Photo credit: Taylor Friehl
Hit the Ice: Skating Rinks with nearby EV Charging Stations
By Emie-Claude Lamoureux
Each year during winter, as temperatures drop below zero in North America, impressive outdoor and urban skating rinks take shape. On both sides of the border that divides Canada and the United States, Arctic temperatures give us the opportunity to enjoy winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, as well as ice skating. These outdoor activities have truly become a yearly ritual for many as they twirl and whirl freely on frozen water.
Of course, almost every community in North America has its go-tos when it comes to ice skating rinks. But today, we’re presenting a selection of beautiful ice skating sites with nearby EV charging stations. As always, we like to remind EV drivers that before putting on your skates and hitting the ice—or other activities we recommend—to inform yourselves on the current public guidelines. Some of the ice skating rinks nearby EV charging stations listed here may temporarily close within short-notice, or have reduced hours or services.
The historic steamboat industrial zone in Whitehorse, Yukon, has been transformed into a recreational and includes an ice skating circuit nearby an EV charging station. Now known as Shipyards Park, the site was designed to be enjoyed year-round and provides a large open space for festivals and community events.
Interestingly, during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98, thousands of hopeful gold-seekers ventured to Yukon’s great wilderness playground in steamboats. It was these very steamboats that contributed to shaping Whitehorse to be the capital it is today. The White Pass and Yukon Route (WPYR) established a shipyard on the site of the present Shipyards Park in 1900-1901, to build and repair the boats that plied the Yukon River.
EV Charging Stations near Shipyards Park’s Ice Rink
Impressively, the territory of Yukon is a little larger than California, but holds one thousandth of the population! Even so, the territory is already making efforts in electrifying its transportation with the government installing a fast charging station. Operated by the FLO network, EV drivers can locate it in the NorthLight Innovation parking lot near Shipyards Park. Another charging option would be to plug in your EV in the Whitehorse Motors parking lot where there is a level 2 charging station.
Sun Valley Ice Skating Rink
When ice skating at the Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Skating Rink, you’ll have the chance to see some of the best views of the Bald and Dollar Mountains in Idaho. It’s also one of the few outdoor skating rinks open year-round.
The ice rink is home to the Sun Valley Figure Skating School and Free Hockey. And so, in addition to picturesque recreational ice skating, the Sun Valley Outdoor Rink is also a popular training venue for athletes and professional skating lessons. In fact, EV drivers might cross paths with Olympic and world class skaters! It also offers famous ice shows and has an indoor skating rink located on its premises.
EV Charging Stations near the Sun Valley Ice Skating Rink
Great Slave Lake
Northwest Territories, Canada
Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, is surrounded by a vast and austere landscape of rock, tundra and water – including the enormous Great Slave Lake, on whose shore the city is built. It was here that Margot Kidder, from Superman’s famous Lois Lane, was born.
It’s also here where every year the citizens of the Northwest Territories look forward to skating on the Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America. As it happens, when March arrives the city of Yellowknife celebrates two major festivals on ice: the Long John Jamboree, which is a long weekend event; and the month-long Snowking Festival. The latter is held in an impressive snow castle on the frozen Great Slave Lake and includes theatrical and musical performances, storytelling and film screenings.
EV Charging Stations near Great Slave Lake
Although Yellowknife is a remote mining city, it demonstrates efforts to electrify their transportation. Notably, the first Level 2 public charging station, operated by the ChargePoint network, was installed by the City of Yellowknife near the Great Slave Lake.
Guidant John Rose Oval
Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes, making ice skating a popular activity in the state. To give you a better idea, during winter there are 24 outdoor ice rinks, many of which are located on frozen lakes. And, if one day you visit the John Rose Minnesota Oval (the OVAL), you will have the honour of putting your blades on the largest artificial skating surface in North America.
The OVAL is a unique outdoor recreation facility with 110,000 square feet of refrigerated ice from November to March. The site also has a 400-metre speed skating rink surrounding an indoor ice zone used for field hockey or bandy. During the holidays, the trees surrounding L’OVAL are adorned with their most beautiful festive decorations, creating a bright winter paradise that you would find hard to believe if you came in the summer.
