Neighbors are often hit or miss. There’s no getting around that. Sometimes you get awesome fun people you can be friends with. Other times you get some old guy who mows his lawn shirtless every Saturday at 7:30 AM.

Shaun and Laura Carlon, of Maple Grove, Minnesota, are pretty clearly in the former group. Take a look at this sweet backyard hockey rink, complete with awesome colored LED lighting under the ice for night skating:

The very best part of the story, though, is how Shaun and Laura built it, and the purpose for which it’s used.


“My wife throws out crazy ideas,” said Shawn Carlon. “I usually figure out a way to do them.” When the Carlon family moved into their home in Maple Grove, it came with a sizeable backyard and a tennis court.

“I thought, ‘Well we’re not really tennis people, we don’t really play,’” Laura Carlon said. Shawn, who owns a flooring business, decided to make the court into an ice rink for the winter. Two years ago, Laura had a bigger idea. “I said, ‘I wonder if there’s a way to have some kind of light?’”

Using a flooring program, Shawn mapped out his design, and then laid down waterproof LED lights in a layer of ice on the rink. He covered the lights in another layer of water.

Once it froze, the rink — and the sky — were glowing for all of their neighbors to see.

The Carlons, who are not a hockey family, say the rink is there to be shared, which allows them to see the faces of friends and family light up when they step out on the ice.

“I do it for the kids,” Shawn said.

Shawn and Laura will be hosting a New Year’s Day ice skating party for their neighborhood to get to experience the rink this year.

That’s a great story, and they certainly set a high bar for good neighbor attitude by building a rink for the entire neighborhood. (Hopefully they make people sign a waiver, at least.)

Well done, Carlon family.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.