From the heart of downtown Vancouver to mountain tops, here’s where you should be lacing up for outdoor skating this winter.
Robson Square, Downtown Vancouver
An obvious choice—the Robson Square skating rink is always filled with people wanting to get a good skate in. It’s pretty much a prerequisite to being a Vancouverite during the holidays. This beloved tradition is something many people look forward to all year long. It’s right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon before dinner or going Christmas shopping. Skating is also free (if you bring your own skates). And if you need to rent them there, they have them available for $5. There’s also a concession selling hot chocolate to warm you up. Just remember, they only accept cash.
The Shipyards, North Vancouver
A skate plaza is coming VERY soon to The Shipyards on the North Shore. Once it opens, you’ll have an all-new place to hit the rink, with downtown Vancouver as the backdrop. It will also be the region’s biggest outdoor rink, at 12,000 square feet. Skate rentals will be available on-site as well as free helmet rentals. But if you have your own skates, you can skate for free—much like the set up at Robson Square. It’s set to open sometime this winter and we can’t wait to welcome a new rink to the region.
Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver
Arguably the most magical place to go skating in the entire province. Take the gondola up to Grouse Mountain, or should we say, The North Pole. During the holidays, they go all out with decorations and festive events for the Peak of Christmas. Their 8,000 square foot skating pond is the perfect place to go for a skate while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Skating is included in the price of a lift ticket, as well as watching Christmas flicks in the movie theatre located just steps away from the rink. Rentals are available for an added cost. While you’re there, check out the real reindeer and a festive light walk.
Olympic Plaza, Whistler
If you find yourself in Whistler this holiday season—you have to check out the outdoor rink in the Olympic Plaza. It’s right in the heart of the village and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. It’s also close to a plethora of good eateries in the area to warm up at afterwards. Admission is also free and rentals are available for $7. We can’t think of a better way to spend a chilly Winter day.
Butchart Gardens, Victoria
There’s nothing better than twinkling lights, Christmas music and a pristine rink to cap off the perfect festive day. Located at the beautiful Butchart Gardens, the cost of skating here is included in your admission ticket ($27.50 for adults). The garden is absolutely breathtaking this time of year with lights scattered throughout. You can warm up by a fire on-site afterwards, with a cup of hot cocoa.
Aurora Winter Festival, Vancouver
One of the largest winter festivals in the city is Aurora. And of course, that includes a skating pond. Located at the PNE fair grounds this year—the skating rink is bigger and better than ever. Go for a festive spin around the Tim Hortons skating pond while taking in the light installations (it doesn’t get much more Canadian than that). The rink is included in your admission and rentals are available for $6. They also have lots of food options, rides, slides and games.