Kelowna’s Stuart Park.—Image credit: City of Kelowna

Kelowna’s outdoor ‘rec room’ opens

The Stuart Park Plaza, a skating rink in winter, is now a social gathering spot for the summer.

The Downtown Kelowna Association, with help from the city’s Partners-In-Parks program, is set to open Kelowna outdoor rec room and social lounge.

The plaza in Stuart Park, a popular spot in the winter when it is set flooded, frozen and turned into an open-air, free, public skating rink, now has a summer purpose too. Residents and visitors alike are being invited down to play games and socialize. A giant chess set, ping pong tables and movable chairs will be set up in the plaza throughout the rest of the spring and summer. One of the popular Pianos In The Park is located nearby on the lakefront walkway.

According to the city, the equipment will be set out for public use between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays, weather permitting, starting on today. The equipment will be packed up at the end of August.

“During the winter, the plaza is very popular for ice skating,” said Lindsay Clement, park and landscape planner.“In the summer, it gets used occasionally for concerts or large events, but it seems to be largely underused. Through adding amenities that offer social and well-being opportunities for all, we are hoping we can activate the space and encourage people to spend more time here.”