Even in the unlikely event of a mid-winter warmup, St. Paul's refrigerated outdoor rinks will keep ice skaters happy.

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ST. PAUL - It wouldn't have been long anyway thanks to Minnesota's recent cold snap, but Saint Paul's four refrigerated outdoor skating rinks are now open for the season.

Having refrigeration systems underneath the ice surface helps maintain superior ice quality during unseasonably warm temperatures and allows skating rinks to open earlier in the winter and stay open later in the spring. Saint Paul's Department of Parks and Recreation currently operates four refrigerated rinks located at North Dale Recreation Center (1414 St. Albans St. N.), Palace Recreation Center (781 Palace Ave.), Phalen Recreation Center (1000 E Wheelock Parkway) and the Wells Fargo WinterSkate rink located in downtown Saint Paul at the Landmark Center.

Saint Paul's Department of Parks and Recreation also operates more than 20 quality outdoor skating rinks with natural cooling, including hockey rinks, general skating rinks and broomball specific rinks located throughout the city. These non-refrigerated rinks are currently being flooded and will be opening as soon as the rink conditions allow. To view a list of which rinks are currently open and their warming house hours, click on the winter activities tab on the Parks and Recreation website, and then click on Ice Rinks.

All of the outdoor skating rinks operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation are free of charge and open to the public. An estimated 100,000 skaters use them every year.

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