Christopher Rumery, 10, of Gorham skates at The Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland on Saturday. Rumery and his family came for the day because it wasn’t cold enough for their backyard ice rink. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Drew Foxe clutched the wall, his mom’s hands and sometimes both as the 5-year-old very slowly made his way around The Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland on Saturday.

Like most normal humans (and probably even the superhumans who triple-axel their way to Olympic stardom), Drew’s first experience on ice skates was a bit, well, unsteady and uneasy at first.

Christy Foxe of Windham teaches her son Drew, 5, how to ice-skate at The Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland on Saturday. Foxe said it was the first time she had put on ice skates since she was 14. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

“It’s hard,” the Windham boy later said through a smile while back on solid ground with his 7-year-old brother, Ethan. But after a much-deserved hot cocoa break, the pair and mom Christy Foxe were back at it along with dozens of others enjoying some bright sun, moderate air temperatures and freshly Zamboni’d ice.

The Rink at Thompson’s Point has been drawing skaters since 2015. Located just off Interstate 295, the former industrial site hosts concerts and festivals during the summer, ice skating and other cold-weather activities during the winter, and craft beer and wine sipping year-round.

The Rink is sponsored by L.L. Bean and more than two dozen other local businesses.

As their two boys zoomed around the rink outside, Phil and Lori Rumery were enjoying a drink and conversation with friends inside the heated “Yurt Bar.” Ten-year-old Christopher and 11-year-old Shawn Rumery will eventually have a small backyard rink – weather permitting – but the family still enjoys trips to Thompson’s Point.

“This is a nice alternative when the weather isn’t cooperating for backyard hockey,” Lori Rumery said.

The 10,000-square-foot rink was large enough to accommodate more than 30 skaters without crowding or many collisions, apart from the occasional slip or bumps of the plastic “trainers” that help keep beginners upright. Those contraptions made for handy, rinkside seats for the young ones watching the Zamboni put a fresh gloss on the ice.

It wasn’t all kids on the ice, either. In fact, Jennifer Pulvino of Scarborough and Janet Davis of South Portland were enjoying an adult day away from kids on Saturday. It was also a change from the way they usually glide around – on wheels as members of Maine Roller Derby.

Pulvino, who goes by “Daisy Dukes” in the roller derby world, had grown up in both types of skates but hadn’t put on blades in about a decade. She was pleased to see how quickly it came back to her.

Davis, aka “Hazard,” was enjoying a return visit to The Rink.

“It’s outdoors, that’s the best part,” Davis said.

The Rink at Thompson’s Point is expected to be open until late February.


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