While winter may descend like a blanket on our city for more months of the year than seems reasonable (come May), we don’t have to curl up and hibernate. With the right gear, the snow offers a range of fun activities completely unique to cities like ours. If you’re looking for fast thrills or family time, tobogganing and skating bring family and friends together for fun and healthy workouts.
To help you throw off the lethargy of January and embrace the fun that only below-zero temperatures can provide, here are a few of Edmonton’s best rinks and tobogganing hills to try for free or low cost.
Put the guards on your skates and take the LRT to Rogers Place downtown community rink (enter on the north side of the building). And while you may not be skating with McDavid, you may catch a glimpse of him while you skate for free. Call 311 or check movelearnplay.edmonton.ca for times.
Edmonton’s community leagues are unique to our city and many maintain rinks with the help of neighbour volunteers. Look up community league rinks online at wintercityedmonton.ca and see if there’s one in your neighbourhood. Also: Delton Community League (12325 – 88 Street) has a Zamboni, so the ice is always smooth! Bonnie Doon’s rink (9240 – 93 Street) with boards is parallel to a smaller flooded rink — perfect for kids learning to skate. The iceways get bigger and better every year: Victoria Park IceWay (12030 River Valley Road) is open until 10 p.m. and at night it’s beautifully lit with lanterns. There is both a path as well as a large open sheet of ice. Rundle Park’s IceWay (2909 – 113 Avenue) weaves from the skate shack through the woods where multiple paths lead you to open areas, some of which accommodate shinny. Both parks have skate change rooms, washrooms and water.
Rundle Park (2903 – 113 Avenue) has two great hills: the ACT HILL is contained by straw bales with ample parking at the base. It’s a short ride, but fast and perfect for every member of the family. Or move a little west and try out the longer Walton’s Mountain for a bigger rush.
Whitemud Park North (Keillor Road and Fox Drive) is fast and bad-ass.
While Gallagher Park (9505 – 96 Avenue) hosts the Folk Fest in the summer, it’s the host of one of the longest, fastest sledding runs in the city. With a long run-out and wide bowl, there’s something there for everyone (including a playground at its base so kids can mix things up).
This article appears in the January 2020 issue of Avenue Edmonton