8 places around Calgary where you can skate this winter

Dec 2 2020, 10:04 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Lucas Taylor.

As the holidays approach, the thrill of buying gifts for loved ones and making merry preparations can all too quickly turn into angst and stress.

A wonderful winter pastime to help reduce holiday angst, of course, ice-skating. Fortunately, Calgary has many outdoor skating rinks scattered around the city, many of which are opening mid-December.

Keep an eye on the City of Calgary’s website and Twitter account for updates on exactly when these sheets of ice will be open to the public.

Bowness Park Lagoon

What: Bowness Park is a popular leisure spot for Calgarians with boating and train rides available during the summer months; however, the beautiful lagoon is open for skating from mid-December through February. Skate rentals are available for $10 per day, and helmet rentals are free of charge. Bowness Park is located in the city’s northwest.

Where: 8900 48th Avenue NW
Opening: Expected in mid to late December

Prince’s Island Lagoon

What: Located in the very heart of the city, Prince’s Island Lagoon makes for one of the most picturesque skates around. You’ll have to wait for it to freeze solid before going for a skate, but the wait will be more than worth it.

Where: Prince’s Island Park

Carburn Park

What: A beautiful park that is perfect for fishing and bird watching in the summer, Carburn Park is great for winter too. Unfortunately, there are no skate rentals available here, but there is a public washroom open year-round.

Skating in this part of the city, the glow of downtown in the distance, and the starry expanse above you is as relaxing as it is beautiful. Carburn Park is located in the city’s southeast.

Where: 67 Riverview Drive SE
OpeningExpected in mid to late December

Big Marlborough Park

What: Featuring walking paths, two large parking lots, and a toboggan hill, Big Marlborough Park is a fantastic place for outdoor skating. The skating rink itself even features bleachers as well as a fire ring, perfect for taking a break from the ice and warming up. Skate rentals aren’t available, but it’s close to Memorial Drive East and the Trans-Canada, making the park easily accessible from almost anywhere in the city.

Where: 6033 Madigan Drive NE
Opening: Expected in mid to late December

Thomson Family Park

What: Having opened last October, Thomson Family Park will host an outdoor skating rink this winter that will be ready by mid-December. The park is home to playgrounds, walkways, a picnic area and is nestled on the corner of 11th Street southwest and 16th Avenue southwest.

Where: 1236 16th Avenue SW
Opening: Expected in mid to late December

Olympic Plaza

What: The beautiful downtown Olympic Plaza is home to a small but beautiful skating rink, open from mid-November to mid-March. Walking distance from City Hall Station on the train line, Olympic Plaza rests at the heart of downtown Calgary.

Skaters have a gorgeous view of skyline-defining buildings, including the Calgary Tower, and the entire skating rink is surrounded by beautiful holiday decorations. Skate rentals are available at the Skate Hut Thursday to Sunday evenings, starting from $8 for children and $12 for adults. Helmets are also available to rent for $5.

Where: 228 8th Avenue SE
Hours: Daily from 10 am to 9 pm

North Glenmore Ice Trail 

What: A new ice trail pilot project is coming to North Glenmore Park this December, allowing visitors the chance to skate over 730 metres of connected track running throughout the park. Once opened, the site will feature benches, picnic sites, and portable washrooms for use.

Where: 7305 Crowchild Trail SW
Hours: Expected to open in late December, hours will be 11 am to 10 pm

Prairie Winds Park

What: This park features a wading pool and a spray park in the summer, but once winter hits, it’s all about skating. Located right next to the airport (literally so close that you’re not allowed to fly kites), this park contains portable washrooms, picnic shelters, and a toboggan hill for some serious winter fun.

Where: 223 Castleridge Boulevard NE
Opening: Expected to open mid to late December

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