For the 11th Date of Christmas, my true love gave to me, my first trip to the Halifax Oval…
For the past two years, I have had the best intentions to visit the Halifax Oval and go for a skate. I’m a terrible skater, but the idea of gliding in circles on the North Common in the middle of my city seemed too romantic to let a little fear of falling on the ice stand in the way.
But it did stand in the way. Last year. The year before. They came, and went, and I missed my chances to go to the Oval. So I felt I owed it to myself to visit opening night this year. For two weeks, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening skate. I’ve even been delaying this 12 Dates series, because what could possibly be more romantic than a free starlight skate with someone you love?
For those of you who have not yet heard of the Halifax Oval, it’s the largest outdoor skating surface this side of Quebec. It was first built for the 2010 Canada Games. Due to public demand, city council voted to keep it as a permanent winter structure for everyone to enjoy.
It’s a fantastic public space, where people of all ages can gather together for fun or for fitness. There were adults and kids and friends and couples and singles enjoying the ice opening night. We grabbed some of the free skates and helmets available on-site and laced up while watching fellow Haligonians glide by to the sound of Top 40 tunes.
The Oval is open daily (weather permitting) until around March. In addition to free public skates, the city organizes free classes and special skates like a Christmas and New Year’s skate. Wheelchairs are permitted on-ice and supports are available to aid novice skaters.
If you want some fun history on skating the Halifax Commons pre-Oval, be sure to check out Noticed in Nova Scotia’s post “Skating the Egg” HERE.
Location: Halifax North Common
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