7 awesome outdoor skating rinks to check out in Calgary

Jan 11 2022, 9:43 pm

It’s ODR (outdoor rink) season! Lace up your skates, pack a thermos of hot cocoa and get ready to glide around the ice on these outdoor rinks in Calgary.

Take part in a classic Canadian activity this season and get some fresh air and exercise while you’re at it. There are a number of City of Calgaryvolunteer-run, and community rinks across the city where you can get your skate on over the winter months.

City of Calgary outdoor rinks are free to use, and some locations have rentals available onsite during select hours for a fee. Not all rinks will have skate rentals, so make sure you do your research before you head out and bring your skates (or rent elsewhere) if needed.

The City also suggests a number of public health measures while using rinks during the COVID-19 pandemic, including maintaining two metres of physical distancing whenever possible, frequent hand washing, and staying home if you’re feeling ill. A complete list can be found here.

Here are seven of the best outdoor rinks to skate on in Calgary this winter.

North Glenmore Park ice trail

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North Glenmore Park ice trail (Elle McLean/Daily Hive)

North Glenmore’s ice trail has returned after a successful pilot project last winter. The 730-metre trail is complete with fire pits, viewing areas, magical twinkly lights overhead, and plenty of seating options for when you need a break — plus incredible views over the Glenmore Reservoir. Rentals are available onsite during select hours.

Where: 7305 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary
When: 11 am to 10 pm daily

Shaganappi Community Association outdoor rink

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Shaganappi Community Association (shaganappicommunity.ca)

This well-maintained rink in the community of Shaganappi features a long skating loop, a hockey rink, and a small practice area, along with a fire pit to warm up by and floodlights so that you can keep skating even as night falls.

It’s important to note that the rink is for use by Shaganappi Community Association members only — but you can sign up for a membership even if you’re not a resident of the community! If you’re not a current member, head here to purchase or renew your membership. Rentals are not available at the rink.

Where: 2516 14th Avenue SW, Calgary
When: Open daily

Barb Scott Park


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Skate next to the stunning and colourful Chinook Arc public art piece in the heart of downtown Calgary at Barb Scott Park. Find plenty of benches and tables to chill at, marvel over the majestic sandstone Dr. Carl Safran Centre building, and play with the lights of the Chinook Arc sculpture. Rentals are not available at the rink.

Where: 12th Avenue and 9th Street SW, Calgary
When: Open 5 am to 11 pm daily

Prairie Winds Park


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Redeveloped in 2017, Prairie Winds 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 also contains a toboggan hill, portable washrooms, and picnic shelters for some serious winter fun. Rentals are not available at the rink.

Where: 223 Castleridge Boulevard NE, Calgary
When: 5 am to 11 pm daily

Carburn Park


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A beautiful park that’s perfect for fishing and bird watching in the summer, Carburn is great during the winter months too. Skating in this part of the city, with the glow of downtown in the distance and the starry expanse above you, is as relaxing as it is beautiful. Rentals are not available at the rink.

Where: 67 Riverview Drive SE, Calgary
When: 11 am to 10 pm daily

Bowness Park lagoon and ice trail


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Bowness Park is a popular leisure spot for Calgarians, with boating and train rides available during the summer months and skating through the winter. Glide around Bowness Park’s lagoon and down the 1.6-kilometre ice trail alongside the Bow River. And, if you’re looking to pick up a new cold-weather sport, the park offers ice biking for both adults and children, using contraptions that operate just like a regular bicycle but set on blades made for the ice. Rentals (skates, ice bikes, and helmets) are available onsite during select hours.

Where: 8900 48th Avenue NW, Calgary
When: 5 am to 11 pm daily

Olympic Plaza

outdoor rinks calgary


Olympic Plaza is a classic spot for skating in Calgary. Round up your friends or family, bundle up, and head downtown to this beloved rink, located in the same spot that medal ceremonies took place during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Afterwards, head down Stephen Avenue to warm up with a meal, coffee, or drink at one of the many restaurants, bars, and cafes in the area. Rentals are available onsite during select hours.

Where: 228 8th Avenue SE, Calgary
When: 10 am to 9 pm daily

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