Ice at Canalside Opens for the Winter Season!

What's new this winter?

Brendan Keany
November 20, 2019 - 4:45 pm

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)

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BUFFALO (WBEN) - The Ice at Canalside is now officially open for the winter season!

"Opening the Ice at Canalside is a special way to kick off the winter and holiday season each year," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. "Skaters and rink side visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere, the new Low Bridge Cafe and a wide variety of food and beverage choices."

Hours of operation:

-Wednesday/Thursday: 3 to 7pm
-Friday: 1 to 10pm
-Saturday: 10am to 10pm
-Sunday: 10am to 8pm

Rates:

-Ice admission, adult (13+): $6
-Ice admission, child (6-12), military: $4
-Ice admission, child (5 and under): Free
-Skate rental (sizes: youth 7 - adult 14): $4
-Training walker: $2

The ice first opened its doors 5 years ago, and some of the favorites from previous season including skating, curling, ice bikes and ice bumper cars are making their return, while new amenities such as heated igloos and the Low Bridge Cafe at Explore & More are being introduced this year.

"We have three igloos right along the edge of ice rink, and you're able to rent those for $149," said Erin Marra, the assistant general manager for the Buffalo Waterfront. "Inside of it, you will receive hot cocoa, you'll receive your first round of drinks on the house - also, admission and skate rental are included."

The igloos are available for 90-minute sessions, and they can be booked online at buffalowaterfront.com.

Marra says that the ice rink receives about 200,000 guests in a single season, which is even more impressive because everything really starts to slow down after New Year's.

"This has become some people's holiday tradition; this has become the meeting spot for people when they're home on winter break or home from college, or just old friends that want to connect and spend a great day in Downtown Buffalo and see the development and the revitalization," she said. "We've really been able to watch it grow, especially over the last three years."

While it may seem a little bizarre to open a venue that receives 200,000 guests a year on a Wednesday afternoon, there is a much larger celebration planned for this Friday. Public skating will open at 1pm, and starting at 5pm, the festivities really start rolling. The event will be capped off by a firewoks display.

Last year, there were some issues with the weather, as the ice had to close down on a couple of occasions. As November weather in Buffalo is unpredictable and can fluctuate significantly, that often can create some pretty negative effects for the ice surface.

"We have daily maintenance on this ice; we have chillers underneath it, we're making sure we're using the right amount of blade, the right amount of water to maintain a smooth surface," Marra began. "When the weather tends to spike up (as is expected on Thursday), we always are a little concerned, but as long as it's not raining, we can maintain the ice no problem."

If there are weather problems, or you just want to make sure the ice is open, Marra urges everyone to follow their Buffalo Waterfront Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, and alerts can also be found on the website.

Listen to Marra's full comments below:

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