I’m sharing all outdoor rinks in Calgary with photos and detailed descriptions so you can go have fun outside in winter.
When we moved to Calgary in 2012, I remember asking a Canadian girl what Calgarians do during long and cold winters. She told me: “We stay inside.”
I’m happy to report that I don’t find it to be true.
Calgary has many parks where you can cross country ski, snowshoe or ice skate. Outdoor skating in Calgary is our favourite city activity during winter.
We’ve tried a fair amount of outdoor rinks in Calgary, smaller in communities or bigger ones in city parks. Over the years, we also became huge fans of shinny hockey (if you’re unaware of the term as we once were – it’s a random group of people who meet on ice and play an ice hockey game).
Options for outdoor rinks in Calgary
While it differs year by year, outdoor ice skating in Calgary is usually possible from mid-December to February.
Outdoor rinks in Calgary – maintained by communities
Calgary has more than 50 outdoor skating rinks run by volunteers through the Adopt-a-rink volunteer program, and outdoor rinks run by communities themselves. Adopted rinks are for pleasure skating only; no pucks or hockey sticks are allowed.
Plenty of communities have two different rinks: one for pleasure skating (without boards) and one for ice hockey (with boards and sometimes nets). They are free to use, but some rinks are only accessible by members of the community.
A big bonus is an indoor changing room and night lights available in some communities.
If you’re using a rink in your community, consider buying a membership or volunteering to help with flooding and maintenance.
When we lived in Acadia in Calgary’s southeast, we used their ice rink and joined volunteers to help with flooding. It was -20C that night, and let me tell you; the flooding takes a while. Kudos to all volunteers who come out no matter what.
As the community came together, we also found it to be the perfect opportunity to practice ice skating. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a rookie, there’s something incredibly therapeutic about gliding across the ice.
Outdoor rinks in Calgary – maintained by the city
Apart from the outdoor community rinks, the City of Calgary maintains nine outdoor rinks:
- All rinks are free to use and regularly maintained
- Pleasure skating only, no hockey sticks or sleds allowed
- Check The City of Calgary website if your preferred rink is open
1. Big Marlborough Park
Skating rink at 6033 Madigan Dr. N.E.; skating hours 5 am to 11 pm (no skate rentals available).
Big Marlborough Park is very popular due to its large outdoor skating rink with a fire ring and also a toboggan hill.
2. Bowness Park
Lagoon with fire pit, and a new 1.6 km ice trail along the Bow River at 8900 48 Ave. N.W.; skating hours 10 am to 10 pm; skates, helmets and ice bike rentals available; picnic sites and washrooms available.
You can skate on the huge lagoon, on the narrow channel or on the ice trail. And if you get tired, hop into the Tea House for some hot chocolate.
Since the 2021/2022 season, there’re also 4 rinks for Crokicurl – a new outdoor game combining crokinole and curling.
Bowness Park Lagoon is the best outdoor rink in Calgary and my personal favourite.
Read the full blog post: Skating at Bowness Park – everything you need to know
3. Carburn Park
Pond rink with a fire pit at 67 Riverview Dr. S.E.; skating hours 11 am to 11 pm; picnic benches and washrooms available.
I like Carburn Park for ice skating because it’s a big rink with trees around, and plenty of picnic benches.
4. North Glenmore Park
Skating rink and new 730m long ice trail at 7305 Crowchild Tr. S.W.; skating hours 11 am to 10 pm; picnic sites and washrooms available.
It’s a small outdoor rink compared to others on this list, but the ice trail at North Glenmore Park is beautiful and a great option to enjoy some longer skating sessions.
Bonus is that the ice trail is lit when it gets dark. You can also visit the nearby North Glenmore Park Inclusive Playground with kids.
5. Olympic Plaza
The only refrigerated skating rink in Calgary at 228 8 Ave. S.E. opened the longest from late November to mid-March; skating hours 10 am to 9 pm; skate rentals available; washrooms available.
Olympic Plaza opens as the first outdoor rink in Calgary every season. So if you’re craving ice skating in November, this is the place to go.
6. Prairie Winds Park
Two rinks (pleasure skating and ice hockey) at 223 Castleridge Blvd. N.E.; skating hours 5 am to 11 pm.
7. Thomson Family Park
Downtown skating rink at 1236 16 Ave. S.W.
Isn’t it amazing that even in a densely populated area there’s an outdoor skating rink.
8. Prince’s Island Park
The lagoon at 4 St. and 1 Ave. S.W.; closed in the 2022/2023 season.
This is a very big and scenic outdoor rink in Calgary and I hope they will open it again.
9. Barb Scott Park
Downtown skating rink in a new park 12 Avenue and 9 Street SW; skating hours 5 am to 11 pm.
Another outdoor rink in Calgary is at Barb Scott Park. It’s quite big and I think it’s also an excellent use of the area in winter.
Winter activities in Calgary
- Cross country skiing in downtown Calgary
- 10 Best trails for cross country skiing in Calgary & beyond
- Discover 26 amazing wall murals in Calgary with our map
- Hot Chocolate Festival in Calgary
- 40 Awesome things to do with kids in Calgary
- Zoolights in Calgary: 18 Best displays and tips for visiting
- Glow Festival in Calgary
Winter day trips from Calgary
- 15 Best winter activities in Canmore
- Ice skating on frozen mountain lakes
- Dinosaur museum in Drumheller
- Frozen winter wonderland in Johnston Canyon
- Hiking up the Sulphur Mountain in Banff
- Cross country ski trails in Banff
Do you like outdoor skating in Calgary? Share with us which outdoor rink in Calgary is your favourite.