Parks Canada staff tending to the ice rink outside Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
For the third consecutive year, Parks Canada, in partnership with Vintage Hotels, will maintain an outdoor skating rink at Fort George in Niagara-on-the-Lake all winter long.
The rink, which opened on December 5, is located in the site’s parking area, near the Agora venue space.
Public access to the ice is free.
A variety of special events will take place at the rink and adjacent fort throughout the holidays and into the New Year, including appearances by Santa and the 41st Regiment Fife and Drum Corps.
The capstone event of the season, set for Saturday, January 5, will see the space brought back to the early 19th-century.
Ice skating gained popularity amongst British elites and members of the middle-class by the mid-1800s.
The shorelines around Fort George would have almost certainly seen 19th-century recreation-seekers glide across its frozen waters during the winter months.
Running from 1:00pm — 5:00pm, the “Regency Skating Party” promises to treat guests to “a civilized gathering on the eve of war during a time of elegance and artistry.”
Attendees are encouraged to wear Regency-era attire: like a frock coat and cravat, or a carriage dress and bonnet. Throughout the afternoon, guests will be able to enjoy period-themed activities, presentations, and treats.
Prizes will be given to the event’s best-dressed.
Normal open skate hours at the fort (during which no staff, rentals, or concessions are present) run Monday to Thursday from 10:00am — 5:00pm, and Friday 10:00am — 4:00pm.
Skates and helmets are available to rent on Friday evenings after 5:00pm and all day Saturday and Sunday. Concessions and staff members are also on site during these times.
The rink is scheduled to remain open until March 31 (weather permitting).
Fort George itself is also open to the public on weekends throughout the winter season.
For regular updates regarding rink conditions, specific holiday hours, and more information about events, head over to Fort George’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FortGeorgeNHS/