Ice skating is one of the funnest ways to enjoy winters in Montreal. Affordable, easy to learn and so much fun, this activity guarantees to put some major laughter in your trip, whether you’re on a girls’ getaway, family vacation or on a romantic date.
As I woke up this morning to my first snowflakes of the season, I thought, why not present you with my Top Three Montreal skating rinks.
Playing outdoors is good for you! Do it!
1) Beaver Lake
Before I could even walk, my dad used to take my sister and I to Beaver Lake, which explains why today, this ice skating destination is still my personal fave. Lac des Castors, as it is referred to in French, is situated on Mt. Royal and is very popular amongst locals, especially families.
Here, you can enjoy the pleasure of outdoor skating surrounded by trees and nature…a great way to forget about the concrete jungle. Don’t forget to grab a hot chocolate in the spacious heated chalet! Access to Beaver Lake is free. Skates ($7) and lockers ($3) are available for rental.
Getting There: Mt. Royal Metro and # 11 Bus
Hours: Sunday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Contact: 514 280-8989
2) Bonsecours Basin
If you’re looking for a livelier, more urban ice-skating experience, my recommendation would be the rink at the Old Port of Montreal. Located just off De La Commune Street, Bonsecours Basin has one of the most stunning views you can get of the city.
They also play music while you skate — see the list of daily themes below:
• Classical Mondays: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• MMM Tuesdays (Multicultural Montreal, Music of the world): 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Alternative Rock Wednesdays: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Rock n’ Roll Thursdays: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Retro Fridays (80s-90s): 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Saturdays: DJ on the ice
• Sundays: Matinee for kids, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
• Francophone Sundays: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Please note that there are admission fees ($5) to access this rink, even if you bring your own skates. Skates ($7) and lockers are available for rental in addition to a skate sharpening service ($6). You can also check the ICE CONDITIONS ONLINE
Getting There: Champ-de-Mars Metro
Hours: Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Rates: Regular admission: $5
Children: $4 for kids 6 to 12 years old
Family pass: $14 for 2 adults with 2 children 6 to 17 years old
or 1 adult with 3 children 6 to 17 years old
Free for kids under 6
Contact: 514 496-PORT
3) Parc Lafontaine
One of Montreal’s most charming, romantic parks, Parc Lafontaine, offers skaters long meandering ice paths, which is a nice change from the usual oval-shaped rinks. Located at the heart of the Plateau neighbourhood, it’s also a great destination for meeting locals or if you want to spy on cute hockey players playing on the two other oblong-shaped rinks. Admission is free and skates ($7), lockers ($3) and helmets ($3), are available for rental.
Insider tip: indulge in post-skating poutine over at La Banquise restaurant, which is just around the corner. Hmmmmm…comfort food. It’s considered the best poutine joint in town and it’s open 24 hours a day!
3933 avenue du Parc-Lafontaine, above Sherbrooke Street
Getting There: Sherbrooke Metro
Hours: Weekdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Weekends 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Contact: 514 872-2644 or dial 311
Note: The ice-skating season in Montreal usually runs between mid-December to mid-March. But we all know how Mother Nature can be sometimes….therefore it’s always wise to make a quick call to see if the skate rental offices are open before showing up!
Now dress warm, be safe and have fun!