More outdoor skating options in Thompson-Okanagan this winter | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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More outdoor skating options in Thompson-Okanagan this winter

FILE PHOTO - Skaters are seen enjoying the outdoor Stuart Park skating rink in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED

Two new outdoor ice rinks are available this winter in the Okanagan.

The Vernon Centennial Outdoor Rink had mechanical problems last year so it did not open. Its normal Dec. 1 opening was delayed because of unseasonably warm weather this winter but the rink is now open.

It’s located at the city’s Recreational Park at 3310 – 37 Ave. Go here for more information on schedules. Skating is free. Helmets are mandatory for all skaters under the age of 10.

READ MORE: Map of the best Vernon holiday lights 2021

The Activate Penticton Society scrambled this fall to raise enough money to open an outdoor rink at 107 Martin St.

Equipment delivery slowed the project down but a concrete slab has been poured and the ice making equipment is being installed.

The goal is to have it open by Christmas, Dec. 25.

READ MORE: Map of the best Penticton holiday lights 2021

Kelowna’s Stuart Park at 1430 Water St., across from City Hall, is now open. It’s for recreational use only so no hockey sticks are allowed. Skate rentals are available on site and skating is free.

The following is a list of outdoor rinks we’ve found in the Thompson and Okanagan regions. Check city, ski resort and regional district websites for more information on openings and restrictions.

SKATING AT THE REGION'S SKI RESORTS

Most of the Thompson-Okanagan's ski resorts provide outdoor skating opportunities.

Big White Ski Resort, about 60 kilometres southwest of Kelowna, says it has the highest outdoor skating rink in Canada. Skating is free and skates, helmets and hockey sticks can be rented. Opening date is not yet set.

Sun Peaks Resort, about 45 minutes north of Kamloops, has an NHL sized ice skating rink open to the public. No rentals are available at this time but it is open now. Get more information here.

Vernon’s Silver Star Resort, around 20 km northeast of Vernon, uses the frozen 2.5-acre surface of Brewer’s Pond as a skating rink, accommodating casual, figure skaters and hockey players. Get more information here.

Apex Mountain Resort, approximately 33 km west of Penticton, has a skating loop that users can even enjoy at night. Skate rentals are available. A fee is charged to use the skating loop. Get more information here.

OUTDOOR SKATING RINKS

The City of Kamloops has areas set up in a number of parks where ice surfaces can be created. Local community groups work with the City to build the outdoor rinks, which are dependent on weather, COVID-19 restrictions and volunteer availability. Below is a list of city parks that may be home to an outdoor rink:

  • Westsyde Centennial Park, 705 Franklin Rd.
  • Juniper Park, 2150 Qu’appelle Blvd.
  • Thompson Park, 6500 Beaver Cres.
  • Valleyview Centennial Park, 2288 Park Dr.
  • Len Haughton Park, 595 Lister Rd.
  • Pineview Valley Park, 1925 Hugh Allan Dr.

Tourism Kamloops also suggests Albert McGowan Park, Stake Lake, Inks Lake, Little Heffley Lake and Shumway Lake. Get more information here.

The Kamloops Outdoor Skating Association is going to start clearing the snow off Inks Lake this weekend.

As with any rink on a lake, take extra precautions to be sure the ice is thick enough.

READ MORE: Map of the best Kamloops holiday lights 2021

These four rinks are open or planned for this season by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. Check it’s website here for more information.

  • Parson Community Park 3612 Hwy 95, Parson is listed as open.
  • Farrell's Field at 5051 Meadow Creek Road, Celista.
  • Sorrento-Blind Bay Community Park at 2670 Davidson Rd, Sorrento.
  • Silver Creek Community Park at 1577 Salmon River Road, Silver Creek.

Along with Kelowna’s Stuart Park, there are at least two other outdoor rinks opening in the Central Okanagan soon. Both are free and available on a first come, first served basis.

There is a full-size rink next to the Joe Rich Community Centre on Highway 33 with boards, outdoor lighting and an outhouse. Due to COVID, the change rooms are not being used this year.

The Scotty Creek rink is on a multi-use sports surface so doesn’t have the hockey boards.

READ MORE: Map of the best Kelowna holiday lights 2021

More information on opening days can be seen here.

In the South Okanagan, Penticton’s Lakeside Resort operates a fully lit rink on the resort’s waterfront. It is recommended skaters contact the front desk at 250-493-8221 to check for previous bookings or to book for group use. It's currently listed as closed for the season.

Let us know where some of your favourite skating locations are in the comments below.

— With files from Carli Berry


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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