This past weekend, Jan 2010, we had a January thaw here in Central New York, just north of Syracuse.
I bought a 20x40 ft tarp, and built a frame with cheap 8 inch x 1 inch boards. I then lined the frame with the tarp to make a 30ft x 18ft rink. I had to shore up one end with some extra 10 inch boards because of the slight dip in the yard at that corner.
But since the night I flooded the rink, we have had 0-20 degree temps daily. Now I am preparing to do my first resurface tonight, with just the hose and spray nozzle.
I have already got ideas for my next rink, to make it larger, but this will work for this year for two little kids under 5, there is plenty of room for them to learn to skate. My kids only tolerate about 30 minutes at a time, sometimes twice a day.
And this is much better than paying a rink for lessons. So instead of having to deal with rink schedules and overcrowded lessons, we skate whenever we want.
Thanks for this site. I am sure to be back again with more info.