With Covid restrictions limiting Calgarians’ opportunities to stay active indoors, many families are spending a lot more time outside than usual. Even with temperatures dropping, ice skating at an outdoor rink is a fun-filled way to spend an afternoon. We’ve rounded up a list of some of our favourite spots to hit the ice, both in Calgary and outside city limits.
*Note: While there are tons of amazing natural ponds and lakes around Calgary to skate on, we’ve left any that are not regularly maintained off of this list for safety reasons.
Bowness Park Lagoon | calgary.ca
8900 48 Ave. N.W.
The lagoon at Bowness Park is a pretty magical spot for skating, which means it can get pretty busy on the weekends. There is capacity for 600 skaters at a time on the lagoon, as well as room for 100 skaters on the nearby 1.6 km ice trail. Skating is open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, so visiting the park outside of peak hours is not a bad idea to make sure you can snag a parking spot! The University of Alberta Outdoor Centre has skate rentals available; this year, they have also added ice bikes to their rental equipment, so be sure to give this fun new sport a try!
North Glenmore Ice Trail| calgary.ca
7305 Crowchild Trail S.W.
For a fun alternative to skating on a rink, North Glenmore Park’s ice trail has over 730 metres of connected track, through North Glenmore park, with an attached skating rink located in the centre. Warm up by one of the fire pits or pack a picnic lunch for the perfect afternoon! 82 skaters are permitted at a time on the ice track, which is open from 5 a.m to 11 p.m.
228 8 Avenue SE
Olympic Plaza is the city’s only refrigerated ice surface, which means it opens earlier and closes later in the season than any other rink. It’s a great place to skate, with music playing from speakers overhead, and twinkling lights all around. There are fire pits to warm up at and plenty of great spots downtown to grab some hot chocolate afterwards! The ice is open for skating from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and has capacity for 47 skaters at a time.
Carburn Park | calgary.ca
67 Riverview Dr. SE
Carburn Park has a great natural surface for ice skating on their lagoon, which is open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. 155 skaters are welcome to use the pond at the same time. There are also picnic tables and walking paths nearby to enjoy the rest of your afternoon in the park!
Thomson Family Park | calgary.ca
1236 16 Avenue SW
Thomson Family Park is bringing ice skating to the Beltline! This inner-city rink is open from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. and has capacity for 39 skaters at a time. Nearby, there are picnic tables, walkways and overhead lights to enjoy.
Community Rinks | calgarycommunities.com
This winter, my family and I were surprised to find that there was more than one ice rink hidden within walking distance from our home. The city has tons of outdoor rinks maintained by community associations in every quadrant. Visit the link above for a list of all of the community rinks you can find throughout Calgary!
Volunteer-Run Rinks | calgary.ca
Calgary has over 50 rinks run by volunteers through the Adopt-A-Rink volunteer program. Through this program, over 150 volunteers help flood and maintain existing community pleasure skating rinks throughout Calgary. These locations are subject to change, due to volunteer availability. If you’re interested in volunteering to start a rink in your own community, or to help out with an existing rink, call 311 for more details. Visit the link above to see a list of volunteer-run rinks throughout the city!
The Pond (Canmore) | canmore.ca
7th Avenue at Mallard Alley
If you’re looking for skating in a spot with beautiful mountain views without the cost of gate admission into the provincial park, The Pond in Canmore is a great option. Located in the heart of downtown, the rink is lit for skating until 10 p.m. with heated gazebos to warm up in. If you need to find some rental skates, head over to Gear Up Sport to pick some up. Capacity for this rink is 72 people.
Lake Louise | banfflakelouise.com
Our family had a chance to head out to Lake Louise for a skate earlier this winter, and it was definitely a magical experience. Although it was a 2 hour drive, it was more than worth it. With the beautiful scenery, horse-drawn sleighs, twinkling lights, a gorgeous ice castle, and the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise right next to the lake, it was definitely a day we’ll never forget. Skate rentals are available from Chateau Mountain Sports, next to the hotel’s lobby, for $13 for two hours or $16 for a full day. Rentals are also available at Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise.
Banff | banfflakelouise.com
If visiting Banff is on your to-do list, there are three outdoor rinks where you can lace up your skates and hit the ice! The rinks are located at the Banff High School, on Bear Street and at the Fenlands. All rinks are free to skate at however online pre-registration is required.
What are your favourite spots to go ice skating in or around Calgary? We’d love to hear (or even to see some pictures of you in action!) Drop them in the comments!