The Friends Support Skating in the Schools

Coaches Mary Kathryn Maher and Alyssa Blackwell with 4th and 5th grade students from the Mather Elementary School in Dorchester, MA. Photo courtesy of Skating Club of Boston.

The Friends of the Public Garden is a proud supporter of Skating in the Schools. The program, founded by The Skating Club of Boston in 2011, aims to help young students in Boston learn to ice skate while teaching them about the science behind skating. The students are able to take the lessons they learn in the classroom and apply them through real life experience on the Boston Common Frog Pond.

Skating in the Schools was created with the goal of improving local students’ science skills while also allowing them to stay active and participate in an activity they enjoy. Schools are able to choose one of three versions of the program: Skating Lesson, Skating Lesson and In-School Lesson, or Skating and School Lesson Field Trip.

The basic Skating Lesson option includes transportation to and from the Frog Pond, skating lessons, and extras like a year pass to the Frog Pond. The Skating Lesson and In-School Lesson pairs the basic option with a weekly class where students are taught the various sciences involved in ice skating, including physics and chemistry. And the third option, Skating in the Schools Field Trip, gives students a single day trip that includes skating lesson and in-class lesson.

Skating in the Schools is an important program that allows students to be challenged by learning a new sport and applying new lessons in science. The Friends helps sponsor the program led by volunteers at The Skating Club of Boston. They have worked with four local schools and hope to expand the program to all Boston Public Schools.

For more information on Skating in the Schools, visit The Skating Club of Boston’s website.

Join Skating Night on Frog Pond and Support Our Parks

©Mark Hunt/
©Mark Hunt/

The Friends of the Public Garden Young Friends group is hosting a private skating night on Frog Pond for all ages. Enjoy outdoor skating and mingling with Friends while supporting the three historic greenspaces cared for by the Friends – the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall

All are welcome and new friends are encouraged to attend this event; membership is not required to participate.

Wednesday, February 11
Frog Pond on Boston Common
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
$35.00 per person (Skate rental and hot cocoa are included in ticket price.)
Reserve your ticket today! 

Skating in the Schools returns for a second season

Last year the Skating Club of Boston piloted their Skating in the Schools program at the Boston Common Frog Pond. This wonderful after school activity gives children a positive outlet for energy while teaching a valuable skill. In the winter, the number of athletic opportunities available to school age children is significantly diminished, the skating club is offering a great opportunity by exposing children to a wonderful winter sport. When the program began last year only one school was invited to participate. In it’s second year the program has expanded to include two school groups.skating in the schools 2

Most of the students are new again this year, there are two or three repeat students from Washington Irving, but for the most part it is an entirely different group,” says Cheri Rigby, Director of Programs at the Skating Club of Boston.

She hopes the program will grow to be more comprehensive, a program in which students enroll early and participate throughout their schooling, “But we’re not there yet.” It’s tough to say at this early stage whether students who return are improving in their abilities, but they do receive free season passes to use the Frog Pond whenever they’d like to skate for free. Skating is an expensive sport, the Skating Club provides the free passes to provide students who enjoy the activity with an affordable (free) opportunity to do so. Whenever they’d like. “We realize that kids 13 and under already have free admission at the Frog Pond,” Cheri points out, “our intention was that this free pass allows a parent or guardian to come in for free–thus the added assurance that they will get back to practice and enjoy skating in their free time.”

The program has more than doubled in size since last year and has plenty of support to continue to grow. If program success was measured solely in smiles, the Skating Club would have a very positive report. “The smiles are the best testimony [to success] at this point,” Cheri reports, ” [and] we have tremendous support from educators. We know we have tapped into something very good and really look forward to the expansion of the program“.

skating in the schools 1

I know from firsthand experience (I was a skater) the incredible feeling of freedom and personal strength you have when you are on the ice…When these kids are on the ice, they are 100% focused on the task at hand. They can only think about the present moment. That in itself is very therapeutic.  In addition to the effort and concentration skating requires, it is also extrememey humbling.  I enjoy watching the transformation of the kids when they step on the ice.  It puts them in a place of vulnerability that opens them up to asking for help and for allowing someone to help them…Skating [is] a wonderful vehicle for children to learn life lessons.”  – Cheri Rigby

Cheri’s plan for the future is simple and focuses on the following principles: quality programming with engaged students and supportive educators, administrators and sponsors and helping kids to develop the confidence and life skills they need in order to thrive and grow.

Frog Pond Provides Affordable Winter Fun!

The Boston Common Frog Pond has been called one of this season’s must do activities! Whether you are looking for an affordable family outing or the perfect date, the Frog Pond has what you need. It is definitely one of the best deals around for outdoor ice-skating, and has even been said to rival the famous Rockefeller Center!

The best part is the very reasonable admission cost, especially for families and students.  Adult admission is only $5 (age 14 and up); youngsters 13 and under get in free and students with a valid college ID skate for just $2 on Tuesday evenings. You have the option to rent skates there, $9 for adults and $5 for kids, or to bring your own.  If you need a place to stash your belongings, locker rentals are just $2.00.  Skate sharpening services and skating lessons are also available.

Other deals offered at the Frog Pond include: season passes, family pricing and lunchtime passes.

In case you get hungry the Frog Pond Cafe offers a variety of options perfectly suited for a chilly evening. Warm the kids up with a cup of hot cocoa or grab a coffee and cozy up on a park bench with that special someone. Going with friends? Split the newest menu item- a Belgium waffle!

To get to the Frog Pond, you can take public transportation (MBTA green and red lines, Park Street or Boylston stations), or the Silver Line SL5 to the Boylston St. station.  If you drive in, it’s recommended that you park at the Boston Common Garage rather than trying to park at meters on the streets around the Common, where there is a risk of being ticketed.  For driving directions, go to the Frog Pond website for specific routes and exit information.  One final suggestion:  leave plenty of time for waiting on line once you get there.  Since the Frog Pond rink is such a great deal, the backup at the ticket booth can be sizable, especially during peak times like weekends and holidays.  So plan ahead for alternative activities to keep kids entertained while Mom or Dad wait on line.

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Skating in the Schools: New Frog Pond Program offers Opportunities for Children.

This year The Skating Club of Boston will be introducing  a new after school program called Skating in the Schools. Students who participate in the program will receive free skating lessons at the Frog Pond one day per week. In addition to lessons, each child will receive a complimentary season pass to the skating rink, normally a $150 value. Season passes will provide students with the opportunity to put what they learn to good use. Rather than being limited to one hour each week on the ice, passes give students the flexibility to return to the frog pond again and again to practice their new talents. Program coordinators hope that students will come to see the Frog Pond as a place to go after school and a weekend destination.

Washington Irving Middle School will pilot this great opportunity beginning on Monday, December 5th and continuing through Monday, February 13th. As part of the program buses provided by The Friends of the Public Garden will transport students to and from their lessons at the Frog Pond. Principal Arthur Unobsky has been working with sponsors and collaborators to ensure that the program is designed to maximize student safety. Cheri Rigby of The Skating Club of Boston expects Skating in the Schools to be, “Good, clean fun”.

Many of the students enrolled might never have had an opportunity to get on the ice otherwise. “What child won’t benefit from this?” says Rigby, “A little exercise, a little fresh air…just foot loose, fancy-free activity”.  Representatives from The Skating Club of Boston are working with Carol Johnson, superintendent of schools, to expand this program and include other local schools. It is hoped that Skating in the Schools will continue for years to come!