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.