I built my first backyard rink this past weekend. My father and I cut the wood and built a 30' by 40' rink and lined it with a 6mil poly clear tarp and have been waiting for the cold ever since.
The weather has literally been playing with me since Sat. The temp has been high around 34-38 and dropped down into the low 30's at night, so only a thin layer of ice has formed on the top.
The depth is about 5 inches at its deepest and 3 around the shallowest end. We have had 1 inch of snow to top it off but still not enough cold to freeze my backyard pool.
The waiting is the hardest part. Several neighbors have bought skates in anticipation of the first skating day, and my son is enjoying throwing snowballs into the rink and watching them skip along the thin ice on top....more to follow when it gets colder here...