Chasing Ice - Vancouver’s Top 9 Ice Skating Destinations Revealed!

11 Min Read
Oct 16, 2023

As winter blankets Vancouver in a shimmering coat of frost, there's no better way to embrace the season's magic than by gliding across the city's pristine ice skating rinks. Vancouver, renowned for its stunning natural beauty, transforms into a winter wonderland during the colder months, offering locals and visitors alike a delightful ice skating experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we invite you to explore the heartwarming world of ice skating in Vancouver.  Whether you're a novice eager to learn the basics, a figure skating enthusiast perfecting your spins, or a family seeking a fun-filled winter activity, we've curated a list of the city's finest ice skating spots.

From enchanting outdoor rinks surrounded by snow-draped trees to bustling indoor arenas pulsating with energy, Vancouver's ice skating scene has something for everyone. Grab your skates, bundle up, and embark on a journey filled with laughter, graceful glides, and the joy of winter. Let's navigate the icy trails together and discover why ice skating in Vancouver is more than just a sport—it's a cherished seasonal tradition.

1. Robson Square Ice Rink

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Nestled in the heart of the city is the enchanting Robson Square Ice Rink. Imagine this: you're surrounded by the twinkling lights of downtown, and there's a gentle hum of chatter and laughter in the air.

Right there, amidst the urban jungle, is a slice of winter wonder - a pristine ice rink waiting for you to glide over.

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Now, I get it. Maybe you're thinking, "But I don't have my skates!" Worry not, my friend! At an absolute bargain of just $5, you can rent a pair of skates and find yourself swishing around in no time.

Perfect for those who are in town on a whim, looking for a dash of fun.

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And hey, for the romantics out there? Picture this: hand in hand with that special someone, skating to the rhythm of the city, and then heading off for a cozy dinner.

Sounds dreamy, right? Robson Square Ice Rink isn't just about skating; it's an experience. An experience that is, simply put, quintessential Vancouver.

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Location: Robson Ice Rink - Google Maps

2. Grouse Mountain Skating Pond

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Imagine you're perched atop Grouse Mountain, the world spread out beneath you, blanketed in a shimmering layer of snow. And right here, atop this spectacular vantage point, lies a hidden gem – the Grouse Mountain Skating Pond.

It's not your regular skating experience; it's like you're floating on ice, amidst the clouds. Every stroke you make on this pond feels like you're etching memories in the heart of nature. And trust me, when those snowflakes start to descend from the heavens, the entire experience transforms into something straight out of a fairy tale.

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Don't stress if you've left your skates behind in your quest to reach this mountaintop marvel. Adults can slide into a rental pair for just $8, and for the little adventurers, it's only $5.

The best part? If you’ve got your Grouse Mountain access ticket, the skating itself doesn’t cost an extra dime.

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Location: Grouse Mountain - Google Maps

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3. Hillcrest Centre Ice Rink

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If you're on the hunt for a place that packs in a punch when it comes to activities, I've got some fantastic news for you.

Just a hop, skip, and jump away in Vancouver lies the Hillcrest Centre, and within its welcoming walls, you’ll find the Hillcrest Centre Ice Rink.

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Let me paint a picture for you: The rink itself glistens like a mirror, reflecting the joy of every skater that steps onto its surface.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a wobbly beginner, this place welcomes everyone with open arms. And the ice? Oh, it's like gliding on a dream – smooth, crisp, and meticulously maintained.

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But what sets Hillcrest Centre apart isn't just the top-notch ice rink. It’s the amazing blend of facilities that cater to, well, just about everyone!

Feel like immersing yourself in a book post-skate? There’s a library waiting to whisk you away into countless stories. More of a fitness enthusiast? The gym's calling. Maybe you'd fancy a dip? Dive right into their swimming pool. And for those who love shooting some hoops, guess what? A basketball court is ready for action.

Location: Hillcrest Centre Ice Rink - Google Maps

4. Trout Lake Community Centre Ice Rink

Hey there, lovely folks! Are you on the lookout for a spot in Vancouver that feels like home? A place buzzing with community vibes, and just bursting at the seams with activities? Look no further than the Trout Lake Community Centre Ice Rink.

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First off, the rink. Smooth, inviting, and perfect for both first-time skaters and those who dance on ice like pros.

It's a hub of laughter, friendly challenges, and moments where you'll find yourself cheering on complete strangers. That’s the beauty of community, isn’t it?

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But wait, there’s so much more than just the ice rink. Ever been to a Mother's Day powwow? I had the chance to attend the annual event here, and it was nothing short of magical.

The vibrant energy, the cultural exchange - it truly speaks volumes about how this centre brings people together.

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Parking woes? Toss them out the window! The place has a sprawling parking lot. If you’re more of a public transit person, rejoice! Bus stops are just a stone's throw away. And for the eco-friendly bikers among us, they've got you covered with ample bike parking.

Oh, and before I forget, there’s no need to dash out for essentials. With washrooms, water fountains, and even a kitchen area, they've thought of everything.

Location: Trout Lake Community - Google Maps

5. Kerrisdale Arena

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If there's one spot in Vancouver that effortlessly merges history, warmth, and the sheer joy of ice activities, it has to be the Kerrisdale Arena. Let's take a brief journey through its corridors.

As you approach the arena, one of the first things that might catch your eye is its distinctive architecture. There’s a charm to the place, an old-world allure if you will. Its walls tell stories – tales of countless families and friends who've come together over generations, be it to glide gracefully on the ice, cheer on a nail-biting hockey match, or simply revel in the camaraderie of the community.

