The holiday spirit is strong with Parks, Recreation and Culture

Holiday-themed swimming, skating, winter camps and events


This holiday season, Nanaimo Parks, Recreation and Culture has a variety of programs and events for residents to participate in.

To start off the holiday celebrations, Santa will be skating at two sessions. Find him on Wednesday, December 15, 6:30-8 pm at Frank Crane Arena and again on Thursday, December 16, 6:15-7:45 pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre.

When Santa is finished skating, he can be found swimming at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre on Saturday, December 18 from 2:30-4:30 pm. It's the first time Santa will be visiting the pool since the pandemic. Visitors to the pool should look on the website for the Holiday Swimming Schedules from December 19 to January 1 for both Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beban Park Pool.

After swimming with Santa, residents are invited to look for the clues posted daily from December 18-29 as part of the Frosty Bucket Search. Clues will be posted on the City of Nanaimo Facebook page or on the website. Clues will help searchers locate a park. Once there, a sticker will need to be located that can be scanned (QR Code). Each clue scanned reveals a word. Discover the twelve words from the twelve clues, unscramble the phrase and enter for a chance to win a Parks, Recreation and Culture gift pack. Play alone, with friends or with the entire family.

Frank Crane Arena is bringing back its annual Winter Wonderland where it will be transformed into a Snow Globe. This annual event takes place from on December 24 and on December 26-30 with a variety of community business and organization sponsoring various skating sessions. This means that admission is only $1 or free and includes no charge for helmet or skate rentals.

On January 1 from 12-5 pm at Beban Park, the department will "launch" its first-ever New Year's Day event called Activate. The event is full of options to help community members start off 2022 by "actively launching" into a variety of activities for everyone in the family, including swimming, skating, games, crafts, sports, bouncy castles, sampler fitness classes, a StoryWalk on ice, entertainment and much more. Food trucks will be on site. Tickets are available on the day of the event or in advance at Beban Park Pool office. Tickets are $10 each of 5 for $35.

While kids are on winter break, there is a variety of camps available for registration, including the Frosty Frolic Camp at Beban Park and RecSkate or RecHockey camps at Cliff McNabb Arena.

Visit the City website for more information on upcoming events and public schedules. Registration for holiday camps is available online at or by calling 250-756-5200.

Link to Strategic Plan: Providing residents with quality recreation opportunities enhances the livability of our City.

Key Points

  • Skate with Santa on December 15, 6:30-8 pm at Frank Crane Arena or on Thursday, December 16, 6:15-7:45 pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre or Swim with Santa on Saturday, December 18 at the Nanaimo Aquatic Centre from 2:30-4:30 pm. Regular admission will apply.
  • The Frosty Bucket search is back from December 18-29 with daily clues revealing a park or trail where a sticker can be found. Scan the sticker to reveal a word that makes up a 12-word phrase. Submissions are entered into a draw to win a Parks, Recreation and Culture prize pack.
  • Winter Wonderland takes place at Frank Crane Arena on December 24 and again on December 26-30. It offers a variety of skating sessions for only $1 admission with some being free.
  • Activate, the first annual New Year's Day event takes place on January 1, 12-5 pm at Beban Park. Tickets are $10 each or $35 for 5 and are available for purchase on the day of the event or in advance at Beban Park Pool office.


"There are so many options for participating with Parks, Recreation and Culture during the holidays. Swimming, skating, daycamps, the Frosty Bucket search and the Activate New Year's Day event will give residents plenty of ways to be active as the year 2021 comes to a close. On behalf of council and staff, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2022."

City of Nanaimo


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