EV Charging Stations near the Minnesota OVAL
Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink
The Cameco Meewasini Ice Rink is located in downtown Saskatoon in Kiwanis Park on the South Saskatchewan River. Here, skating is free and always decorated with sparkling lights during the holidays at the end of the year. Among its claims to fame: this ice skating rink was voted “Canada’s Best Outdoor Rink” by Reader’s Digest in 2006, and where hockey giants such as Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe took lessons.
Cameco Meewasini is considered one of the classic rinks in Canadian cities, which only closes when the temperature drops below -31 °C ! It goes without saying that you’ll be looking to warm-up near a fireplace with some hot cocoa after hitting the ice at Cameco Meewasini.
EV Charging Stations near the Cameco Meewasin Ice Rink
Located on the South Saskatchewan River and next to the Delta Bessborough Hotel, EV drivers will find level 2 charging stations near the Skateway. The two main charging networks in operation in the City of Saskatoon are Sun Country Highway and ChargePoint. However, there are also other non-networked Level 2 charging stations nearby.
McCormick Tribune Plaza Rink
Chicago is one of the best places to be in winter, thanks to its wide selection of urban ice skating rinks. Notably the McCormick Tribune Plaza Ice Skating Rink, located in Millennium Park. In addition to the music and holiday vibe you’ll find when hitting the ice here, you will be able to enjoy sightseeings of the city.
It should be on every EV drivers’ list of ice skating rinks to visit. Entrance is free, with the option to rent ice skates should you need some. Other notable ice rinks in the city to visit with your electric vehicle are Ice Skating Ribbon Rink at Maggie Daley Park and the Peninsula Sky Rink.
EV Charging Stations near McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink
You can plug your electric vehicle into a Level 2 charging station near Millennium Park, near the iconic Cloud Gate. There are also public EV charging options near Grant Park which has the Buckingham Fountain. Charging stations are provided by Blink, ChargePoint, eVgo, Tesla, Volta and many other networks. Last, make sure to use ChargeHub’s app to locate free charging stations—there are over 300 in Chicago!
Named after the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers, The Forks—a five-minute walk from Union Station—is a public space in the heart of modern Winnipeg, Manitoba. During the winter, when the Red River freezes over, the Red River Mutual Trail becomes the world’s longest natural skating rink.
The site has played a complex role in the history of Manitoba and of Canada as a whole: for thousands of years it was a traditional gathering point and a key destination for the fur trade of the18th and 19th centuries. The site also offers kilometer-long walking trails as well as a smaller skating rink located under the canopy of The Forks.
EV Charging Stations near The Forks
MassMutual Ice Skating Rink
The PPG Plaza in downtown Pittsburgh is home to an outdoor rink in the middle of a brilliant six-building complex. At PPG Plaza, you’ll find both the Wintergarden event venue and the MassMutual Pittsburgh Ice Rink. The rink at PPG Plaza has an ice surface of 116 feet by 116 feet, and during the holiday season, the rink incorporates beautiful festive decorations.
MassMutual was expanded during the 2015-16 season and is 67 % larger than the iconic ice skating rink at the Rockefeller Center. Equalling to two-thirds the size of a National Hockey League rink.
EV Charging Stations near the MassMutual Ice Rink
Rideau Canal Skateway
Of course, it’s impossible to talk about ice skating rinks without mentioning Canada’s capital city and the famous Rideau Canal, which becomes “the world’s longest skating rink” during the months of January and February. It’s also Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site and is not to be missed. Built between 1826 and 1832, the canal is sure to delight all EV drivers who come ice skating.
Located in the city of Ottawa, the canal runs 7.8 km from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake— estimated to be equivalent to 90 Olympic ice hockey rinks. Open 24 hours a day during the skating season, it welcomes an average of one million visitors a year. The view of the city is fabulous—and it’s free—so all you need to do is bring your ice skates or rent them from a hut on the banks.
EV Charging Stations near the Rideau Canal
Strategically located between Toronto and Montreal, the city of Canada, realized that more often than not that its connecting highways were lacking charging stations for the many visiting EV drivers. That’s why in 2016, the Ontario Government accepted Circuit électrique’s proposal to establish an EV charging corridor of fast charging stations, linking Quebec and the Ottawa region before 2017. Therefore, EV drivers can expect to find multiple charging stations available in the city of Ottawa.