This has been our little project this winter. We have built a big ice rink in our yard. The girls have learned how to skate and Caleb has been able to work on his stick handling.
The rink has gone through 3 evolutions.
The first, I spent 3 days dumping buckets of water over an area in the backyard. It gave us not so great ice, very uneven with holes. One section had such a slant to it, we called it downhill skating. But the kids skated on it and had fun.
Then when it got a bit warm, Brian got 4 inch pvc piping, created a frame and put a white tarp over it. We filled it up and had a much better ice rink. The tarp developed a hole during filling and then began leaking. Because of the leak we had some areas that cracked. We had to stay out of one corner. But the rink was much better. It continued working really well for a few weeks until we got a warm spell and the shallowest parts melted and cracked.
Then, we decided to fork over the money for a real hockey rink liner from Rinkmaster. However, the ice had not melted all the way and we had to place the new liner right over top to fill it. But it seems to be holding and we are all enjoying skating almost every day!