Calgarians are no strangers to winter weather – and whether there’s 20 centimetres of snow on the ground or the temperatures are well below zero, there are plenty of winter activities to enjoy throughout the season.
With the current health and safety restrictions in place, it is important to be aware and follow all protocols and guidelines while engaging in these activities. Anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, has travelled outside of the country in the last 14 days, is waiting for test results, or is a close contact of someone with COVID-19 must stay home and away from others.
This January, stay safe and explore all there is to do in Calgary over the winter!
The City of Calgary maintains a variety of outdoor ice rinks throughout the city. These rinks, in addition to the many community rinks in individual neighbourhoods, are open this year for individuals and members of the same household to skate outside during the day or evening. This winter, it is recommended that individuals wear a mask when proper distance can’t be maintained between guests. The rinks will be monitored to ensure a specific number of people are on the ice at one time to maintain distance. Outdoor hockey will not be allowed on any of these rinks either. A full list of the guidelines can be found here.
Some of the more popular outdoor rinks in Calgary that are currently open include:
- Big Marlborough Park
- Bowness Park
- Carburn Park
- North Glenmore Park
- Olympic Plaza
- Prairie Winds Park
- Thomson Family Park
Calgary is home to many maintained tobogganing hills, making this activity safe for all ages to enjoy. To stay as safe as possible, all individuals visiting these hills should wear a mask when it is difficult to maintain distance with people outside of their household in addition to all the other restrictions and guidelines currently in place.
As always, tobogganing in Calgary is only permitted in certain city-run parks for safety reasons. A full list of eligible hills can be found here, which includes:
- Confederation Park
- Deerfoot Athletic Park
- Stanley Park
- Monterey Park
- Glendale Park
Skiing & Snowboarding
Calgary is uniquely situated, with easy access to the mountains and plenty of ski resorts! WinSport Canada Olympic Park is located within the city and is a great hill for families and individuals who don’t want to take a full day or are looking for a smaller hill. Only an hour or so outside the city, individuals can find a mountain resort for a full day excursion of skiing, snowboarding or even cross country skiing, including:
As with many other activities this winter, skiers and snowboarders will need to be aware of each location’s COVID-19 protocols and guidelines before planning their trip to the hill. This may include policies on masking, lift rides, and maximum number of individuals allowed on the hill at a time. Restrictions may also be in place for rentals, lessons, and clubhouses. Be sure to visit the website of the hill you are visiting beforehand so you are aware all changes before you arrive.
Winter Walking & Biking
Walking and biking aren’t just for the warmer months! Calgary is home to one of the largest networks of paved pathways for pedestrians and bikers, and just because there is snow on the ground doesn’t mean you can’t use them! Maintaining distance from those outside your household is important even when outside using the pathways. Whether you’re walking or on a bike, make sure you remain aware of your surroundings and avoid busy areas.
For those on bikes, specialty bikes capable of withstanding the winter conditions like snow and ice, can be rented from outfits like the University of Calgary’s Outdoor Centre or Bow Cycle. These tires come with heavy-duty tires but they can rent out quickly so be sure to book them well in advance!
A full map of the pathways that are cleared by the City of Calgary during the winter can be found here. Some other notable locations include:
- Nose Hill Park
- Weaselhead Flats
- River Walk
- Griffith Woods
- Inglewood Bird Sanctuary