Calgary Outdoor Skating Rinks to Check Out
There’s no denying it; if you try stepping outside thinking winter hasn’t arrived in Calgary, an arctic wind of –20 will change your mind quickly. You may be tempted to just stay indoors for the next, oh... 6 months, but that’ll get old real quick.
The best thing to do is just embrace it, wrap up the kids, put on those snow pants, and get out and enjoy the outdoor winter activities in the city. Along with skiing, tobogganing, and winter walks, outdoor rinks are a staple every season. They are free to use, promote family bonding, make great memories, and make the hot chocolate afterwards taste even sweeter. Thanks to living in a hockey obsessed country, we have public rinks in every community; however, we want to highlight some of the coolest places in Calgary to explore while you glide.
Olympic Plaza - 228 8 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2M5
Built in 1988 for the Winter Olympics and presenting the medals, Olympic Plaza is flooded every winter and open to the public. There is music, warming stations, benches to put on your skates, and rubber mats to walk on towards the ice. It's a hot spot for ice skaters, but there is plenty of space for everyone.
The City of Calgary hosts many special events at Olympic Plaza throughout the year, if you time it right, you can catch other events before or after you strap on the skates: https://www.calgary.ca/parks/olympic-plaza.html
Stanley Park - 4011 1a St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2P5
When the weather drops like it has and the rivers freeze over, it turns every river into an outdoor skating rink! While you must make sure the ice has frozen to a safe enough thickness before venturing out, it's a magical experience to skate on a natural winding path.
There are benches you can use to put on your skates in Stanley Park, but there is not the same level of amenities as a community arena or Olympic Plaza; you have to make due to experience a more natural skating experience. Skate guards are required, so you can walk from putting them on – either in the vehicle or on the bench – and heading to the frozen river: https://www.calgary.ca/parks/stanley-park.html
Bowness Park Ice Skating Lagoon - 8900 48 Ave NW, Calgary, AB T3B 2B2
If you are in the Bowness area, or are willing to make the trip, Bowness Park has one of the best locations for outdoor skating. There is access to both the Bow River and the Bow River Lagoon.
Beyond the ice trails and frozen lagoon, there are ice bikes, fire pits and bbq stands, and something called Crokicurl, which appears to be a portmantua of Crokinole and curling, which is appropriate because the game is a mix of Crokinole and curling: https://www.calgary.ca/parks/bowness-park-winter-activities.html