Free outdoor skating, affordable snowshoe rentals, cozy sleigh rides, and more! There’s plenty of outdoor winter fun for every budget and every family in the Greater Moncton Area.
Gather the neighbours, your friends, and family and enjoy a sleigh ride this winter. At Centennial Park, there are sleigh rides available most weekends throughout the winter. These must be booked in advance; the cost is $135 for one hour. This can accommodate up to 20 people. Call the Centennial Outdoor Centre at 853-3507 to make a plan.
You can also enjoy group sleigh rides at Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe. Free rides are offered every Sunday until March, starting at 1pm and running until 4pm. The rides last about half an hour. It may be possible to book private rides; contact 877-7904 to enquire.
Both parks also offer room rentals; a great option for a winter party!
You can also book horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides at Snider Mountain Ranch, including hot chocolate and cookies around the fire after your ride. (Be sure to check out their Winter West weekends – and tell them Pickle Planet sent you!)
Broadleaf Ranch offers several winter activities including horseback rides, sleigh rides, sliding, skating, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Winter Trails: Walking, Snowshoeing, and Cross Country Skiing
You can enjoy snowshoeing and cross country skiing at Centennial Park; equipment for both adults and children is available to rent. Rentals are available from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost for ski rentals are $10 per adult, $5 for children; the snow shoe rentals are all $5.
You can also rent snow shoe equipment for adults and children at Mapleton Park (as of January 8) on Sundays, from noon to 5pm.
There is a 680m long trail that leaves the parking lot of Moncton’s Irishtown Nature Park and loops back that is available for snowshoeing.
In Riverview, there are 15km of groomed cross country trails in Mill Creek Nature Park, behind the Bridgedale Community Centre, and 3km of marked snowshoe trails.
Fundy National Park is open from sunrise to sunset during the winter, with no admission fee for all of 2017, to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. There will be winter park activities including cross-country skiing, birding, snowshoeing, and winter camping until March 27th.
Kouchibouquac Park is also open all winter, with activites including Geocaching, Sliding / Tobogganing on Patterson Hill, two winter walking trails, snowshoeing, camping, and new this winter, three trails for fat biking. The park also has 15km of cross-country trails, groomed for both classic and ski skating styles.
Tobogganing is one of the easiest winter sports of all! Every neighbourhood has its favourite hills, but there are a few municipally approved toboggan runs at Centennial Park in Moncton and Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe. In Riverview, head to Winter Wonderland Park, on Quinn Court (off Gunningsville Boulevard).
Some other popular spots include behind St. Louis de France Church in Lewisville, at Claude D. Taylor School in Riverview, and at Pascal Poirier Park and Rotary Park (by the Big Lobster) in Shediac. You can search for sliding hills – and suggest your own recommendations – on the Great Canadian Tobogganing Map.
Lace up your skates, grab a helmet, and enjoy all the outdoor rinks you can find (once they open for the season)!
The Skating Oval in Centennial Park, Moncton is lit up at night, as is the rink next to City Hall. There is also a new rink near the entrance of Centennial Park.
Centennial Park is also home to the KaBoom! Rink, located next to the playground. It features large-scale murals done by local students and is a great place to enjoy a pick-up hockey game. (This rink is reserved for hockey.)
Riverview’s Winter Wonderland outdoor park also includes a skating oval.
Dieppe maintains two outdoor rinks at Rotary St-Anselme Park (one for skating, one for games) and the new oval behind City Hall. There will be free outdoor concerts, with skating, bonfires, and hot chocolate at Place 1640 each Friday night throughout the winter.
Salisbury has an outdoor skating rink, open daily depending on weather; check the Facebook page for updates. It is located on Douglas Avenue, just off Main Street.
For the days when the weather has a bit too much of Jack Frost’s touch, there are lots of indoor skating rinks – many with free ice times!
The City of Moncton offers free parent & tot skating on Fridays, at both at the Superior Propane Centre (10am to 11am) and the Crossman Community Centre Kay Arena (10:15am to 11:15am). (Check the schedule, as some skate times are cancelled due to tournaments.) Both rinks also offer $2 parent & tot skates and public skates throughout the week.
The City of Dieppe is holding free public skating sessions at Centenaire Arena and the Arthur-J.-Leblanc Centre until the end of March. Family skating at AJL is on Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday, with preschool skates on Mondays and Tuesdays. Family skating at Centennial is on Friday and Sunday, with preschool skates on Thursdays and Fridays.
Parents & Tots skate free at the Byron Dobson rink in Riverview on weekdays from 1:30pm to 2:30pm; youth skate free on Tuesdays and Fridays, and youth 18 and under skate free on Wednesdays. The rink also has public staking on Saturdays and Sundays; cost is $2 adult, $1 child.
Free family skating sessions are held at the Shediac Festival Arena on Monday mornings, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
There are open public skates at the Petitcodiac arena on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from 1pm to 2:30pm.
On Monday, preschoolers enjoy a free skate at the Hillsborough rink between 10am and 11am. There are public skating sessions on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Poley Mountain in Sussex offers plenty of opportunities for family fun. The hill offers Hot Tot lessons for children 6 and under (and equipment rentals, too!), as well as childcare options (must be pre-booked). Watch for Family packages available on certain weekends in 2017.
If you’re up for a day trip, you can head to Crabbe Mountain and test out the Maritimes highest vertical. The hill is minutes from Fredericton and boasts 27 alpine trails and glades, with something for all levels of skiing ability.
Other New Brunswick ski hills include Mont Farlagne in Edmundston (tubing hills with a lift!) and Sugarloaf Provincial Park in Atholville (11 downhill ski trails and groomed cross-country ski trails laid out around Prichard Lake). Why not plan a weekend family getaway?