BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York (BCBS) today announced the launch of the “Winter Play Days”, a series of free, fun and healthy events to help Western New Yorkers avoid going into hibernation for the winter season.

BlueCross BlueShield’s Winter Play Days are events taking place every weekend from December 31, 2013 to March 15, 2014. The series features opportunities to ice skate at many venues, including on the ice at First Niagara Center, play games in the Buffalo Bills’ Healthy Zone Field House and get creative at the snowman-making challenge at Olmsted Park’s Flurrious! Winter Festival.

 In addition, ice skating is underway at the Healthy Zone Rink in East Aurora, NY.   A BlueCross BlueShield sponsored free-skate will be held on December 31 from 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and regular skating discounts are offered to BCBS members (must show card).

For the first time ever, seasonal ice skating is open at the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Park Ice Basin, with loaner skates available, the result of a three-day Good Neighbor Skate Collection coordinated by BlueCross BlueShield and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation. Western New Yorker’s can skate for free all season long, weather permitting. For ice conditions individuals can call 838-1249 ext. 17.

“The winter season presents many challenges for Western New Yorkers to maintain their health and well-being.,” said Gretchen Fierle, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York “that is why we are offering several opportunities for individuals and families to get out, have fun and stay active all season long.”

All events are free and open to the public. The free skates at the First Niagara Center and the Healthy Zone Rink as well as the Family Days at the Healthy Zone Field House require pre-registration at Once registration is complete, attendees will be e-mailed an e-ticket and waiver for entry.

For a full list of the events and information please visit the Winter Play Days website at