Outdoor Ice Skating Rink Turns Westport Into a Winter Wonderland
Winter is coming. If you haven’t done so already, you’re mentally preparing to spend the next few months indoors. Well, Flying Starlings wants to remind you that it can be just as fun playing outside in the winter as it is in the summer.
Flying Starlings is a community nonprofit based out of Westport. The organization stands by the slogan that “Humans Need Humans,” and is a grassroots movement of play, unplug, social, art, and education.
At this time of social distancing, Flying Starlings emphasizes that although we may have to distance ourselves from others, that does not mean that we have to distance ourselves from nature and the outdoors. Amanda Deane is the Vice President and Founder of Flying Starlings and commented on the events associated with “Open Air Classes.”
“We will be having homeschool ice-skating days with hot cocoa and we will have family skating days open to the public on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11 am or 11 am to 12 noon,” says Deane. “We are looking to add more days and times. Alongside wonderful open-air art classes for all ages, we will have a horticulturist teaching about foraging and floral design, with holiday and winter arrangements. As well as Vintage Country Living workshops with old-fashion lessons in baking, tea making, and homesteading.”
These outdoor winter activities are intended to promote unplug and unstructured play. This allows kids to let their imaginations run wild and create without boundaries. From nature education, walks, activities, sledding, star-gazing, s'mores, to twinkly lights at night.
Walt’s Fruit Stand is at the center of all of this, and it has a traditional feel that we seem to be seeking in 2020.
“Walt’s Farm has been around since the early 1900s. Many people in town know the iconic Walt’s Fruit Stand. The ice rink will be made at the orchard he grew the fruit at. It has lots of wetland and his own children and friends would skate in the winter on a natural little bit of water that would freeze over. It’s really nice to be able to open up to the community to enjoy the same type of old-fashioned fun.”
Walter passed away back in May of this year and we’d like to think that he would want to see another ice rink on the land for the public to get out and play.
As a charity, Flying Starlings relies on the continued support of those in the SouthCoast community to fund these types of projects. “We have received donations to support this project and we have also been super fortunate and have people donating skates for kids in need.” Flying Starlings is currently looking for more businesses to donate in order to help cover the cost.
"As of right now, it’s five dollars per person. We have tried to keep the rate incredibly affordable. It just covers our basic needs. As the founder, I personally volunteer 100% of my time in order to keep costs low for the community. Donations would be a wonderful help."
Registration is required and space is limited. Masks must be worn per regulations.