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Outdoor ice skating rinks in and around Vancouver to check out this winter

Here are four scheduled outdoor ice skating venues (and four more public waterways that could potentially open to skating) to check out this winter in and around Metro Vancouver.
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Crisp air, warm mittens, and a pair of skates strapped on your feet: What better way to spend some time outdoors this winter. While Vancouver winters are mild, we still have a few places in and around the city where outdoor ice skating happens in the chillier months.

 Outdoor ice skating/ShutterstockOutdoor ice skating/Shutterstock

While there are a handful of “sure things” when it comes to regularly operated outdoor skating rinks, there are also some public park waterways that may open to skating if the conditions are deemed safe by local authorities--for those, it's all up to Mother Nature.

Here are four scheduled outdoor ice skating venues (and four more public waterways that could potentially open to skating) to check out this winter in and around Metro Vancouver.

Robson Square

 Robson Square / ShutterstockRobson Square / Shutterstock

One of Vancouver’s favourite winter things is free ice skating at Robson Square. Downtown Vancouver’s only outdoor ice skating rink will operate this winter from December through February. Skate rentals available; cash only.

When: Dec. 1, 2018-Feb. 28, 2019

Where: Robson Square – 800 Robson St., Vancouver

Grouse Mountain Skating Pond

The 8,000-square-foot ice skating pond at Grouse Mountain happens to be the only mountaintop skating rink in the lower mainland, and they kick off their skating season in mid-November. Admission to the rink is included with a Grouse Mountain Alpine Experience ticket, Snow Pass, or Annual Local’s Pass. Skate rentals are available for all ages on site.

When: Mid-Nov. 2018-April 2019; check current conditions for details

Where: 6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver

Tsawwassen Springs

 Tsawwassen Springs/Facebook

Skate on the fairways outdoors in Tsawwassen for some old fashioned fun. The small rink offers big views of the North Shore Mountains, and a festive atmosphere. No rentals–bring your own skates. We've confirmed the rink will open for the season this year; a rep says they're aiming for late November, and will post updates to their Facebook page.

Where: 5133 Springs Blvd., Delta (Tsawwassen)

When: Dates TBD; typically Dec. to Jan.

Whistler Olympic Plaza

Skate like a champion in the heart of Whistler Village at the seasonal rink in Olympic Plaza. Hit the ice while enjoying the surrounding views of mountains, the Olympic Rings, and holiday lights. Opening date has been set for Dec. 8 at 11 am. Free admission, skate rentals available for $6.

When: Dec. 8, 2018 -March 2019, weather dependent

Where: Olympic Plaza – 4144 Village Stroll, Whistler

Conditional rinks

Trout Lake (John Hendry Park)

 Girls Skating on Trout Lake, 1929. City of Vancouver Archives 99-1902Girls Skating on Trout Lake, 1929. City of Vancouver Archives 99-1902

The City of Vancouver allows ice skating on Trout Lake only when conditions permit, and they are very serious about this. Keep an eye out during our colder days for updates about Trout Lake’s ice conditions; the ice must be 12″ thick for the Parks Board to allow skating, which did happen for the first time in 20 years in January 2017.

When: TBD; weather dependent

Where: John Hendry Park – 3300 Victoria Dr., Vancouver

Garry Point Park

Just as in Vancouver, outdoor waterways in Richmond must meet rigid conditions to be deemed safe for skating. That said, the pond at Garry Point Park can sometimes meet the requirements; just stay tuned for word that you can hit the ice at this beautiful park south of the city near Steveston.

When: TBD; weather dependent

Where: 12011 Seventh Ave., Richmond

Como Lake Park & Lafarge Lake

Coquitlam’s Como Lake Park and Lafarge Lake open for skating when conditions permit (i.e. when the ice is at least 12″ thick and holding). Coquitlam offers an informative Winter Wise section on their site that covers current conditions and safety information, and they’ll share here if they have deemed Como Lake and Lafarge Lake safe for ice skating.

When: TBD; weather dependent

Where: Como Lake Park – 700 Gatensbury St., Coquitlam; Lafarge Lake at Town Centre Park – 1299 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam