Calgary has a huge number of outdoor rinks most of which are run by volunteers and all of which are free to use.
Community Outdoor Rinks
There are more than 30 outdoor hockey arenas and many communities also maintain an outdoor rink. Many communities have two rinks, one with boards (to use with stick and pucks) and one without (for pleasure skating). Some are run through the city’s adopt a rink program (pleasure skating only) and others are run by the communities themselves.
You can find reviews and information on many of Calgary’s rinks on http://calgaryrinks.com/.
Outdoor skating rinks in Calgary are (obviously) weather dependent, but typically open in mid-December and continue through February. Helmets are recommended particularly for kids.
City of Calgary Outdoor Rinks
The city of Calgary also maintains 6 outdoor rinks – 2 regular pleasure skating rinks, 3 pond/lagoon skating rinks and one with a refrigerated ice surface. Hockey sticks are not permitted on the city run outdoor rinks. These rinks are also free of charge.
Regular Outdoor Skating Rinks
- Big Marlborough Park (Large rink by the dry pond) – 6033 Madigan Dr NE
- Prairie Winds Park – (large rink) – 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.
Pond/Lagoon Skating Rinks
- Carburn Park (pond rink) – 67 Riverview Dr. SE ) – This rink is new this year
- Bowness Park (Lagoon rink) – 8900 48 Ave. N.W. – skate rentals, skate sharpening and stabilization bar rentals are available at the Park Side Cafe. 2014 review at calgaryrinks.ca
- Prince’s Island Park (Lagoon rink) – 4 St. and 1 Ave. S.W.
Rink with Refrigerated Ice Surface
- Olympic Plaza – 228 8 Ave. S.E. (10 a. – 9 pm) – this is the only refrigerated outdoor ice surface in the city. Due to this the rink opens earlier than the other rinks (late November) and closes later (mid March). Washrooms are on site and they now have skate rentals too. Hockey sticks, toboggans, sleds & strollers are not permitted on the ice.
Other Outdoor Rinks
Spruce Meadows – Spruce Meadows hosts a pond skating rink in the Winter months as well. They have bales of hay for you to sit on while you lace your skates and the pond is cleared regularly. It would be lovely later in the day when the Spruce Meadows Christmas trees are lit.
CLOSED for this year – Heritage Park (1900 Heritage Drive SW) often also offers skating outdoors on an artificial ice surface. The rink is located just before the gates at the Towne Square and does not require admission. -CLOSED-
What’s your family’s favorite skating rink? Do you know of a rink I’ve missed?