Bitter cold is a boon — if you have a backyard ice rink

The Arctic cold set to wallop the state may be bad news for most. But if you have a backyard ice rink, it’s time to lace up the skates.

Thanks to their dad’s homemade rink that occupies most of their yard, Christopher Garside’s sons are eagerly awaiting the upcoming cold snap in Boston’s Savin Hill neighborhood.

Beginning tonight, cold air will begin to filter into Massachusetts, dropping overnight lows into the single digits. Daytime highs will reach only into the teens Wednesday and Thursday and the winds will make it feel even colder.


Garside last winter decided to make a 20-by-50-foot rink for his 11- and 9 year-old sons, buying wood, building boards, and putting down a liner. Yet Mother Nature had other plans. It was a bust of a winter.

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“It became a duck pond because it was 60 degrees out,” Garside said.

Garside, who grew up in Dorchester, played hockey in high school at the former Boston Technical High School. He built a smaller version of the rink a few years ago, which worked out well, thanks to decently cold temperatures, he said.

He, his wife, and two sons are a self-described hockey family. They cheered the end of the NHL lockout as well as the upcoming cold weather.

Garside said his sons are excited to finally skate on the backyard rink, even though, as of this afternoon, it still resembled a body of water more than a hockey rink.


“They asked me yesterday if they could skate on it,” he said. “The wind was blowing so hard there were whitecaps on it.”

He acknowledged maintaining such a large rink — sans Zamboni — requires a lot of work. “But the kids like it, so it’s worth it,” Christopher said.

Lauren Dezenski can be reached at