It doesn’t quite feel like the holiday season until you can stroll by Robson Square and see ice skaters. The Robson Square Ice Rink, located smack in the heart of downtown Vancouver, opens November 28, and will remain open until the end of February 2013.
The best part about this festive, family-friendly Vancouver winter tradition? It’s free. While visitors in NYC have to pony up $19 to skate at the iconic Rockefeller Center Ice Rink, and it’s $20+ to skate the Natural History Museum Rink in London, Vancouver’s Robson Square Ice Rink only charges for rentals. And at $4 (cash) for blades, it’s really not steep.
The Robson Square Ice Rink is open air with a pretty glass dome top that lets in light but keeps out the extra chilly winds – if Vancouver dares to have a rare cold snap. Because it’s sunk slightly below street level, you get a great view of the city hustle and bustle without it being overwhelming. It’s cozy and quiet enough for new skaters to find their sea legs and practiced skaters to risk pirouettes.
Because rink is located next to the Vancouver Art Gallery, I recommend combining the two into the ultimate culture + Christmas fun field trip (and scoring some cocoa while you’re at it).
Robson Square Ice Rink is located below Robson Street, between Hornby and Howe. It’s open 9:00am-9:00pm Sunday to Thursday, and 9:00am to 11:00pm Friday and Saturday. The rink is BYOS (Bring Your Own Skates), or $4 cash for rental.