ECHDC Announces The Ice at Canalside Opens on Friday

Opening builds on the success of last winter with more activities and amenities

November 20, 2018

Visit for complete schedule of events

See photo of The Ice at Canalside here

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) will open The Ice at Canalside presented by BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York, the official health plan of Canalside, on Friday, November 23 at 10 a.m. This year Ice Bumper Cars have been added to the fun ice activities, along with skating, curling, ice bikes and more.

“Every Western New Yorker’s holiday plans should include a visit to the Ice at Canalside,” said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia.  “Skaters and rink side visitors can enjoy the festive atmosphere, the warm Winter Lodge and a wide variety of food and beverage choices. We encourage families to come make some holiday memories at Canalside.”

The Ice, created under the leadership of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, provides visitors with a skating surface that is bigger than two NHL rinks, with three unique bridges, and more than 20,000 square feet of pedestrian towpaths. 

With several construction projects underway, Be Our Guest, Ltd wants to remind visitors that the Honda Winter Pavilion, located directly next to the ice, is the main entrance point to the skate rentals and admission.  It provides a warm, covered area that speeds up the process of admission, renting skates, safety waivers and storing personal belongings in lockers. The Ice at Canalside also features a new ice layout with curling, presented by Chiampou Travis Besaw and Kershner LLP (CTBK), relocating back to the side of Explore & More where it has been in years past.  The new layout allows the new Ice Bumper Cars to have a designated space underneath the bridge. The public skating surface, presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, has been reduced slightly due to the new activities. 

The Food & Beverage kiosk will serve as the main food and beverage area featuring a new menu focusing on hot winter treats, including homemade soup, hot pretzels, La Nova pizza, and McCullagh coffee and hot chocolate. Visitors will be able to enjoy their food and beverages while over-looking the ice. 

“We are always looking for the next big trend and we feel we’ve hit a homerun with the new Ice Bumper Cars,” said Canalside Management Group President Jon Dandes. “We strive to enhance the guest experience, provide outstanding customer service, and ensure that the Ice at Canalside offers something for everyone.”

Be Our Guest, Ltd is excited to welcome back the presenting sponsor of The Ice at Canalside, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, as well returning partners: Try-It Distributing, CocaCola, Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C., MP Caroll Hardwood, Erie County Medical Center, Kaleida Health, Greater Buffalo Area Honda Dealers, Wegmans, and Ace Flag Company. Chiampou Travis Besaw and Kershner LLP (CTBK) is returning as the presenting sponsor of curling. Other new partners include McCullagh Coffee, Trocaire College, Rich Products Corporation, and Five Star Bank.

“BlueCross BlueShield is excited to kick off our fifth season as the official health plan of Canalside,” said Julie R. Snyder, Vice President, Corporate Relations, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York.  “This season there will be a variety of themed skating sessions and healthy winter activities every day, for every age group to join in and get healthy.”  

The season kicks off with the Canalside Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting on Friday, November 30.  The Ice at Canalside will open at 3 p.m., and festivities will start at 5:30 p.m. with the Tree Lighting at 6:30 p.m.  Activities will include live music, carolers, Santa visit, free children’s activities, an on-ice figure skating performance and more!

More information on the schedule of events, parking and updates can be found at  Visitors can take the NFTA Metro Rail to the Erie Canal Harbor Station stop; parking is available in adjacent parking ramps and lots.

Hours of Operation:

  • 3 to 7 p.m.: Wednesday/Thursday
  • 3 to 10 p.m.: Friday
  • 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Saturday
  • 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Sunday

**Please note: Hours may change during school breaks and on holidays, as well as during inclement weather.  Visit Canalside’s website or facebook, Instagram, and twitter accounts for the most up-to-date hours.**


  • Ice Admission, Adult (13+) - $6.00
  • Ice Admission, Child (6-12), Military - $4.00
  • BCBS Ice Admission - $5.00
  • Skate Rental - $4.00
  • BCBS Skate Rental - $3.00
  • Season Pass, Single - $59.00*
  • Season Pass, Family of 4 - $139.00*
  • Curling - $10 per person weekdays, $15 per person weekends and holidays
  • Ice Bumper Cars - $7.00 for 7 minutes
  • Locker Rental - $1.00

Interested curling parties can reserve sheet time at

About Canalside
Canalside is a growing regional destination and entertainment district, situated on 21 historic acres along downtown Buffalo’s emerging waterfront on the Buffalo River. Canalside earns its name from its storied past, when the Erie Canal Harbor was built in 1825 as the western terminus of the Erie Canal. Until five years ago, the land was barren and inaccessible, but the area has been reclaimed by the state’s Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and developed with millions of dollars in public and private investment. With more than 1,000 yearly events and nearly 1 million annual visitors, Canalside is fast becoming the go-to place for in- and out-of-towners of all ages to learn, play and relax.


Pamm Lent (Governor’s Office) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313
Erin Marra (Canalside Management Group) | (716) 807-8090