Part of Josh Brainerd’s job as rink manager at Family Ice Center and Casco Bay Arena is to assemble the refrigerated outdoor rink that looks like a real pond. Photo courtesy of Josh Brainerd

Josh Brainerd never suspected that his love of hockey would lead him to assemble a giant outdoor puzzle every fall. But that’s part of his job as rink manager at Family Ice Center and Casco Bay Arena in Falmouth.

Between those two indoor rinks is Lee Twombly Pond, which looks like an old-fashioned skating pond but has a portable arena refrigeration system that Brainerd and his team rebuild each year. They roll the numbered pieces out of storage, fit them where they go, hose them down, drive out the Zamboni – and hope for good weather.

“It takes us several weeks,” said Brainerd, 42, of Cumberland. “But we can extend into the fringe season days.”

He appreciates being able to offer a refrigerated rink with regular Zamboni runs combined with the experience of skating outdoors.

“I enjoy working under the stars late at night, doing maintenance after it’s closed,” Brainerd said. “Or repairing it early in the morning before it opens for the day, watching the sun rise. It’s beautiful out there.”

When his wife and three sons aren’t busy with skiing or 4-H, they throw on some skates and join him for a few laps.


“In the evenings, the music is playing, people are enjoying it, the lights all lit up and the fireplace glowing,” Brainerd says. “There’s nothing like it.”

Skating here is free, thanks to sponsors like the Twombly family, Remax By the Bay and Simply Home. You’ll find benches, music and a warming hut with restrooms. Just bring your own skates (no pucks or sticks allowed). And you get what you get – sometimes it’s slushy, sometimes it’s bumpy and sometimes it’s perfectly smooth.

About 10,000 people skate here each winter, but, depending on when you come, you might have it to yourself.

Located at 20 Hat Trick Drive in Falmouth, the pond is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, December until the spring thaw, as the weather cooperates; call 207-781-4200 to check.


Skating is free at Lee Twombly Pond in Falmouth. Photo by Amy Paradysz

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