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Many local families and individuals look forward to ice skating on Depot Pond each winter, but it's important to familiarize yourself with safety precautions before you lace up your skates. Ice skate rentals are not available, so please bring your own.

There are two main entrances to the ice rink. There is a set of stairs just west of Peg Bond Center and the boat ramp by the Paddleboat and Kayak rental area. There are several benches and a couple of small bleachers near the pond that can be used for donning skates.

Safe Skating Conditions

Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to using the Depot Pond for ice skating this winter. If you aren't certain, always check the Riverwalk flag status, or contact us at 630-879-5235 to see if the pond is open for use. The red flag means skating is prohibited, and the green flag means it is safe to skate. The alert notification will change on this webpage when it is safe to skate.

Outdoor ice skating rules at Depot Pond

  • The temperature must be below zero for several days for the ice to become thick enough for safe skating, and 8" or greater of ice is required before the pond is cleared for skating. Do not attempt to measure the ice or clear the snow yourself.
  • Please stay off thin, slushy ice and freshly sprayed ice. Snow, rain, and warm weather spells may destroy many hours of work and make ice difficult to skate. When the red flag is flown, skating is prohibited!

After the ice is a safe depth and the snow has been cleared, skating is open.

warming house

The Peg Bond Center will be open for a warming house and public restrooms on days that ice rink is open. Please wear a face covering while inside and practice social distancing. There should be no more than three people in the facility at at time.

History

The Depot Pond didn't always look the way it does now. At one time, the entire area, including the Batavia Depot Museum, Walgreens and McDonalds, was a channel of the Fox River. That's how Island Avenue got its name and the tradition of ice skating began.

Back in the 40s and 50s, skaters would stay warm by building fires in metal trash bins. It wasn't until the Batavia Depot Museum was moved to its current location on the Riverwalk that skaters had an official warming house. The basement of the Museum was used as a warming house from 1975 until 1990 when it was converted into exhibit space. Today, skaters have access to the Peg Bond Center as a place to warm up and take a break from skating.

During the winter of 1957, an artist from Nebraska named John Falter was visiting his sister in the Fox Valley area. He came across skaters on the pond and decided to sketch it. He thought it was a whimsical scene and would fit in with his painting-style which was similar to Norman Rockwell. Falter completed a painting of his sketch and submitted it to the Saturday Evening Post, a widely popular magazine with a nationwide reach. In January 1958, the painting of skaters on the pond appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post and the original is on permanent display at the Depot Museum.