Winter rink reopens to all at Harvard's Science Center plaza

February 1, 2013 at 7:43 am

Harvard’s popular outdoor ice rink, Harvard Skate, reopened this week, offering students and community members a fun winter diversion at the heart of campus.

The custom-made, 40-by-60-foot rink in front of the Science Center was built atop the newly paved Science Center plaza, which is undergoing renovations. The installation represents the beginning of the plaza’s transformation into a vibrant space that joins campus and community.

“Harvard Skate provides a great opportunity for the University community and our neighbors to come together,” said Lisa Hogarty, vice president for campus services, the department that oversees common spaces programming. “When the renovation of the plaza is complete this spring, there will be many more events and activities, transforming the space.”

Day one, the rink was doing its job. On Tuesday, Harvard junior Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya was headed into Harvard Square to kill time between classes but was lured by the ice instead. One by one, other friends who happened to be walking from class to class joined in the fun.

“Having something like this at the center of campus that’s open and inviting encourages people to enjoy themselves and be more spontaneous,” said Nedzhvetskaya.

A collaboration among University departments, including the Common Spaces program, Campus Services, and Harvard Student Agencies, the rink is run by student managers who staff it and offer $5 on-site skate rentals for adults and children. Tables and chairs surround the rink, giving skaters and non-skaters a spot to enjoy the winter scene and sip hot chocolate. Free skating lessons can be arranged in February.

Harvard Skate’s hours are noon to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The rink will be open through March, weather permitting. Additional information can be found on the Common Spaces website, and updates about weather-related rink closures will be posted to the Harvard Skate Facebook page.