Photograph courtesy of the City of Calgary
[Ed. note: This article was updated on January 12, 2018.]
The best way to make the most of chilly weather is to embrace it. And what better way to embrace it than to go ice skating? You have a lot of choice when it comes to great skating rinks in and around Calgary. These skating rinks, both indoor and outdoor, are sure to get you excited again about chilly winter weather. Dust off those skates and head to any of these rinks to practice that Lutz jump.
Outdoor skating is always weather dependent. To get up-to-date details on the outdoor rinks, visit calgary.ca/parks.
Rinks in Calgary
8900 48 Ave. N.W.
This popular rink reopened in late January 2015 following redevelopment and renovations. Skate, helmet and stabilizer rentals are available from the Skate Shop – it’s operated by the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre. Skate sharpening services are also offered here. If you have your own gear, bring along your skates and skate on this rink for free.
67 Riverview Dr. S.E.
This one-acre skating rink in Riverbend opened at the end of 2012 and it’s since become a community favourite. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables nearby for a hot chocolate afterward.
228 8 Ave. S.E.
This outdoor rink in the heart of downtown Calgary is a beautiful spot for a gentle, night-time glide or even a quick skate at lunch. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Skate rentals and skate sharpening are available from the Skate Hut, located on the southwest corner of Olympic Plaza.
223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.
When the weather gets chilly, this park in the Westwinds community is a great spot for cross-country skiing, tobogganing and ice skating at two city-run rinks. One rink is for pleasure skating only and the other is available for shinny hockey. You’ll find spray parks and a wading pool here in the summer.
4 Street and 1 Avenue S.W.
In 2011, the City introduced an inflatable rubber Aqua Dam that holds the ice in place and prevents river currents from buckling the rink. Bring your own skates to this free ice rink. Skate during the day or come at night and admire the lights all around the rink – and have a drink at the Barley Mill afterward.
2000 Southland Dr. S.W., 403-648-6555
Southland’s two indoor rinks have public skating and shinny daily (visit website for times). There are also “parent & child” skate times, where strollers are permitted on the ice. Drop-in frees are $6.80 for adults; $3.40 for children ages seven to 17; and $1.70 for children ages two to six. Rentals and skate sharpening are available in the pro-shop.
1236 16 Ave. S.W.
Thomson Family Park officially opened in October 2016. As well as playgrounds, public artwork and a picnic area, this new park as a City-run seasonal outdoor skating rink.
2500 University Dr. N.W., 403-220-7954, oval.ucalgary.ca
Skating at the University of Calgary’s Olympic Oval is an incredible experience. It was built for the 1988 Olympics and it’s still used by Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. If you want to skate the 400-metre track, check when the venue is open to the public – visit oval.ucalgary.ca for public skate times.
2000 69 St. S.W., 403-531-5875
This huge indoor rink is open for ice skating between September and March. There’s also a pond area, perfect for younger skaters or Calgarians just learning to skate. Rentals aren’t offered here. Drop-in fees for the centre are $16 for adults; $10 for children ages 10 to 17 and $5 for children ages two to nine who are accompanied by an adult.
Rinks in the Rockies
7th Avenue at Mallard Alley, Canmore
This skating rink is located in the heart of downtown Canmore. A gorgeous location with mountain views, a skate here is a great way to finish up a day in the mountains. The rink is lit for night skating until 10 p.m. and there are heated gazebos. Rentals are available at Gear Up Sport in Canmore.
111 Lake Louise Drive, Lake Louise
This magical rink is worth the drive. In fact, CNN claimed that it was one of the World’s Best Skating Rinks in 2014. Maintenance crew at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise clear the ice daily. This rink also has an ice castle made out of huge blocks of ice. 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.