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Dad Embraces Winter, Makes Homemade Ice Rink for his Kids


We have a week of bitter cold ahead of us, so we're going to have to get creative when it comes to doing things inside or if you dare to step outside.

But, why not embrace the weather since its here to stay a while? That's what the Kochanowski family does along with lacing up their skates in Stevens Point.

Alex Kochanowski laced up his son Josiah's skates.

"I didn't learn how to skate until I was 24," Kochanowski said.

So that Josiah could glide onto a 30 by 40 foot sheet of homemade ice.

"This makes it so we don't have to go anywhere on a day," Kochanowski said. "All we have to do is shovel it off. It saves us a little money, time and for me, it helps make winter a little more enjoyable."

Kochanowski said he's made an ice rink in his back yard for the last couple of years through expirimentation. He said the best parts about homemade rinks are that they're simple to make, easy to afford and his kids love it.

"You make a perimeter. I use 2 by 6 (foot wood), and I put a nail through it and bend it on the other side so that it's just lapped together pretty simply," Kochanowski said. "And then you flood it with just with the garden hose with the sprayer. With some stomping of the snow, you're out here for two hours the first time and then it gets easier as you keep doing it."

To make an ice sheet in your backyard, you may think it might get a little expensive water-wise but Kochanowsi said when he floods, his water bill only goes up by $20 for a couple months.

He said all you need are 2 by 6 foot pieces of wood for around $1 each, a box of nails and a garden hose.

"For a good ice sheet, weather is about 20 degrees, not quite 30s," Kochanowski said. "The ice will get together, melt and form a lot harder and nicer."

Cold days make the process a little more difficult since the water freezes instantly and sticks to his feet.

"If you have a lot of cold days, and you spread your water on here, it'll freeze with ridges," Kochanowski said. "It's difficult to do when its really cold."

He said you don't need a hockey background or expertise in making ice rinks, you just need a few hours to make the initial sheet, and 15 minutes here and there to flood and shovel once a while.

His kids Ruben, Josiah, Vivian and Jude all said the best part of winter is the homemade ice rink in the back allowing them to skate.

Skating on even, frosty and homemade ice makes winter fun for the Kochanowski family.

"I'm pretty glad he (Alex Kochanowski) made it (the ice rink) because I really like ice skating," Vivian Kochanowski said.

And now since you know how to make a homemade rink, you can embrace winter too!

"It gives me something to do," Alex Kochanowski said. "My wife may not like it that I spend so much time out here, but it's nice."

Alex also said if you want a rink with hockey boards, you can make a rink with plastic instead of having a wood perimeter.

He said the key to smooth ice is to make sure there's no leaves or dirt in it.


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