Family-friendly skating tradition open for season in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy wants you to strap on your skates and take in a Winnipeg winter tradition.

The iconic Riley Family Duck Pond is now open for public skating season in the city’s largest public park.

“It just opened, and we’re so excited there’s already so many people out having a great time on the ice,” the conservancy’s Sara Wolowich Brown told Global Winnipeg.

“It’s such a lovely place to come with your family, with your friends. You can come during the day for a skate and grab a hot chocolate at the Park Cafe, or you can come and skate under the stars at nighttime. We have some lovely lights set up.”

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The popular outdoor skating spot — which is open daily and free for visitors to use — also provides an ideal starting spot for Winnipeggers taking their first few steps onto the ice, Wolowich Brown said.

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“It’s a really good place to learn, because this duck pond is just for skating — no sticks, no pucks. You’ll be safe here.

“This is a very family-friendly, very safe place to learn how to skate.”

And while the mild winter weather is a big incentive for skaters to head out on the pond, the lack of snow means a few other regular winter activities at Assiniboine Park are being put on the backburner — at least for now.

“We’re really happy the Duck Pond could be open for skating, but we’re still waiting for a little bit more snow before we open our toboggan run … and before the ski trails open up in the park,” she said.

“We’re hoping for snow for the sake of our ski trails, toboggans, and also for the plants in our gardens, to keep them protected.”

Click to play video: 'Assiniboine Park’s Duck Pond opens to Winnipeg skaters Friday'

Assiniboine Park’s Duck Pond opens to Winnipeg skaters Friday

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