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But don’t let its vintage vibe fool you. Over the years, the guardians of Kerrisdale Arena have woven in modern touches, ensuring that every visit is comfortable, safe, and an absolute delight. It's this blend of the past and the present that gives the arena its soul.

The ambiance? Oh, it’s akin to stepping into a warm embrace. There’s a palpable sense of belonging, making newcomers feel like they've been a part of this community for ages.

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In a world that’s constantly racing ahead, Kerrisdale Arena stands as a testament to the beauty of moments.

Moments that remind us of simpler times, moments that pull us closer to loved ones, and moments that rekindle the joy of skating.

Location: Kerrisdale Arena - Google Maps

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6. Britannia Ice Rink

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Let’s journey back in time a bit, shall we? Tucked away in Vancouver is the Britannia Ice Rink, a splendid place that feels like it’s wrapped up in a time capsule.

Not explicitly stating its age, it's hard to deny that it does have some years behind it. However, that's precisely where the magic lies. The rink carries the weight of numerous memories, and every scuff or mark on its walls seems to whisper tales from yesteryears. There's something utterly heartwarming about being in a place that’s seen so much, yet continues to thrive with boundless energy.

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Located just a hop away from the bustling Commercial street, it’s perfectly poised for those delightful pre-skate lunches or a lovely dinner post some icy adventures.

The array of restaurants ensures there's something to tickle everyone's taste buds.

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But the real MVPs here? The staff. Always wearing a smile, always eager to lend a hand, they add to the overall warm and cozy ambiance of the place.

Couple that with the ease of commute, and you've got yourself a winner.

Location: Britannia Ice Rink - Google Maps

7. Sunset Community Centre Ice Rink

If you've been on the lookout for an ice rink in Vancouver that offers more than just seasonal fun, let me introduce you to a gem: the Sunset Community Centre Ice Rink.

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Now, here's the kicker - while many rinks take a break when the sun shines its brightest, Sunset keeps the frosty fun alive all year round.

Yup, you read that right! Whether it's the peak of summer or the heart of winter, those skates of yours have a place to twirl and swirl.

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For the little ones and those just starting out, fear not! Sunset offers a slew of skate lessons tailored for every age and skill level.

From toddlers taking their first shaky steps on ice to adults perfecting their pirouettes, there's a class for everyone. And for those who just want to enjoy the rink at their own pace, there are plenty of public skating programs to dive into.

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But what really stands out about Sunset? It's the pristine condition of the rink and the top-tier maintenance.

Kudos to the dedicated staff who ensure that every visit is smooth (pun intended) and memorable. Friendly, attentive, and always up for a chat, they're the unsung heroes of the place.

Location: Sunset Community Centre Ice Rink - Google Maps

8. Kitsilano Rink

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If you're scouting for a serene spot in Vancouver to tie up those laces and enjoy the pleasure of ice skating, let's talk about the Kitsilano Rink. You're in for a treat!

Nestled in a delightful location, the Kitsilano Rink stands out with its contemporary design. It’s visually appealing, and there's a certain airy vibe about it that makes every skate session feel special. You're surrounded by such elegance while you carve your way through the ice. It's like waltzing in a winter wonderland!

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Now, here’s a nifty little tip for those seeking some quiet moments on the rink: try to pop by early. It's usually quieter at the start, offering you ample space to maneuver, practice, or simply soak in the tranquility.

Whether you're perfecting a move or just gliding aimlessly, the expansive rink caters to all.

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Oh, and don’t fret if you’ve left your skates behind or haven't invested in a pair just yet. The rink's got your back! They currently offer skate rentals, allowing everyone to join in on the fun.

No barriers, no fuss; just pure, unadulterated joy.

Location: Kitsilano Rink - Google Maps

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9. West End Rink

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Have you ever dreamt of twirling on ice like a seasoned figure skater, or perhaps, mastering that challenging move you saw on TV? Well, West End Rink is where those dreams get wings. Their skating lessons are not just regular sessions; they're sprinkled with a touch of magic.

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From beginners taking their initial hesitant steps to those wanting to refine their prowess, there's something for everyone.

And trust me, it’s not all serious business; prepare for a healthy dose of laughter, thanks to the incredibly funny and talented coaches.

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The warmth and camaraderie you'll feel here are unparalleled. Whether you're practising a move, taking a lesson, or simply gliding around for the sheer joy of it, there's an infectious energy that's hard to resist.

Each visit leaves you with a cocktail of emotions: exhilaration, satisfaction, and an eagerness for the next skating escapade.

Location: West End Rink - Google Maps

To Sum It All Up

Alright, as we skate to the end of this journey, let’s take a moment to reflect. From the heart of bustling downtown to cozy community hubs, Vancouver's ice rinks offer a delightful blend of memories waiting to be made. Each rink, with its unique charm and vibe, tells a story, inviting everyone to become a part of its tale.

Skater aiming for that perfect pirouette, a newbie taking those first tentative glides, or someone just seeking a magical winter moment with loved ones, there’s a rink in Vancouver that's got your name written on it (well, not literally, but you get the drift!).

So, as the temperatures drop and the frost paints the town, don’t just stay bundled up indoors. Lace up those skates, head out, and embrace the icy wonders that Vancouver’s rinks have to offer. Here's to chilly noses, warm cocoa breaks, countless laughs, and the sheer joy of skating!

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