backyard ice rink

Ontario dad builds backyard ice rink for kids and is obsessed with watching it freeze

An Ontario dad was so excited for his homemade backyard ice rink to be ready that he literally watched it freeze over the holidays, and people are loving his wife's adorable behind-the-scenes videos of the process.

Building an amazing backyard rink has become a fun lockdown pastime and a way to get outside for activity while gyms and arenas closed.

Windsor resident Hussein Khalil says with hockey cancelled and Ontario reverting back to a modified Step 2, he really wanted the rink to be ready for his three kids while they were bored off on holidays and from school.

"I was a little obsessed. Like, I mean I wanted to skate. I know, the kids were really anxious to skate," he tells blogTO. The weather fluctuated and it took four days for the large rink to finally freeze.

"It's like watching paint dry. Like, there's literally nothing else to do, but just sit there to watch it," he says.

The waiting and checking became so constant, his wife Jacqueline Khalil created a funny video of her husband watching the rink over the four days.

The video is quickly going viral on TikTok with more than 700,000 views. Even the Toronto Maple Leafs have watched and commented on the video.

"Seems like a guy we would get along with nicely," the team commented.

The approximately 20-foot-by-40-foot rink nearly fills up the family's backyard. Khalil says his parents are from Lebanon and not really into ice hockey, so he never played on any teams growing up.

"I never learned to skate and I just kind of taught myself how to skate," he says.

Now, his five-year-old son is just getting into hockey and Khalil says he's living vicariously through him.

"So I'm trying to play with him as much as possible, put them on the ice as much as possible. Let him you know, practice and learn."

Khalil bought a kit online called EZ Ice Rink and started to put it together while off from work during the holidays. He filled it with water about two weeks ago. He also made a Zamboni out of PCP tubes attached to a hose and a squeegee.

Now that the rink is finished, his children — two boys aged five and three and a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter — have spent hours skating on it.

His daughter had her very first skate on the rink recently in a jolly jumper.

His wife was a figure skater as a child and helps everyone skate around safely.

"We are on there constantly," says Khalil. "Hours and hours and hours."

Lead photo by


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