Get Into the Spirit: The U/D Ice Rink is Back!

December 15, 2023

With winter finally here, you may be looking for some fun and affordable ways to connect with your loved ones this season. Look no further, the University District Ice Rink in Central Commons Park is now open and ready for free fun for the entire family this season. 

The University District Ice Rink is Open!

The ice rink is a seasonal centerpiece that transforms University District into a winter wonderland. Nestled in Central Commons Park and close to restaurants and retailers, it’s easy to turn your visit into a full day of winter fun. 

The temperature-regulated ice creates a smooth and flawless surface to glide on even on those warmer days. While it may be tempting to hibernate until the snow begins to melt again, taking a visit to the ice rink is a fantastic outdoor winter activity that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and stay active. Near the rink, you can warm up around the community fire features, designed to keep you toasty no matter the windchill. Taking in the seasonal lights of the park are also a must when visiting the area. Additionally, the University District Discovery Center brightens up at night with larger-than-life twinkly light displays, a great way to get into the festive spirit. 

Says Travis Oberg, Director of Development, “Embracing community is at the core of University District. The investment in our inviting and award-winning community is more than just creating a livable, walkable space – it’s about fostering connections. Spaces like our ice rink in Central Commons Park is what makes University District a welcoming home for all.”

Looking to Rent Skates? The University of Calgary Outdoor Centre is Here to Help!

If you don’t have your own skates, don’t worry! Our neighbours at the University Calgary Outdoor Centre are located just five minutes away from Central Commons Park. As you step into their well-equipped facility, you’ll be greeted by knowledgeable staff ready to assist you in finding the right pair of skates to rent. Booking your skate rentals on their website ahead of time is easy and only takes a few minutes. It is important to note that the University Calgary Outdoor Centre is not able to accommodate walk-ins, so be sure to book your skate rental in advance!

Says Paul Chiddle, Manager of the University of Calgary Outdoor Centre, “Given Calgary’s cold winters, embracing the season is essential. We’ve streamlined our rental process to ensure customers can easily access and enjoy outdoor ice skating this season.”

Renting skates is a great way to try out the rink if you’re a new or occasional skater and not yet ready to invest in your own pair.

Buying Skates: Tuxedo Source for Sports has all the Skating Essentials

Want to make skating a regular activity in your life? Not too far from U/D and operating in Calgary for more than 60 years, Tuxedo Source for Sports has a massive selection of skates for you to choose from with sizes and styles suitable for all ages and budgets.

Tuxedo Source for Sports is offering all readers of the University District newsletter or blog a 10% off discount! Simply mention University District upon checkout to redeem this special offer.

Says Ryan Gregory, Manager of Tuxedo Source for Sports. “Having skates that fit properly makes skating much more enjoyable. It’s important to consider both the length and width of your feet when getting sized. Getting them molded to your feet is an extra step people can take to ensure their skates will fit perfectly and be comfortable.”

Tuxedo Source for Sports is also your go-to for any additional skating accessories, including helmets, pads and gloves to support your ice skating adventure. 

Cozy-Up After Skating

After you finish your skate, take a quick walk to Monogram Coffee. Their tasty drinks including hot chocolate, tea and specialty coffee are handmade by trained baristas. Also, Borough Bar + Grill, The Canadian Brewhouse and The Banquet all back onto Central Commons Park and offer a selection of drinks that pair well with a hot appetizer, all while giving you a great view of the ice. 

Ready to curl up at home after your skate? One of our favourite things post skate is to relax with a mug of hot chocolate. Try out this hot chocolate recipe: 

Festive Hot Chocolate Recipe:


  • 2 cups of the milk of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup of chocolate chips (melted in the microwave or on the stove)
  • Optional: Whipped cream, marshmallows 


Carefully warm two cups of milk, ensuring it doesn’t boil. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and stir until well combined. Add the melted chocolate chips to provide an extra dose of chocolatey goodness. Top it off with whipped cream, marshmallows or your other favourite toppings. For the adults, add some extra indulgence of an ounce of Irish Cream or whiskey for a tasty flavour twist.

Looking for the perfect ingredients? Be sure to check out Save-On-Foods along the Retail Main Street.

We look forward to welcoming you at University District this winter! 

To stay-in-the-know about all of the events happening at U/D, check out our events calendar

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