The skating is free and you can usually rent skates for a reasonable fee.
Many events have had to be cancelled in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. As of December 8th, the free ice skating at Robson Square joined the list of other events that aren’t happening this year.
On December 8th, 2020, Lisa Beare, Minister of Citizens’ Services, announced that the free ice skating was cancelled for the entire 2020/21 winter season (so including in January and February of 2021).
Robson Square Ice Skating and Entertainment
Designed by famous Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson, Robson Square is a public space that includes a covered outdoor ice rink in winter. At other times of the year the facility is used for dance lessons, special events and other activities.
Skating on the 6,000 sq. foot rink is free and you can bring your own skates or rent them at the facility for around $5 a pair. Payment is cash only and skate rentals finish half an hour before closing each day.
Skating Hours & Dates
This winter season the skating at Robson Square took place last from December 1st, 2019, until February 29th, 2020. It ran most of the time from 9 am until 9 pm from Sundays to Thursdays and from 9 am until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. On Christmas Day, however, the hours of operation were from noon until 5 pm and on New Year’s Eve from 9 am until 11 pm.
2020 details are to be confirmed. However, the event may be different from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Live Music at Christmas
Most years, over the Christmas holidays, ice skating at Robson Square is extra special. That’s because, on about a dozen different evenings and three or so afternoons, there is live music by popular local bands and musicians.
There won’t likely be live music in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully it can happen again in December of 2021.
To give you an idea of what to expect in future years, see below for the 2019 schedule of performances. Most concerts were in the evenings from 6:00 until 9:00 pm, although on weekends there were occasionally additional performances in the afternoons.
- Friday, December 13th, 2019 – The Agency performed between 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
- Saturday, December 14th, 2019 – Karla Sax performed from 2:30 to 4:15 pm and again from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Sunday, December 15th, 2019
- Monday, December 16th, 2019 – PK3 Jazz Trio between 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
- Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 – Malcolm Aiken Quartet from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Wednesday, December 18th, 2019 – Rumba Calzada played a mix of Salsa, Latin and Afro-Cuban tunes from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Thursday, December 19th, 2019 – Caviar & Lace entertained with a mix of Jazz between 6:00 and 9:00 pm.
- Friday, December 20th, 2019 – LeftCoast from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Saturday, December 21st, 2019
- Showstoppers performed from 2:30 to 4:15 pm.
- Soul and Gospel-singing Warren Dean Flandez entertained from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Sunday, December 22nd, 2019 – DJ-El-Niño performed between 2:15 and 9:00 pm (with a break from 4:15 to 6:00 pm).
- Monday, December 23rd, 2019 – Phat Santa Swings performed from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
- Tuesday, December 24th, 2019 – Santa’s Brass from 6:00 until 9:00 pm.
- Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 – The Phonix Band performed from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Robson Square Location
Robson Square is located in the 800 block of Robson Street between Howe and Hornby streets behind the Vancouver Art Gallery.
For more information about the ice skating and other events at the venue see the Robson Square website.
Other articles you might be interested in include the following:
- North Vancouver Shipyards (where more free outdoor skating takes place)
- Vancouver’s December, January and February calendars
- Vancouver Winter Activities
- Best Christmas Activities
- Christmas Concerts