Every winter I want to take my family skating on the Eclipse Lagoon outside the Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, and every winter it doesn't happen because we don't own ice skates.

Ready for the 2-part good news I'm about to share with you?

First, weather conditions have finally allowed outdoor ice skating on Eclipe Lagoon to open for our winter enjoyment, and secondly, something brand new for 2021... you will now be able to rent ice skates when you arrive!

The Eclipse Lagoon at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens is open for free ice skating and open hockey daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., but skate rental will only be available on specific days and times.

A Rockford Park District press release says skate rental will be $5 and will be available on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m., (last rental at 7:20 p.m.), and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (last rental at 3:20 p.m.).

If you too have never been ice skating at Nicholas Conservatory before, here are a couple things you need to know:

  • Skating on the Lagoon will only be open when weather conditions permit it to be. The ice needs to be 4 to 5 inches thick to make it safe for skating, and those conditions can change quickly so staff checks the thickness daily. You need to visit the Rockford Park District's Rainout Line to make sure the ice is open before you go.
  • Due to COVID-19, not hockey goals will be provided and all skaters need to maintain social distancing.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 6:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and  Facebook


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