City Hall Plaza to feature ice skating path, holiday shopping market

A rendering of Delaware North's "Winter Garden" planned for City Hall Plaza. –Boston Garden Development Corporation

City Hall Plaza will soon abandon its sea of bricks and concrete for a wintery facelift.

Plans to enhance the plaza for the winter season have been unveiled, the mayor’s office announced in a statement Wednesday. The improvements will include an ice skating path and a European-style holiday shopping market.

The Boston Garden Development Corporation, a subsidiary of TD Garden owner Delaware North, signed a three-year contract with the City of Boston after being selected in the spring to improve City Hall Plaza, according to the mayor’s office.

“I am pleased about this important next step in our efforts to activate City Hall Plaza,” Mayor Marty Walsh said. “This endeavor is the beginning of a joint venture that will help transform the plaza into a year-round destination, inviting the people of Boston to see the plaza come to life in new and exciting ways.”

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A “twist on a traditional ice rink,” New England’s first custom outdoor skating path will cover nearly 11,000 square feet and open after Thanksgiving until February 2017, the mayor’s office said. Skating programs are expected to be offered as well.

The European-inspired holiday market will house local and international vendors in individual chalets, allowing visitors to “experience seasonal delicacies and interactive attractions in a celebratory winter atmosphere.” The market will open after Thanksgiving and continue through New Year’s Day 2017, according to the mayor’s office.

These enhancements are part of the larger project to improve City Hall Plaza throughout the year in an effort to create a “vibrant public space” that welcomes all, the mayor’s office said.

“City Hall Plaza is the heart of the City, and we share Mayor Walsh’s vision to provide a welcoming, enticing communal space that better serves the residents and visitors of Boston,” CEO of Delaware North’s Boston Holdings Charlie Jacobs said.

An earlier conceptual vision of the plaza included a Ferris wheel and full-service restaurant, but both ideas have been put on hold due to construction concerns, The Boston Globe reports.

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