‘Boston Winter’ wonderland to open on redesigned City Hall Plaza

Nick Norris and Scott Grealish of Ice Rink Events rolled tubing for the skating path ahead of the opening of "Boston Winter" at City Hall Plaza. Antifreeze is used in the tubing to freeze the water. Craig F. Walker / Globe Staff

City Hall Plaza has long been a red-brick tundra where mayoral dreams came to die.

But soon, the dreary landscape will turn into something unrecognizable — a winter wonderland, with a giant ice skating loop, “chalets” selling ornaments, chocolate fountains, and copious holiday decorations.

“It’s magical, it’s beautiful, it’s creative,’” said Patrick Brophy, the city’s chief of operations.

“Boston Winter,” which debuts Friday, seems like a smaller version of New York’s impressive Bryant Park. Though less ambitious than originally planned — the restaurant and “iconic observation wheel” proposals envisioned for next spring were scrapped due to logistics and finances — the site is the realization of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s vision to reinvent the plaza.


“The city has been hungry for something like this for a long time. It’s all been on paper, but now it’s really coming to life,’” said Amy Latimer, president of TD Garden, a subsidiary of Delaware North Cos., which won the bid for the plaza’s reinvention.

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