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Looking forward to ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle? You might have to wait until February.

Instead, the city is offering up alternative winter activities like snowshoeing, free sled rentals and more.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Delays in construction have canceled the winter ice skating season in downtown Grand Rapids — for now. 

Crews are running into supply chain shortages as they continue work on the restoration of Maya Lin’s Ecliptic at Rosa Parks Circle Conservatory. 

The city says manufacturing delays with the new granite seating rings have pushed the expected completion date to February.

Organizers are looking into hosting possible alternative skating locations as well as offering a shortened skating season at Rosa Parks Circle when construction has been finished. They also sought temporary replacements like a portable outdoor ice rink or synthetic ice solutions. However, those were not possible due to supply chain and cost factors. 

“We know ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle is a treasured winter tradition in Grand Rapids, and we’re hopeful that skating can be offered in some form this year,” Parks and Recreation Director David Marquardt said. “In the meantime, our city parks offer many other ways to enjoy the snow, get active and explore nature.”

Despite the skating postponement, the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony will still happen at the same location on Monroe Center St. Friday, Dec. 3.

RELATED: Kent Co. Road Commission ready for season's first snowfall

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department is offering winter activities throughout the season at parks and public spaces across Grand Rapids. When enough snow has accumulated, the department will have free sled rentals at two city parks with sledding hills, as well as trails for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and fat-tire biking at Indian Trails Golf Course. All city-owned parks and public spaces remain open to the public through the winter season every day from dawn to dusk. 

Free sled rentals and winter clothing rentals will be available beginning Dec. 4 at the following parks every Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., weather permitting:

  • Mulick Park (1632 Sylvan Ave. SE)
  • Plaster Creek Park (2401 Buchanan Ave. SW)

Additional pop-up sledding events at other hills across the park system will be announced as weather allows. 

In addition to sled rentals, the Parks and Recreation Department is once again offering winter activities at Indian Trails Golf Course. The trail system—located at 2776 Kalamazoo Ave. SE—will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for fat tire biking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. The activities are set to begin Dec. 6, weather permitting.

The clubhouse will be open and staffed for snowshoe rentals and concession sales from 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.

All city-owned parks and public spaces remain open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk. The paved multi-use trails at Sixth Street, Canal and Riverside Parks will be plowed. Information on which gates and parking lots are plowed can be found online here.

Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., a partner in the restoration project and a sponsor for the skating season at Rosa Parks Circle, once again plans to offer winter activities downtown, including World of Winter from Jan. 7 through March 6.

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