Ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Photo by alh1 via Flickr Creative Commons
Ice skating is a favorite seasonal activity among New Yorkers and visitors alike. Enjoyed across Manhattan particularly in the outdoor rinks like Bryant Park and Rockefeller Center during the holiday season, there’s plenty more skating to be had across the city both indoors and out. New Yorkers have been skating since the 1860s and while there are less frozen ponds to skate on today, there’s a multitude of ice rinks available not only in Manhattan, but in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.
As we patiently await the completion of the massive Kingsbridge National Ice Center in the Bronx, residents of the city’s northern borough have a few options in the north of Manhattan to satisfy their ice skating cravings. So without further ado, we bring you the 2017 New York City ice skating guide.
The Rink at Bryant Park
Image via Wikimedia Commons
The rink at Bryant Park has become one of the most popular locations for winter skating. The outdoor rink in the heart if the Bryant Park Winter Village rivals even Rockefeller Center as the Christmas in New York experience. If you own your own skates, admission is free, but skate rentals are available for $20. The rink is open everyday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Image via Wikimedia Commons
The Rink at Rockefeller Center is a quintessential New York City winter activity. Skating underneath the famous tree and historic area, there’s really nothing like it, so everyone should try it at least once. Be warned that this rink can get crowded and skating can be on the pricer side. For more regular winter skating, there are plenty of rinks around Manhattan, but the rink at the Rock is definitely something to not miss out on if you haven’t yet tried it.
The rink is open daily at varying times so be sure to check the website for general skating admission times. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and month you’re interested in going, ranging from $25 in early November, to $32 toward the end of December. To avoid waiting in line, advanced reservations and online sales are available.
The Rink at Brookfield Place
Image via Brookfield Place
The Rink at Brookfield Place is a fairly new addition to the seasonal ice skating festivities in New York, opening in 2013. Located in Lower Manhattan at the glossy Brookfield Place, the outdoor rink has public skating hours, along with separate Learn To Skate and Intro To Hockey group classes. Admission for a public skating costs $15, with an additional $5 for skate rentals.
The Standard Ice Rink
Image via The Standard Hotel
Overshadowed by the popularity surrounding Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park, the Standard Ice Rink is a great (smaller) alternative. A part of the trendy Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, the hotel brings the winter activity to its public square at Washington Ave and 13th Street, called The Standard Plaza. The rink is set to reopen for this season on December 18.
Admission for adults is $13 plus $4 for skate rentals and is free for guests of the Standard Hotel after 8:00 pm.
Photo by Maciek Lulko bu Flickr Creative Commons
New Yorkers have been skating in Central Park since the 1860s. But while many of the famous frozen ponds have shrunk since Manhattan’s development or have been deemed unsafe to skate on, Wollman Rink is still here to provide New Yorkers and visitors alike the picturesque chance to skate in Central Park.
Located in the southeaster end of Central Park, a short walk up from the Plaza Hotel, Wollman is open for the season with public skating sessions all week, and all day on the weekends. Rates vary, with adult admission at $12 plus $9 skate rentals from Monday – Thursday, and $19 admission plus $9 skate rentals Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays.
Photo by gigi_nyc via Flickr Creative Commons
For those looking to go uptown, Lasker Rink at the northern part of Central Park between 106th and 108th Streets offers the same picturesque skating in the park opportunity as its southern counterpart. With varying hours, the rink is open everyday for public sessions with an adult admission price at only $8.50 plus $7.50 for skate rentals.
Chelsea Piers Sky Rink
Image via Chelsea Piers Sky Rink
While winter time in Manhattan is known for its outdoor skating, the indoor rinks are a welcome addition for when the weather gets too cold but you still want to enjoy ice skating. The Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers on Pier 61 is a two rink complex offering public skating, figure skating, and hockey.
One of the city’s most popular indoor rinks, it has room for everyone and is open all year round (don’t forget that when it’s 90 degrees outside in July that the Sky Rink is open for business to cool you off!). Public skating is open almost everyday (be sure to check the schedule before you go), with admission at $11 plus $6 for skate rentals.
Riverbank State Park Ice Rink
Image via New York Daily News
Away from the hustle of Midtown’s crowding outdoor rinks sits the Riverbank State Park Ice Rink, one of Uptown Manhattan’s only rinks at 697 Riverside Drive. Located in the 28-acre park elevated 69 feet above the Hudson River, it is accessible via 145th Street, and during the summer months is converted into a roller rink
Standard admission comes at only $5 for adults and $3 for children, while skate rentals are only $6, open from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm daily. If you’re looking to explore the city and avoid the madness of Midtown and Lower Manhattan, the Riverbank State Park Ice Rink is the perfect place to do just that.