Ice skating is an age old tradition, and the chilly weather’s arrival means it’s time to dust of those skates and get ready to have some winter fun. While there are numerous indoor and outdoor rinks around the community, check out these top ice skating rinks in Calgary, AB.
Bowness Park Lagoon
Located at 8900 48 Ave. N.W. is Bowness Park Lagoon, which is by far one of the best ice skating rinks in Calgary for a number of reasons. Recently renovated and redeveloped, one can brink their own skates to the park and use the outdoor rink for free. However, skates, helmets and stabilizers can be rented from the onsite Skate Shop operated by University of Calgary Outdoor Centre.
Beyond skating, visitors can enjoy picnic areas with fire pits and BBQ stands or explore the lagoon by boat. Bowness Park Lagoon also offers train rides and features a unique playground for youngsters. This park also has an area specifically for cross-country skiing in the wintertime. After a day at play, head to the Tea House for a warm beverage and tasty treats.
Carburn Park is located at 67 Riverview Dr. S.E. and features a one-acre outdoor ice skating rink that’s been open for public use since 2012. Nestled along the eastern shore of the Bow River, this exquisite natural area features three ponds that freeze over and multiple picnic tables for visitor’s enjoyment. There is a regional pathway teeming with a treasure trove of birds and other beautiful creatures, as Carburn Park also serves as a wildlife habitat. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are also welcome here, making this treasure a community favourite.
Prairie Winds Park
This park located at 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E. began as a simple installation in 1990 with a gazebo and the planting on 90 trees in honour of Grant MacEwan’s 90th birthday. After an 11.9 million dollar renovation, Prairie Winds Park is now a large destination park that is a vital part of the Westwinds community. There are two city-run skating rinks here—one solely for shinny hockey and one dedicated to pleasure ice skating.
However, this incredible park is also a remarkable place for tobogganing and cross-country skiing in winter. Those looking for family fun will appreciate the playscape area, replete with a zipline, running bowl and a concrete wave. Along the nature-filled trails there are fitness stations available year round. Prairie Winds Park also features basketball courts, tennis courts and a soccer field for those seeking a bit of competition beyond the ice rinks.
The Olympic Oval
Public skating has officially opened for the season at Olympic Oval in Calgary. Come down with your family to skate on the fastest ice rink in the world! It's a great time of the year to sharpen up your skates and take in some exercise to help work off the holiday feasts!
The ice ovals are located at the University of Calgary at 2500 University Drive NW. The rink attracts some of the best athletes locally, nationally and internationally. This is a world-class skating venue and every year thousands of public skaters, coaches, athletes and visitors make their way into the building.
This is where the Olympic Winter skating competitions were held in 1988. This facility can boast having the fastest ice worldwide due to the 292 world records that have been set in both short and long track speed skating during the last 27 years.
It isn't easy maintaining this fast-paced rink that consists of 3 surfaces. There is one speed skating long track oval and 2 hockey rinks that fit into the oval ice. Only demineralized water can be used to make the ice since it reduces mineral and dirt buildup better than regular water.
The 3 different ice surface temperatures are independently controlled. The temperatures range anywhere from -2°C up to -7°C and vary according to the activities that will be performed upon them. As well, air circulation, air temperature and humidity levels need to be taken into account. The ice technicians that maintain the rinks also have to factor in how many spectators will be in the facility during events.
Take some time during this busy season to skate on the fastest ice in the world along with your friends and family. The admission prices are low and you may even find that one of your children has a special talent on ice that needs to be further explored.
Originally constructed in 1988 solely for the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, Olympic Plaza at 228 8 Ave. S.E. has evolved into one of the local’s favourite destinations—especially for downtown workers during lunch hour. Of course, the city’s only refrigerated outdoor surface is also a remarkable place to take a gentle glide across the ice beneath the city’s impressive lights. Skating her is free, and rentals are available at the onsite Skate Hut. Large seating areas with views of the ‘Famous Five’ sculpture make this a great place to simply enjoy a chilly winter night.
Don't let the winter chill give you the blues, put on those skating shoes and hit one of these top ice skating rinks in Calgary with friends and family today.