THREE THINGS TO DO: ‘Winter Ice Palace’ in Cloverdale

Also: A "Christmas Rap Up" in Whalley, fun on the train at Bear Creek Park

“Winter Ice Palace” public skating sessions at Cloverdale Arena start Friday evening (Dec. 18).

“Winter Ice Palace” public skating sessions at Cloverdale Arena start Friday evening (Dec. 18).

1. Starting Friday evening (Dec. 18), ol’ Cloverdale Arena is transformed into a “Winter Ice Palace” for public skating sessions. To make for that “outdoor” pond feeling, the lights are dimmed, a tree is placed in the middle of the rink and Christmas music is played. The daily session times vary – visit Surrey.ca/culture-recreation/16220.aspx for details, or call 604-502-6410 – but do know this: The arena will be open on Christmas Day and also New Year’s Day. Admission is $4.50 (free for those under two years of age), skate rentals are $3.25 and helmet rentals are $1.75. The arena is located at 6090 176 St., Surrey. Similarly, in North Delta, the rec centre is turned into “Polar North” for skating sessions from Dec. 21 to Jan. 2; call 604-952-3045 for info or search the Events section at Delta.ca.

2. Whalley’s Olympia restaurant and bar will play host to a “Christmas Rap Up” event Friday night (Dec. 18). Admission is free and an all-you-can-eat pasta bar will be offered to those who attend the festivities, at 10257 King George Blvd., Surrey. Chelsie Grobins, who runs Where It’s At Entertainment, is working to stage a variety of music and artists, including spoken word, poetry, rap, beat boxing and more. Also, a photo booth with props will snap away. Admission is a minimum of one non-perishable food item for the Surrey Food Bank. For more event info, visit Facebook.com/events/883847851730049.

3. At Bear Creek Park, the annual Christmas train is rolling again for daytime-only rides that began Dec. 4 and continue until Jan. 3. Santa will be there for photos, and train-trippers are given a deal when they bring a bag of clothes to donate to the Rick and Sue Foundation. The attraction is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed on Christmas Day). Admission is $8.50 per person, plus tax. Check it out at 13750 88th Ave., Surrey. For all the details, call 604-501-1232 or visit Bctrains.com.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com