Latest posts by Nadine Champsi (see all)
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In my New PGH Family Fun series, I highlight new family-friendly entertainment options within Pittsburgh. I monitor social media sites and conventional news sources to find the most interesting, unique, and fun NEW adventure options for families in Pittsburgh. Then, I write about them here!
Want to be inspired? Just hop over the Allegheny River and head into Aspinwall where scores of individuals, organizations, and businesses are working together to make a dream come true. They are beautifying a portion of the riverfront and creating a vital community asset: the Aspinwall Riverfront Park! The first phase of the park opened to the public last weekend with the debut of the new ice skating rink. I took a visit to see the rink over the weekend with my daughter and I thought I’d share some information about it.
Where is it?
The ice skating rink is located at the new Aspinwall Riverfront Park off Freeport Road. The entrance to the park is right across from Kristi Boutique on Freeport. Turn right (if you’re heading toward the Waterworks Mall) onto Water St. You’ll go past the Borough’s buildings and take a right. Parking is located adjacent to the rink. The address is: 285 River Ave. Aspinwall, PA 15215.
What are the hours?
The official hours for the rink have not yet been defined; however, you can follow the park on Facebook to get updates. There will also be a sign on Freeport Road indicating whether it is open. I will update this post when hours are finalized.
What is the cost to skate?
It’s FREE! Yes, that’s right! It’s totally free to skate! I don’t know of any other free outdoor skating rinks in the city, so this is an important new asset for the community.
Are there skates available to rent?
When the refreshment stand is open, there are skates (many of them donated by community members!) available at the rink. They are FREE to borrow. Yes, they are free too :)! However, there is a limited supply so I would suggest bringing your own if you have them.
Are there kid skates available to borrow?
I perused their selection of skates over the weekend and was impressed by their selection. The smallest child-sized skate I could find was a Youth Size 11.
How old do children have to be to skate?
There is no age limit stipulated on the signage. However, children <12 yo must be accompanied by an adult on the ice and children are not allowed to be held.
Are there refreshments available?
There is a small refreshment stand at the rink manned by Aspinwall Everyday Gourmet. I had a chance to speak with the lovely ladies from this local business and they told me that there will be hot chocolate and light snack foods available for purchase (popcorn, chips, etc.). The hours for the refreshment stand have not yet been worked out; however, I will update this post when hours have been finalized. Also, PLEASE NOTE, you can not borrow skates unless the refreshment stand is open.
What other amenities does the rink offer?
The park also has a fire pit, picnic bench seating, and music. And a killer view of the river, of course! However, parkgoers must stay near the rink and firepit at this point in time because the park is still an active construction zone.
Any other rules to know about?
This park definitely has a low key, laidback vibe. However, they do still have some clearly displayed rules. Most importantly, ice skating is done AT YOUR OWN RISK! Others: hockey is NOT allowed at this time because their insurance doesn’t cover it, yet. Food and drinks are not allowed on the ice. You have to wear skates on the ice. And you have to stay away from the nearby boats and docks at the Marina.
Did my 3 year old daughter skate?
It’s the first question everybody has asked me when they found out we went to the rink. She did NOT. She was petrified! However, she patiently sat on a nearby bench munching on her popcorn and sipping her hot chocolate while I took some laps around the rink. It has been years since I’ve skated and it felt sooo good to feel the refreshing cold air on my face as I whipped around the rink. I will definitely be back to the rink this winter, even if I DON’T bring my kids. Ladies Day Out–anyone?
Thank you to the many community members who have worked so hard to bring this new skating rink to Pittsburgh. It is a fantastic new community resource and I suspect it will be a winter hotspot for many years to come :)!