If you're seeking any sort of silver lining to a plunge in temperatures we're bound to experience again, look no further than the Palatine Park District's winter sports offerings.
The park district runs two unsupervised ice-skating rinks -- one for public skating and one for hockey -- at Community Park, 250 E. Wood St.
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Weather conditions haven't permitted officials to open them just yet, however, since the temperature must remain below 18 degrees for 30 consecutive hours to initially prepare the rinks for ice making. Then, it might take up to another week of low temperatures before they're ready.
When that time does come, rinks will be open daily with lights from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., conditions permitting. A green or red flag will be flown to signal whether the rinks are open or closed.
Skaters hope to see green more frequently than last year, when the rinks were open just seven days in all due to the unusually mild winter.
For the latest updates, call the ice hotline at (847) 705-5123 ext. 352 or visit palatineparkdistrict.com/skatingconditions.html.
Also, don't forget that the Palatine Hills Golf Course, 512 W. Northwest Highway, is available for walking, running and cross-country skiing during the winter months. Dogs are encouraged on the course, as they help with goose control.
Activities aren't restricted to the golf cart paths, and skiing is allowed if there's at least 3 inches of snow. Patrons can access the golf course through a gap between the two front gates.