Vancouver may not enjoy a long, cold winter, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like ice skating. Vancouverites are Canadians, after all. We enjoy ice sports, and many of us start our kids on skates while they are still very young. If you’re considering searching out some Vancouver skating lessons for your little one, look no further. We have the scoop on classes, rinks and family skating in our fair city.
Before you even think about taking your preschooler on the ice, there are a few things to know. Warm, waterproof clothing for kids is a must – a snow suit is ideal. It’s okay if you don’t have skates, because you can rent those. And most rinks require kids 12 and under to wear a CSA-certified hockey or snowboard helmet. Bike helmets will not do. If you’re on the ice, you’re strongly encouraged to wear a helmet as well, and you may even be required to do so if you’re a registered participant in a skating program. The good news is that rinks have a limited number of helmets that you can use for free.
City of Vancouver Skating Lessons
Here’s how the City of Vancouver skating lessons break down for preschoolers:
- Parent & Tot – For 2-year-olds and their caregivers. Caregivers wear cleats, which are provided.
- Preschool Level 1 – For 3-5 year olds with no previous skating experience.
- Preschool Level 2 – For 3-5 year olds who can stand up on ice in skates unassisted and walk on the ice in skates.
- Preschool Level 3 – For 3-5 year olds who can skate across the ice and glide on two feet.
- Preschool Level 4 – For 3-5 year olds who can scull forwards and stop without assistance.
- Preschool Level 5 – For 3-5 year olds who can glide on one foot forwards and skate backwards.
In addition to registered Vancouver skating lessons, there are drop-in Parent & Preschooler skates at many local rinks. These skate times are for children 5 years and younger and their caregivers. Children must be supervised on the ice by an individual 16 years of age or older.
Registering for Vancouver Skating Lessons
There are eight City of Vancouver ice rinks. Two are open year-round and six are seasonal, which means that you won’t find any ice there through the late spring and summer. At this time of year, though, you’ll find ice rinks open all across the city.
To find an ice rink near you, to register for City of Vancouver skating lessons, or to see drop-in schedules and fees, head to vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/ice-rinks.aspx.