Friday, December 13, 2013 - 11:07am

Winter recreation fun starts this weekend!



December 13, 2013 | Madison, WI | 

Okay Everybody -   This weather is cold, but at least now we can have some FUN outside! 

Ice Rinks – This is the earliest outdoor ice rinks have opened in YEARS! So be sure to enjoy them!  Madison Parks will have some ice rinks open and ready for skating tonight, Friday, December 13. HOWEVER, concessions and skate rentals will begin on Saturday, December 14. So if you are going out to skate tonight – bring your own skates.

Elver Park – the ice skating rinks, both Hockey and General, will be available for skating tonight. The lights will be on at the rinks; however, the warming shelter will not be open on Friday night. The Elver Park Shelter will be open with concessions/rentals beginning Saturday, December 14.

Vilas Park – the lagoon (partial area) will be open for skating. However, due to a scheduled special event charity run on Saturday, the warming house and concessions/rentals will not be open until Sunday, December 15.

Tenney Park – the lagoon will be ready for skating on Friday, December 13. The warming shelter will be open on Friday. Concessions and skate rental will be open starting Saturday, December 14.

Westmorland, Rennebohm, Olbrich Ice rinks are open – hockey, general, warming houses and lights will be on.

Heritage Heights and Hillington Green ice rinks are also open during day light hours.

Here are some perennial ice rink reminders: 1. Please stay off of the rinks until Parks staff declares it safe to skate. If there is any ice on the rinks, it is dangerously thin. Tenney, Warner, Vilas Park lagoons are up to five feet deep. Please stay off until it is open by staff. 2. If it snows overnight, it is very important that people DO NOT shovel off the land rinks.  Leaving piles of snow on the rink will create piles of ice.  This will make the maintenance for the staff and the Adopt Ice Rink volunteers all the more difficult as they try to get the rinks ready. Be patient!!

Ice Skating Lessons – registration is now open!  Madison Parks is offering ice skating lessons at Elver and Tenney Parks beginning in the week of January 6. (weather permitting)  Don’t wait!  Sign up today!

Sledding Hills –Madison Parks staff made more snow for the Elver Park sledding hill this week. Elver Park Warming House Shelter & restrooms will be open beginning Saturday.  The sledding hills are located at: Elver, Heistand, Olbrich, Warner, Berkley, Garner and Arbor Hills Parks.  Remember, sledding is at your own risk, exit the bottom of the hill and walk up the sides of the hill.

Cross-Country Ski Trails – For now all of the cross-country ski trails are closed.    For more information on Madison Parks ski trails, visit:

Snowshoeing – Snowshoeing is a fantastic way to experience many of our parks during the winter months. For a list of parks to snowshoe in:    Remember, snowshoers must stay on the conservation park trails; snowshoes are not allowed on cross country ski trails at anytime. Madison Parks does not rent snowshoes.

Stay updated on Winter Recreation Conditions: