It doesn't happen every year, but when it does----we love it! After a cold spell, we drill the ice on our pond and if it is thick enough to be safe, we skate. And it doesn't come without a little effort----we don't own a Zamboni so we have to clear the ice ourselves of snow. The first ice of the year is the best---smooth and clear. Yesterday we had a little skating party and it is a good thing we did---because today with the warm-up there is open water!