Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on January 11, 2024
When the temps dip below freezing, folks get excited to strap on a pair of skates and go ice skating in Calgary. Once the ice is thick enough, there are plenty of spots around the city for a leisurely skate. Whether it’s outdoor on a pond, an outdoor rink or an indoor facility, there are plenty of choices for where to go.
The Best Places to Go Ice Skating in Calgary
Location: 8900 48 Ave NW
Perhaps one of the most famous spots for public skating in Calgary, Bowness Park has fantastic outdoor ice skating in winter. Skating on the Bowness Park Lagoon is incredibly popular, but there’s also the incredible ice trail that takes you down 1.6 kilometres on the frozen Bow River.
Bowness Park itself is a haven for winter activities; besides the outdoor skating, there’s also cross-country skiing, ice bikes, croki-curl, curling, and fire pits to enjoy. If you only have one opportunity to go skating in Calgary this winter, do so at Bowness Park.
North Glenmore Park
Location: 7305 Crowchild Trail SW
One of the nicest places to skate in Calgary is in North Glenmore Park. Here, you’ll find a 730-metre ice trail that is perfect for pleasure skating amongst the trees on a beautiful winter’s day.
There are also other places to skate at the west end of the park near the 37 Street SW park entrance, including a shinny-hockey rink. Another huge bonus of skating at North Glenmore Park? There are skate rentals available!
Barb Scott Park
Location: 1009 12 Ave SW
Open from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day, the Barb Scott Park skating rink is one of the best places for outdoor ice skating in Calgary; not only is the downtown location incredibly convenient, it also comes with a beautiful backdrop. Right next to the Chinook Arc, you get to enjoy the sculpture and its soft, colourful glow as you skate.
Location: 228 8 Ave SE
You can’t talk about ice skating in Calgary without mentioning the Olympic Plaza. A large outdoor skating rink that’s perfect for an urban skate, this is an especially popular spot at night. Originally built in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games, the plaza has one of the only outdoor refrigerated skating rinks in the city.
Make sure to keep an eye out for events on the outdoor rink at Olympic Plaza; sometimes, there’s music, light displays, and more throughout the season.
Prairie Winds Park
Location: 223 Castleridge Blvd NE
You’ll find two rinks at Prairie Winds Park: the North Rink and the South Rink. Open daily from 5 am to 11 pm – giving you ample opportunity to fit in some time to skate – it’s perfect for pleasure skating, family skating and more.
While none of the City of Calgary outdoor skating rinks allow for hockey sticks or nets, Prairie Winds Park is still a very popular spot for spending quality time on the ice.
Big Marlborough Park
Location: 6033 Madigan Dr. NE
Big Marlborough Park is very popular in winter in Calgary as there is a fantastic outdoor rink as well as a toboggan hill. Some other amenities at the park include large parking lots, fire rings to keep warm, and nearby bleachers to be able to tie your skates.
Prince’s Island Park
Location: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW
Skating on the Eau Claire Lagoon in Prince’s Island Park is one of those outdoor skating rink experiences you should definitely try in Calgary. With the gorgeous setting of the park – it’s home to many festivals throughout the year because of its beauty – it’s the perfect spot for a date night or family skate.
Please note that the Prince’s Island Park skating rink is closed for the 2023/2024 season due to construction.
Location: 67 Riverview Drive SE
One of the most beloved parks in southeast Calgary, it’s also home to one of the most popular outdoor skating rinks in the city.
With picnic tables, fire pits, and more, this location along the Bow River is perfect for when you want a little peace and serenity while still staying in the city.
West Confederation Park
Location: 2836 Canmore Rd NW
Sometimes referred to as North Capitol Hill Park, West Confederation Park has a brand new outdoor skating rink open to the public located in the northeast corner of the park, between the tennis courts and the baseball field.
A terrific spot for the whole family, there’s seasonal lighting, picnic tables, benches, fire pits, and two geo-domes for you to warm up in.
Please note that the 2023/24 season is a trial run for this skating rink, so it may not open in future years.
Thomson Family Park
Location: 1236 16 Ave SW
Thomson Family Park is a fairly new addition to Calgary, but it is already one of the most popular spots in the city for outdoor ice skating! With a great location – you’re an easy walk to the shopping and restaurants of 17th Avenue – a skate in Thomson Family Park is a fantastic way to spend a wintry day in the city.
Central Commons Park
Location: 4410 University Ave NW
With over three acres to explore, Central Commons Park has something for everyone. Surrounded by shops, restaurants, and a cinema, in winter there’s a skating rink, picnic tables, public washrooms, fire pits, and more.
Go for a skate and then visit one of the nearby restaurants for the perfect winter evening in Calgary!
University of Calgary Olympic Oval
Location: 288 Collegiate Blvd NW
Built for the Calgary Olympic Games in 1988, the indoor University of Calgary Olympic Oval is open to the public for recreational skating! While it’s known for speed skating – it’s called “the fastest ice in the world” – there are opportunities for public skating for all ages.
There are skate and helmet rentals available (you must wear a helmet when skating here) and it’s possible to buy a season pass if you know you’ll frequently visit the rink.
Southland Leisure Centre
Location: 2000 D Southland Dr SW
Fancy an indoor skating rink? Head to the Southland Leisure Centre, one of the two leisure centres owned and operated by the City of Calgary.
With two indoor arenas, there is drop-in recreational skating and sports, although you’re also able to book the rinks for figure skating, hockey, ringette, birthday parties, and more.
The Adopt-a-Rink Program in Calgary is run by volunteers in local communities. Through this program, volunteers help flood and maintain existing community pleasure skating rinks all over the city of Calgary. And with over 65 outdoor skating rinks run by volunteers in Calgary, you’re never too far from one!
All of the adopt-a-rinks are free, but some are only accessible to members of the community. There are no hockey sticks or pucks allowed on any of the adopt-a-rink skating rinks, as they are for pleasure skating only.
If you want to get out and explore the rest of the city, check out our complete guide to visiting Calgary.
Pete is a co-founder of Road Trip Alberta. Growing up in Edmonton he has an extensive knowledge of Alberta and everything the province has to offer. He loves to eat good food, hike (especially in the winter), play tennis and curl. Apart from running Road Trip Alberta, he is a director with HMI, a digital media agency, half of the Hecktic Travels duo, and a co-creator of the popular card game Trip Chaser.