Skating is as Canadian as maple syrup. Bundling up in our winter coats and mittens and lacing up our skates is a routine most of us have experienced. Skating is a great skill to learn and a fun way to spend time with family and friends.
In Nanaimo, you can choose from four ice rinks to experience this quintessential Canadian pastime whether it be as a participant during an Everyone Welcome skate or a spectator at a hockey game. Last year, our arenas saw over 44,000 visits.
Nanaimo Ice Centre
On Third Street, you will find the Nanaimo Ice Centre, which opened in 2006. With two NHL-sized ice rinks you can take skating lessons, learn hockey skills and drop-in on an Everyone Welcome, Parent & Tot or Scrub Hockey session. One Saturday evening per month, the ice centre hosts the Starlight Skate, an Everyone Welcome skate under soft light “stars”. Coast Capital Savings also sponsors a free Everyone Welcome skate session one Friday night each month here.
Cliff McNabb Arena
Located in Beban Park, Cliff McNabb opened in 1994. Named after the founder of the Nanaimo Clippers, this NHL-sized rink hosts a number of hockey and skate camps during Pro-D days and winter and spring breaks. You can also sign up for hockey programs such as Hockey Rascals and private hockey lessons. Drop into Cliff McNabb arena for Stick n’ Puck and Adult Co-Ed Scrimmage sessions.
Frank Crane Arena
Also located in Beban Park, Nanaimo’s oldest standing arena opened in 1976 and is named after Frank Crane, a well-known member of the community and a hockey advocate who sat on the Parks and Recreation Commission. In this fully accessible arena, you will find seating for up to 2,400 spectators and an NHL-sized rink where you can sign up for skating and hockey lessons as well as attend a number of drop-in skate sessions. It is also home to the Nanaimo Clippers – Go Clippers!
The Nanaimo Lions Club, along with other community organizations, sponsor a weekly Lions Free Skate session each Sunday from September through March. The City hosts community events here as well including the monthly Glow in the Dark Skate and Winter Wonderland, an annual event that runs from December 26-30. This popular event takes place thanks to partnerships between the City of Nanaimo and various local businesses and is a way to say "thank you" to the community and give everyone, regardless of age, skating ability or economic circumstances, an opportunity to enjoy skating.
To find a drop-in skate or hockey session, use the Drop-In Schedules tool on the City website and to register for a program, check out the Recreation Nanaimo on the City website.