caught curling — during the Olympics.
“[I] thought this is a weird and interesting sport. I’d love to try it out sometime,” Aronofsky said.
That was six years ago. Today Aronofsky is vice president of the North End Curling Club, which sends volunteers to the Seaport on select Saturdays to provide free curling lessons.
“Basically, two teams take turns delivering rocks down a sheet of ice,” Aronofsky said. “The objective is to get the most stones closest to the center.”
Iceless curling, which uses a plastic sheet instead of actual ice, simplifies the game, making it easier for first-time players, Aronofsky said. If you enjoy the sport, the North End Curling Club hosts its own weekly two-hour “learn to curl” sessions.
“Winter does not end after Christmas,” said Emily Soukas, the Seaport’s senior manager of activations and partnerships. “Especially as this pandemic continues to drag on, we want to really help people have something to do on the weekends or during the week.”
Iceless curling isn’t all that’s offered at the Seaport, Soukas said. The third annual Snowport, which began on Nov. 19, featured a holiday market with over 60 local vendors. Though the market closed on Jan. 2, the Seaport still offers large-scale lawn games like Jenga, Battleship, and cornhole, alongside its iceless curling lanes.
Curling is available Monday through Thursday from 3-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave. Lane reservations can be made at genbook.com. The North End Curling Club will offer lessons in the Seaport on Jan. 22, Feb. 5, and Feb. 19. The lessons are free; register in advance at eventbrite.com.
Sam Trottenberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.