Robson Square is Vancouver’s de facto town square located in the heart of downtown. During the holiday season, Robson Square transforms into a festive winter dreamland, complete with live performances, twinkle lights, and of course, the outdoor ice rink.
From December 1 through February 15, the Robson Square Ice Rink is free and open to the public from 9 am to 9 pm daily during the week and until 11 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Skate and helmet rentals are available on-site for $5 each. All services in the rink are cash-only. (Times and prices subject to change.) The outdoor rink is surprisingly spacious and covered by a glass dome, allowing visitors to skate rain or shine throughout the season. The rink gets especially busy on weekends and in the days nearest to the Christmas holiday. To beat the crowds, plan a visit early in the day or during the week. A small concessions stand in the rink sells coffee, hot chocolate, soda, and snacks.
Occasionally live bands play holiday music, but there’s always something playing in the background for skaters to groove along to. Light projectors and cozy winter decor make the place fun and festive, and rink monitors skate the perimeter to help out those who struggle on the ice.
Leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics, GE partnered with the provincial government to update Robson Square’s ice rink. Energy-efficient LED lights were installed to brighten the rink under the signature glass dome overhead, and a new refrigeration technology system was implemented to keep the ice from melting. Since sprucing up, the ice rink has exploded in popularity becoming a staple activity for families, couples, and small groups hoping to make the most of winter in Vancouver.