Vancouver is lucky to have quite a few options for ice skating that go beyond the usual rinks located in each community centre around town. Better yet, most offer cheap rentals for skates and steaming cups of hot chocolate.
So grab your mittens and a scarf, because these are some of the best places to go ice skating in Vancouver:
Robson Square Ice Rink
Price: Free! Skate rentals for $5 a pair
Hours: 9am to 9pm (Sun – Thurs), 9am to 11pm (Fri & Sat)
Located in the centre of downtown Vancouver, the Robson Square Ice Rink is an incredibly unique venue for an afternoon or evening skate. The rink is surprisingly spacious, but can get crowded on weekends. Good music to groove to and cheap skate rentals – it’s one of the best places to spend a magical time with friends, family, and loved ones.
Hillcrest Community Centre Rink
Price: Around $6 for adults, youth and children $3 – $5
Hours: Drop-in hours vary (more info)
Located near Main Street in the Riley Park neighbourhood, the Hillcrest Community Centre is a huge space. Constructed as part of the 2010 Olympic games, Hillcrest was named as the Vancouver Olympic/Paralympic Centre and hosted several curling events.
The ice skating rink in Hillcrest is the same size as those in the NHL and is open all year. There are many ice skating events and classes but also regular public skating times when the ice is open for cruising.
Grouse Mountain Ice Rink
Price: Access to the skating pond is complimentary with your Grouse Mountain Alpine Experience admission ticket, Membership, Winter Pass, or Lift Ticket.
Hours: Open daily from 9am-10pm
Located high above the city on Grouse Mountain is the mountaintop ice rink that offers spectacular ice skating. The 8,000 square foot ice skating pond is the only one of its kind on the West Coast. Good for a romantic evening for two or a fun-filled day with the kids, the ice skating pond is just one of the many attractions on the top of Grouse Mountain.
Vancouver neighbourhood community centre rinks
Outside of Hillcrest Community Centre, there are 7 other ice rinks that are regularly open to the public and that offer ice skating lessons for abilities of all ages. If you feel like taking a spin at any of these rinks, the Vancouver.ca website has much more information on hours/admission fees.
While in the past there have been some brave souls who have been able to skate out onto frozen lakes and ponds in Vancouver, it is usually not wise to skate in unofficial areas. Some lakes in Vancouver even have a lifeguard stationed to ensure that nobody takes the chance of entering onto the ice.
Unlike the rest of Canada, Vancouver is lucky to have fairly mild winters, meaning that the chance to skate for free on our ponds or lakes is very unlikely. With all the excellent ice skating in Vancouver listed above, don’t take the chance of skating on thin ice outdoors unless you’re absolutely sure it’s safe.