Why You Need to Skate the Lake
There’s something quintessentially Canadian about skating on a frozen lake – just ask anyone who has been to Sylvan Lake in winter. Sylvan Lake is one of the best places in Alberta for outdoor ice skating. On many winter days, you’ll discover a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting – families laughing together, teens playing pond hockey, couples skating hand-in-hand and children putting on skates for the very first time.
Skating on Sylvan Lake is Completely Unique
There are many ponds and lakes in Alberta that have cleared skating surfaces, but there aren’t any like Sylvan Lake. From December through March, Sylvan Lake is transformed into a winter wonderland. More than 30,000 lights illuminate the lakeshore near the skating area. The town maintains three large ice skating surfaces on the massive lake and a free on-ice parking area. One of the skating surfaces is the size of a football field and is perfect for pond hockey and other stick-and-puck activities. Another of the ice surfaces is reserved specifically for skating. There is a lit Christmas tree in the centre of the ice skating area and lights are embedded under the ice surface to make night skating extra special. Day or night, skating at Sylvan Lake is an unforgettable experience.
Four Ways to Après Skate in Sylvan Lake
Ski resort guests like to “après ski,” but in Sylvan Lake, it’s “après skate.” When your toes start to tingle and it’s time to take off the skates, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Sylvan Lake in winter. Here are a few of them.
- Take a stroll along the lakeshore on the loop pathway that winds through the colourful lights. It’s a beautiful walk and there are many great selfie spots.
- Slide down a giant ice slide. Every winter, typically in February, the town builds an ice slide near the skating surface. It’s fun for kids of all ages.
- Warm up with some local libations. Sylvan Lake is home to an award-winning craft brewery with its own taproom. Snake Lake Brewing Co. came away from the 2020 Alberta Beer Awards with a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal.
- Check out the local dining scene and nightlife. There are restaurants and bars within walking distance of the skating areas.