Experience the winter bucket list in Calgary and go ice skating at Bowness Park Lagoon. It’s the most scenic outdoor rink and you’ll have a blast!

We’ve been living in Calgary for several years but haven’t visited Bowness Park until we started a family. Bowness Park is the most family-friendly park in Calgary. There are playgrounds, picnic sites with barbeques, a lagoon for boating in summer and ice skating in winter.

And there’s much more.

Keep reading, and you’ll find out everything you need to know about skating at Bowness Park (and more amazing things to do in Calgary at the end).

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Skating at Bowness Park

Where’s Bowness Park?

Bowness Park is located in the northwest part of Calgary. It sits along the Bow River between Stoney Trail and 85 Street NW (across Baker Park). The lagoon for ice skating runs along the southern edge of Bowness Park.

For directions to Bowness Park, set up your GPS to 8900 48 Ave NW or click here for the map.

Skating at Bowness Park

When is the best time to go ice skating at Bowness Park Lagoon?

The Bowness Park hours are 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily, however, the skating rink is open 10 am to 10 pm, and depending on weather, the lagoon is ice-covered from mid-December to mid-March.

It’s an extremely popular park year-round, so if you’d like to avoid the crowds, come to Bowness Park during the week or in the evening when the ice is lit with LED lights.

Skating at Bowness Park

Ice skating at Bowness Park

The seating area at the lagoon has plenty of benches to put your skates on. It’s lined with rubber mats so you can easily walk in your skates to the lagoon. When you get cold, take a break by the fire pit to warm up.

Skating at Bowness Park

You can skate on the huge lagoon or follow the new 1.6 km ice trail around the park.

If you’re ready to try a new activity, Bowness is the best place to start. Calgary is the first Canadian city to offer ice biking from December 2020.

Skating at Bowness Park

You can see why it’s one of the best outdoor skating rinks in Calgary.

The skating rink at Bowness is very big, scenic, with lots of services and also offers different activities such as ice bikes, cross-country skiing, BBQ, and dining.

Whether you have a family or not, I’m sure you’ll enjoy ice skating at Bowness Lagoon.

Skate rentals at Bowness Park

Bowness Park Skate Shop (operated by University of Calgary Outdoor Centre) provides rentals of skates, ice bikes, skate-aid (stabilizer for small children), skate sharpening, and helmets (free). They’re located at the Boathouse.

Safety information for ice skating at Bowness Park lagoon: helmets are not mandatory at outdoor ice rinks in Calgary but are strongly recommended.

See their website for current pricing.

Skating at Bowness Park

What else is at Bowness Park?

  • Tea House – offers sandwiches, cupcakes, coffee, and hot chocolate. See the below picture for the menu and pricing.

Skating at Bowness Park

  • Seasons of Bowness Park – restaurant and grab & go offer dine-in or take-out options; click here for their menu
  • Shinny Ice Rink
  • Curling rink
  • Playground
  • Fire Pits and BBQs – a great option for a picnic after the skating session
  • Washrooms – open during winter
  • Cross-country skiing
  • NEW IN 2022: 4 rinks for Crokicurl – new outdoor game combining crokinol and curling

And if you’d like to visit Bowness Park in summer, there’s:

  • boat, canoe & kayak rental
  • mini train ride
  • wading pool
  • lots of ducks for kids to admire
  • movie in the park (check out the Bowness Association for upcoming events and programs)

I also loved stand-up paddleboarding on the Bowness Lagoon and on the narrow, shallow, and quiet channel.

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Essential details about ice skating at Bowness Lagoon

  • Check out the skating conditions at Bowness Lagoon here before you head out
  • Rinks and ice trails are free to use
  • Hockey sticks, toboggans or sleds are not allowed on the ice; strollers are allowed
  • Surfaces are maintained and flooded during low usage hours
  • Parking is limited and hard to find during the weekend, so you might have to circle around the parking lot for a bit (parking on the street before the entrance to Bowness Park is only for residents with permits)

Lace up and have fun!

Winter activities in Calgary

Winter day trips from Calgary


Did you try ice skating at Bowness Park lagoon? Let us know your experience in the comments.


 

About Maya Steiningerova

Heyo, I’m Maya! An adventure athlete currently living near the Canadian Rockies with my partner in crime Michal. I love running in the mountains, jumping in the ice cold lakes, mountain biking and trying not so common activities, such as mountaineering. By showing that an ordinary person can live an extraordinary life, my hope is to inspire you to live an adventurous life and provide you with tips and tools for your own adventure.