It’s fairly simple as long as you’ve got some basic requirements:
1. A flat spot to set up a rink. My maximum space is 40’ by 28’. I’m limited by a fence, driveway, house and tree.
Flat is super important. I luckily have a rise of 7” over the length of the rink and it’s level side to side.
2. Something to keep the water in. I buy a rink liner from. A place I found online, Blue Lakes Plastics in Minnesota. 32’ by 45’ white plastic liner for $130 USD delivered.
I’ve done the old school ‘wet down the snow’ method a couple of times. It only works when it’s reallly cold for a duration and warm ups not only melt your rink, but the water runs off. All gone.
Bathtub method is far easier and reliable.
3. Sides. Gotta consider how much these may cost and how to store this stuff afterward. After careful deliberation I arrived building a fence two feet high on the high end of the rink and 2 feet 7 inches on the lower end.
I used 8’ long 5/4 treated decking from my local big box lumber store and built 8’ long fence sections (or less as required) and used deck screws to keep stuff together. I also pounded galvanized posts into the ground to keep the sides up. Drop in liner. Fill. Done.