Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond Opens Nov 29

Portsmouth, New Hampshire (November 27, 2017) –Ice-making for the seasonal Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond at Strawbery Banke Museum allowed Opening Day for skating to take place Wednesday, November 29th. Rink Services Group spent three weeks working with crews of specialists to install the chiller (Trane), lighting (Progressive Electrical Services), and fire pit (provided by Proulx Oil & Propane), assembling the ice liner and coolant tubes and building the surrounding rail fence. Progress is measured daily by the changes visible from the webcam on the Strawbery Banke website.

“The silver lining to the recent cold weather is that we are able to start skating at Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond early this year, in time for the start of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth,” said Lawrence J. Yerdon, President and CEO of Strawbery Banke Museum.

Now in its fourth season, Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond offers skaters amenities that are designed to make their experience on one of New Hampshire’s only outdoor skating rinks both comfortable and welcoming.

Among the enhancements:

• First impressions count so skaters begin their visit in the TYCO Visitors Center where they buy tickets, rent skates, change and enter the rink.

• The large windows in the Visitors Center give skaters and “spectators” a warm, lighted environment in keeping with the Strawbery Banke welcome provided the rest of the year. Those who rent the rink for private parties can also enjoy exclusive use of this room.

• Figtree Kitchen Café in the Visitors Center will be open daily and will be serving sandwiches, sweets, beer, wine and hot beverages rinkside.

The weekly schedule will be posted to and on Facebook. Once again thanks to a generous donation from Portsmouth Rotary, the public will enjoy free skating on Saturday mornings. Session One of this year’s Learn To Skate lessons starts the week of December 4th.

 Labrie Family Skate at Strawbery Banke opened in December 2014, welcoming more than 20,000 skaters each year.  The rink again offers many opportunities to skate in a unique outdoor environment set among the historic houses of the museum campus:

• A professionally-maintained skating surface • Weekly adult and family pond hockey sessions • Skating lessons for adults, kids and tots (register online).

• Holiday parties, company outings and winter celebrations, with on-site catering options from Figtree Kitchen Cafe • Skate rentals and skate sharpening • Adaptive Ice Time each week for those with physical challenges, in partnership with UNH’s Northeast Passage and sponsored by Living Innovations

Building the temporary rink each year is an ambitious and costly effort; Strawbery Banke appreciates the support of Rink Services Group, The River House, Atlantic Grill, Direct Capital, Proulx Oil and Propane, amadeus, Progressive Electrical Services, The Rusty Hammer, Bank of New Hampshire, Oxland Builders, Core Orthopedics (for the operation of the Zamboni), Vital Design, Living Innovations, Northeast Passage, Taylor Equipment Rental, Dos Amigos, Jumpin’ Jay’s and Bank of America.

Starting Nov 30, the rink is open daily 9 am to 9 pm, except for Christmas Day and shortened hours on Christmas Eve.  During Candlelight Stroll, Dec 2-3, 9-10 and 16-17, the rink will only be open to those who purchase the combination Stroll-Skating ticket (available online). The 2017-18 schedule again offers three FREE public skating times each week, thanks to sponsors The Rusty Hammer and Portsmouth Rotary Club.

Ticket prices for the 2017-18 season are $6 for children, $8 for adults during off-peak hours and $9 for children, $11 for adults during peak hours. The skate rental price stays at $5.  Strawbery Banke Museum members receive 50% off skating tickets and active duty military & their families and veterans are admitted free. All visitors are encouraged to check the website or Facebook page for daily updates to the schedule.  The rink and Figtree Kitchen café are available for private parties, corporate events, outings and birthday parties. 

 For information on schedules and lessons, call 603.422.0600. For event rentals or sponsorship information, contact Monique Deforge at 603.422.7552 or

About Strawbery Banke Museum

Strawbery Banke Museum, in the heart of historic downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a 10-acre outdoor history museum dedicated to bringing 300+ years of American history to life.  The Museum is a place for children, adults, multigenerational families and groups to gather to explore heritage gardens, historic buildings, crafts, preservation programs, hands-on activities, stories told by costumed role-players and the changing exhibits that offer hours of fun and discovery.  The Museum’s restored buildings and open space invite visitors to immerse themselves in the past.  The Museum welcomes 95,000 visitors, members, schoolchildren and volunteers who love New Hampshire history for daily programs, exhibits, skating and signature special events throughout the year.  For a complete calendar of events, please visit