The former Sears building at 401 Park Dr. has had an exciting year with the opening of Time Out Market and tons of community activities on the new lawn. Now that the weather has turned colder, 401 Park owner Samuels & Associates isn’t letting that stop the fun—an ice rink right in the Fenway neighborhood is now accepting skaters.
The Rink at 401 Park held its grand opening celebration on December 17. The carnival theme allowed guests to sample hot dogs, cotton candy, and fried dough from food carts, and Trillium Fenway and Time Out Market had beverages at the ready. Stilt walkers and LED performers from the Boston Circus Guild provided entertainment, along with DJ Ryan Brown.
According to Peter Sougarides of Samuels & Associates, the rink will be open seven days a week, from 3 p.m.- 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. -10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Sunday. Skating fees are $10 for adults and $6 for students, seniors, and children under the age of 12. Rental skates are also available for. $6 fee, but skaters are welcome to bring their own, Sougarides said.
“When we built the park, we wanted to have the area activated year-round,” he said. In the summer and fall, the new lawn was activated with things like outdoor yoga, Berklee College of Music bands, and Oktoberfest. “In keeping with that, in the wintertime, we wanted to have it activated,” Sougarides said.
Beyond the grand opening celebration, activities are planned at the rink through February. Starting January 4, The Skating Club of Boston will have ice skating lessons on Saturdays at 10 a.m. “for all ages and abilities. Other activities will include ice bocce, theme nights, ice performances, and more are also expected to be scheduled in the near future.
The rink itself and the way it was installed allows for easy set-up and removal between seasons. Sougarides said that the rink was designed with a piping that is connected to a chiller in the basement of the building, so ice can be created all winter long. He said that typical rinks have a big chiller that makes a lot of noise, but they wanted to make this rink quiet and efficient.
Additionally the rink is tied into Time Out Market and Trillium Fenway to create a cohesive experience for skaters. Sougarides summed up the winter experience at 401 Park: “There’s a nice tie-in between having families and other folks just out to skate, eat, have a drink, relax, and really gather in a neighborhood gathering space.”