Christmas decorations are already twinkling at the Oceanside Place Arena

Christmas decorations are already twinkling at the Oceanside Place Arena

Rink transformed to Wonderland Dec. 13-31

It’s like you are skating on an outdoor pond at Oceanside Place in Parksville

Oceanside Place Arena has once again turned into a winter wonderland.

“It really is beautiful,” said Valerie McNutt, arena programmer. “People love it. They look forward to it every year.”

According to a news release from the RDN, special lighting and décor on Victor Kraatz Arena will make you feel as though you’re skating on an outdoor pond under the light of the moon and twinkling stars. McNutt said there is also a a viewing deck sponsored by Weather-Wise Cedar Products on the ice and a new interactive feature this year, though she said skaters will have to come in person to see what the new feature is.

Winter Wonderland opened to the public on Dec. 13 and runs until Dec. 31, and exact times/dates can be found at rdn.bc.ca/cms.asp?wpID=3150. McNutt reminds visitors that regular admission and rental fees apply on those days.

McNutt said there will also be several free skates during this period. The first two are family skates on Dec. 14 and 21 from 12:15-1:45 p.m. Both are sponsored by the Parksville Lions and Save-On-Foods. There is also an “everyone welcome” skate, sponsored by Tim Hortons, on Dec. 28 from 2-3:30 p.m.

McNutt also said that Winter Wonderland will also be host to a New Year’s Eve event from 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 31. According to the RDN website, there will be pond hockey, crafts and music, and the night will end with a countdown and balloon drop. Food will be available for purchase. Since the event is sponsored by Tim Hortons, the event is free; however, space is limited. As such, the event is ticketed. Those who wish to attend simply have to pick up their free tickets — which are available now — in advance at the arena or at Ravensong Aquatic Centre.

Skate rentals are free during all four of the free sessions, McNutt said.

She also said there are “lots of opportunites” for people to rent the Winter Wonderland for a private function. McNutt said people have hosted family get-togethers, end-of-year sports team parties and corporate holiday events.

For more information, call the arena at 250-248-3252