Tenafly’s New Ice Skating Rink: A Delightful Touch to Town


Karis Cho, Staff Writer

People have been grumbling for ages about how there’s nothing to do in Tenafly. When thinking about the stores in the town, the only thing that comes to mind for many residents is either nail salons or banks. “No offense to Tenafly, but the town is pretty bland and tame,” Jacqueline Kim (’23) admits. To add some flavor and keep spirits high during these strenuous times, Tenafly decided to incorporate a new addition to town: an all-season ice skating rink. On Friday, March 5th, Mayor Mark Zinna introduced the new ice skating rink in his weekly announcement to the community. The idea was proposed by residents and the Downtown Committee and passed by the Borough Council.

Although an ice-skating rink set up in March doesn’t sound like the most ideal time, the synthetic ice imitates real ice, allowing it to be used throughout the seasons. The money was donated from several local Tenafly businesses and residents to purchase, install, and maintain the $33,000 rink. It took around three weeks for it to be shipped from KwikRinkSynthetic ice in Minnesota, and it was put together in a couple of days. On March 7th, the ice skating rink had its grand opening and the town’s residents flocked to sign up.  

To adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines and regulations, the hours of operation are between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. two days a week, with a one-hour block for skaters. No more than 20 people are allowed inside the rink, and they have to follow social distancing guidelines. It is open to residents only, and sign-ups are online with a fee of $15. With rental skates, it sums up to $20.

The ice skating rink is located on the corner of Riveredge Road and Tenafly Road, on top of one of the basketball courts. “While I like the idea, I can imagine there may be some resistance from people who enjoy and use the basketball courts on a regular basis,” said Rowan Copes (’23). “The pounding of the balls on the court are like silent protests for many people who use the basketball court on a daily basis.” Although a synthetic ice rink limits the use of the entire basketball court, its users don’t have to fret for too long since the ice skating rink is moveable, and its placement on the basketball court is not permanent.

The ice skating rink will provide a safe outdoor option for more people in town to enjoy, and it is meant to keep spirits lifted during these unprecedented times. Tenafly students have different opinions on the matter. “I don’t really understand why we need one,” Matthew Kwon (’21) said. “Since there are ice skating rinks nearby, it seems pointless to have one in Tenafly.” In contrast, Jacqueline Kim said, “It will be something that will attract and engage lots of people, especially in a time where outdoor activities have become pretty limited.” COVID-19 has taken a huge toll on human interaction. “Although there are concerns of social distancing guidelines and whatnot,” Kim said, “I think that this addition is definitely something to be able to look forward to.”

A firsthand account of the ice skating rink was given by a 7th grader from Tenafly Middle School, fresh off the ice. She said she was “pretty excited” about this new addition. She talked about her first impressions of skating on the rink. “I just don’t like that there’s no real ice. It’s just kind of hard to skate,” she said. “It feels like a cutting board at first, but after a while, you get used to it.” 

Overall, reactions have been mostly positive and many people are excited about the new installation. “I definitely see myself using it in the future and I’m looking forward to seeing how it will turn out,” Copes said. “I think it’s a nice way to bring something new and exciting to this town, and I think it will be well used.” The rink is now managed by the Tenafly Recreation Department and will continue to be open to the town throughout all seasons.