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Skating On Thin Ice

With winter break fast approaching, will you be able to enjoy the ice rinks?

With the finicky weather Southwest Minneapolis has had so far this winter, it's looking increasingly unlikely that we'll get a "white Christmas." But will it be cold enough to at least ice skate on the city's  or lakes next week?

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board crews say they need between five and nine days of temperatures in the 20's or below in order to build up enough ice on the land rinks. They say they are "hopeful" that at least some rinks will be open by the time Minneapolis Public Schools close for their winter break, but so far all of the city's rinks are on the "closed" list.

But what about the lakes? With the Hennepin County Sheriff's office warning residents to stay off of the county's lakes after last week's rain, that may not be in the cards. When going out near Lake Harriet or Calhoun, the Sheriff's spokesperson asked residents to keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Most victims of fatal accidents on the ice in Hennepin County have been children. Parents and guardians should keep children away from thin ice on rivers, ponds, creeks, and lakes. When your child is near the ice or the water, you should be near your child.
  • The early part of winter has traditionally been the time of year when children are at-risk for ice accidents because of the holiday schedule over the next few weeks. With the upcoming holiday break, children will have more time on their hands to explore outside.  
  • Small bodies of water such as ponds are especially a hazard now since they are the most likely to have a thin layer of ice. A dusting of snow or frost may give thin ice the appearance that it is safe when it is not.  
  • Remember to keep your dog on a leash this time of year.The Sheriff’s Office has responded to drownings and near-drownings involving pet owners who put themselves in jeopardy chasing after a dog that wandered onto thin ice.


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