As winter comes, people look to different activities that match the colder weather. In New York City, one of the more popular go-to activities is ice skating, and ice rinks can be a pretty fun place, whether they are filled with people or you have the whole place to yourself.
Ice skating rinks usually open from November until March the following year, which means that the ice skating season lasts for quite a long time. This also gives you plenty of time to work on your plans and even visit multiple rinks at different times. These ice skating rinks also offer classes and you could take your time to learn how to skate.
Check out these popular rinks.
Address: Rockefeller Plaza, 600 Fifth Avenue, 49th & 50th Streets
Prices: $25 to $32 for adults; $15 for children under 11 years old
Skate rental: $12
This rink is below the 70-story Rockefeller Center building, home to the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. People who come here will also find a gilded statue of Prometheus.
More importantly, this is where you’ll find one of the most atmospheric places to skate in New York City, and it’s not even that expensive! It can accommodate about 150 skaters at a time and offers skating sessions at 90 minutes each. It is a good place to go to if you’re not big with crowds. Of course, the lines can get long, especially during the holidays. Entry is usually first-come first-served, but you can make advanced reservations by getting one of their packages, which also include breakfast, hot chocolate, and the services of the skate concierge. You can also get peak season passes starting at $275, so you can skip the line and access the rink anytime you want.
Winter Village (Bryant Park)
Address: Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Streets, 5th and 6th Avenues
Skate rental: $20
This 17,000-square-foot skating rink lies within the Bank of America Winter Village. It’s the place for ice skaters to skate for free in New York. You’ll have to bring your own skates (or rent them for $20), though!
Once you’re done, enjoy the Public Fare, visit the countless boutiques at the Holiday Shops, and try the Danny Meyer restaurant at the side of the rink.
The place gets packed easy, which is no surprise since it’s the only rink in Manhattan that lets you skate for free. You can skip the line with season passes or express passes worth $30. You can get skating lessons for a reasonable price here, too.
Wollman Rink (Central Park)
Address: East Central Park, 62nd and 63rd Streets.
Prices: $12 to $19 for adults; $6 for children under 11; $5 to $9 for seniors
Skate rental: $9
Central Park’s Wollman Rink offers a breathtaking view of skyscrapers on the horizon along with a skating rink that’s almost half of what you’d normally pay at the Rockefeller Center. There’s a bunch of other extras too – private skating lessons, ice dancing sessions, figure skating slants, and even a hockey program. Those who purchase VIP tickets worth $60 to $80 can take advantage of free skate rental, snacks as well as access to lockers and use of a heated tent. You don’t have to wait in line either. The only thing peculiar about the rink is that spectators have to pay an admission fee of $5.
Address: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street
Skate rental: $5
Situated by the North Cove Marina of the Hudson River (fronting the Winter Garden), the Battery Park City Rink spans 7,350 square feet, making it a bit bigger than that at Rockefeller Center. Those who take up skating programs here get to learn from Olympic ice dancers Denis Petukhov and Melissa Gregory. There are also learn-to-skate programs for families as well as hockey fitness sessions and season passes for additional perks ($200).
The Standard, High Line
Address: High Line hotel; 848 Washington Street, 13th Street
Prices: $13 for adults; $6 for children under 12
Skate rental: $4 skate rentals
Note: Everyone skates for free after 8:00 pm
Located in a very trendy hotel, The Standard’s ice rink is currently one of the most popular in town. Despite its small 3,000-square-foot area, people still come here for late-night skating. Visitors will notice the “golden age” inspired environment filled with faux fur blankets, vintage plaid patterns, and even a living room with rocking chair seating.
It also has its own rink-side cafe called the Skate Shack as well as a bistro that serves delicious roasted acorn squash and apple strudels as well as all kinds of warm beverages like hot chocolates and even wine.
Riverbank State Park
Address: 679 Riverside Dr., 145th St.
Prices: $5 for adults; $3 for children under 12
Skate rental: $6
This skating rink at Riverbank State Park is in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood. People can skate here for a reasonable price while enjoying the nice scenery and avoiding the huge Manhattan crowds. Like most rinks, they also offer affordable figure skating and ice dancing lessons. There are learn-to-skate and hockey programs, too.
- Try to go early to beat the crowd. Otherwise, you might spend more time waiting in line than actually skating.
- If you still want to beat the line, you may as well invest in season passes. Look up how to score some at the rink you want to skate in.
- If you want to save on skate rental, bring your own. If you love skating, you should have your own pair of skates.
- When taking skating lessons, listen to the instructor to avoid injuries.
- Try to keep updated with the latest rates. Prices per use of the skating rink can change without notice.