Did you know Canada.. we had an ice rink we made in our backyard all winter, kids loved it. We upgraded from bob-skates to real skates this year and have been having a love/hate relationship with skating since it got a bit harder. Our poor ice rink melted this week with the sun shine and warmer weather so we tried a free public family skate today and it was fantastic! The boys skated for a full hour, much longer than they did at home with so many distractions and we got free hot chocolate after for Family Day Weekend.
Am now loving public skates - I thought it would be too busy and overwhelming for the kids but everyone was (fairly) friendly and all the little ones were able to stay in the middle without getting caught up in the rush.
I found this website: http://www.arenamaps.com/ to find all the local arenas and look forward to heading to public skating again next weekend!