VANCOUVER -- A favourite Vancouver winter tradition kicked off Saturday as the Robson Square Ice Rink officially opened and skaters took to the ice.

It doesn't cost anything to skate at the outdoor rink located at Robson Square near the Vancouver Art Gallery, and if you don't have your own skates you can rent them for $5 (cash only). The rink will stay open until Feb. 29, 2020, although if Vancouver's mild winter weather gets too warm, it could lead to poor ice conditions. Visitors can call a special hotline, 604-646-3554, to check.

Meanwhile, North Vancouver residents are still waiting for a new public ice rink to open at the Shipyards, a new waterfront area. When the Shipyards rink does open later this winter, it will be the region's largest outdoor skating rink, according to the City of North Vancouver. The city doesn't yet have a firm date for when the Shipyards rink will be open, according to their website.

Robson Square is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The skating rink attracts around 120,000 visitors every year. On Family Day (Feb. 17), skate rentals will be free of charge, according to the B.C. government, which operates Robson Square.

From Dec. 13 to 24, the Robson Square Ice Rink will offer live music, and New Year’s Eve will feature a live musical performance from Rumba Calzada, a Latin jazz and salsa band. Throughout December, donations will be collected to support BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.