Where to enjoy outdoor skating in the Thompson-Okanagan - InfoNews

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Where to enjoy outdoor skating in the Thompson-Okanagan

Penticton's Lakeside Resort has an outdoor ice rink located on the resort's Okanagan Lake shoreline.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Lakeside Resort Facebook
February 14, 2019 - 11:38 AM

Winter has taken a firm grip on Kamloops and the Okanagan this month, bringing with it a prolonged spell of colder than normal weather.

That’s not great news for those of us who thought winter was a non-event up to a few weeks ago, but for those who enjoy outdoor winter activities like ice skating, February's weather has provided ideal conditions for outdoor rinks. That’s certainly something that can’t be said of every winter in the Thompson-Okanagan.

With Family Day coming up Monday, Feb. 18, and a forecast calling for below normal temperatures and snow this weekend, it’s a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy a fresh air skate on one of the region’s many outdoor ice surfaces.

The following is a list of outdoor rinks we’ve found in the area, ready for you to enjoy.

Silver Star Ski Resort's Brewers Pond ice skating surface.
Silver Star Ski Resort's Brewers Pond ice skating surface.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Silver Star Resort Facebook

SKATING AT THE REGION'S SKI RESORTS

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

Sun Peaks Resort, about 45 minutes north of Kamloops, has an NHL sized ice skating rink open to the public. Skate and stick rentals are available.

Vernon’s Silver Star Resort, around 20 kilometres northeast of Vernon, uses the frozen surface of Brewer’s Pond as a skating rink, accommodating casual, figure skaters and hockey players. There is an onsite rental shop with skates, helmets, hockey sticks and pucks, along with an outdoor bonfire beside the rink.

Big White Ski Resort bills its ice surface as Canada’s highest skating rink. The Olympic sized ice surface opens at 11 a.m. and is equipped with lights for night use. Skates, helmets and hockey sticks are available to rent.

Apex Mountain Resort, approximately 33 kilometres west of Penticton, has a full-sized outdoor ice skating rink with boards, making it suitable for everything from a hockey game to a late night skate. The rink is serviced by a Zamboni and is lit for night use. Apex also has a one kilometre skating loop through the nearby trees. Skates are available for rent at the resort.

CITY 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 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.

In the Shuswap, the Sorrento-Blind Bay outdoor rink opened today, Feb. 15, in time for Family Day weekend. The rink is located at Sorrento-Blind Bay Park at 2670 Davidson Rd. in Sorrento.

Moving to the North Okanagan, the City of Enderby doesn't have a public outdoor skating rink but fear not, the fire department has flooded a rink at M.V. Beattie Elementary School.

Lavington, just east of Vernon, has an outdoor ice sheet at Jeffers Park which is operated by the Lavington Community Association.

The City of Vernon operates the Centennial Outdoor rink at the recreation complex at 3310 37 Ave.

In the Central Okanagan, the City of Kelowna operates the Stuart Park ice rink, which is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. There is no cost to to enjoy the outdoor rink. You can bring your own skates and helmets, and rentals are available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. You'll need to bring some money with you because the rentals are cash only.

The District of Peachland has a small ice rink at Mountain View Park across from the public works yard at 5379 Princeton Ave. It has lights for night use.

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

The communities of Naramata and Kaleden have outdoor rinks this year, thanks to the local fire departments and community volunteers.

The Village of Keremeos has a full-sized, outdoor hockey rink enclosed with half boards that also utilizes an ice plant. Call the Recreation Centre in Keremeos for further information at 250-499-2400.

Did we miss your public outdoor ice rink? Let us know in the comments below.

-This story was updated at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 15 to include information about Sorrento/Blind Bay skating rink.


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