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A Season of Skating and Giving Back at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth

By on December 4, 2015

food-donationsOpen for its second season, the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth is prepped for wintertime fun and the museum is preparing to help those in need.

“Winter Harvest at Strawbery Banke” is a food drive program- developed in partnership with the NH Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities NH, where visitors to Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond can help fight hunger as well as skate.

Throughout the entire winter season, anyone who donates one bag of non-perishable food items at the skating rink receive a free admission pass for the May-October season at Strawbery Banke (a $20 value) and are entered in a weekly drawing to win a book of 10 rink skating passes (a $100 value). The NH Food Bank will distribute all the donated food to its affiliated food pantries throughout the Seacoast.

According to Mel Gosselin, NH Food Bank Executive Director, winter is a difficult time for those who are faced with “Eat or Heat” decisions created by living each day on a limited income.

“While food pantries tend to fill during the holidays, donations tend to decrease in the deep winter months. NH Food Bank applauds Strawbery Banke Museum for partnering on a food drive that extends through the entire skating season, running from Thanksgiving through early March,”

Labrie Family Skate at Strawbery Banke opened in December 2014 and welcomed more than 22,000 skaters for the 2014-15 winter season.  The rink again offers many opportunities to skate in a unique outdoor environment set among the historic houses of the museum campus:

  • A professionally-maintained skating surface
  • Improved access and hours at the café
  • Weekly adult and family pond hockey sessions
  • Skating lessons for adults, kids and tots (register online)
  • Holiday parties, company outings and winter celebrations, with on-site catering options from Figtree Kitchen café (operating on-site daily)
  • Skate rentals and skate sharpening

Making the rink extra festive this Holiday Season, a lighting 18-foot tall Christmas tree in the center of the Strawbery Banke campus, donated by UBS Financial Services of Portsmouth, adds to the atmosphere for skater until January.

The rink is open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., except for Christmas Day- and shortened hours on Christmas Eve.  Off-peak daily admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children; peak weekend, holiday and school vacation week admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children.  All visitors are encouraged to check the website or Facebook page for daily updates to the schedule.  The rink and Figtree Kitchen café are available for private parties, corporate events, outings and birthday parties.

For information on schedules, making a donation, events or lessons, visit www.puddledockpond.org or contact Monique Deforge, mdeforge@strawberybanke.org or 603.422.7552.

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