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Holiday Guide

Holidays at The Island

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While some residents of the region choose to head to warmer destinations for the holiday season, there is still an opportunity for those who choose to stay in Fort McMurray to enjoy a holiday at an Island – in this case, at MacDonald Island Park!

From indoor and outdoor skating to aquatic adventures, it’s all at MacDonald Island Park for those seeking recreation and leisure fun over the holiday season.

“At the Island, we offer a variety of activities ideal for every age and interest,” says Rachel Orser, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo. “Whether it’s skating outdoors at Shell Place under the canopy during one of our warmer winter weather spells or indoors at one of our arenas or our leisure skating pond, or spending time splashing in the Syncrude Aquatic Centre, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy!”

In the winter months, the outdoor rink at Shell Place comes alive with the sights and sounds of skaters gliding across the ice under the shimmering lights of the spectacular canopy above the CNOOC Nexen Stage. The canopy, lit through programmable LED lighting, mimics the starry sky above and provides an unforgettably unique skating experience in the north. In addition, on colder days leisure skaters can enjoy scheduled public skating times at the arenas, as well as the leisure skating pond which is available for drop-in public skating on a daily basis.

The Syncrude Aquatic Centre is truly a hint of summer in the darkest and coldest of winter months, allowing visitors to enjoy a small oasis in the midst of cold northern weather. With water slides, a spray park, lazy river, family and adult hot tubs, training pool and more, the aquatic centre serves as a mini-vacation for anyone seeking the sensation of a day at the beach.

For the more adventurous, a rock climbing adventure awaits! Visitors can challenge themselves or others to make it to the top of the rock wall, whether experienced climbers or beginners just learning the technique and finding their way onto the wall for the first time.

While the winter weather might preclude a round of golf, the Indoor Golf Simulators are ready to welcome both new and experienced golfers, providing a fun and challenging way to improve their swing and stay in shape for the golf season to come.

And for those with an even more competitive spirit, the squash and racquetball courts, as well as the courts at the Don Scott McMurray Law Office Badminton Centre, offer the chance to test their skills against those of their rivals.

If that isn’t enough, the running track, fitness centre and High Performance Training Centre are ideal for those who wish to continue their personal health and wellness journey over the holidays, or maybe address the additional caloric intake of holiday party foods and beverages.

Finally, the perfect way to kick off your Island getaway, take a break or end a day of fun is with a stop at the Frosty Fox, the Island’s newest dining option located on the second floor of the Suncor Community Leisure Centre. The atmosphere and menu are ideal for all family members, with an emphasis on good food and friendly service.

Of course in addition to celebrating the holidays with a mini-Island getaway, MacDonald Island Park is also the perfect place to find the kind of gifts that keep on giving throughout the year, such as ONE Pass Memberships for facility access, Miskanaw Golf Club memberships for when the warm weather returns and more.

“MacDonald Island Park presents so many opportunities for leisure, sport, adventure and pure fun,” says Orser. “We are proud to be your Island getaway that requires virtually no travel to reach and that is open year round to deliver the best in recreation experiences! Come check out the Island this holiday season – it’s all here!”


Photos supplied by Regional Recreation Corporation of Wood Buffalo


A freelance writer, blogger and professional communicator who is passionate about her child, her work, her pets, her community and the power of words, Theresa Wells believes perfection in life is achieved when she is surrounded by amazing people, fantastic stories, cold gin and really hot shoes.