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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Nestled in Prospect Park, the brand new LeFrak Center at Lakeside is the ambitious project that replaced the former Kate Wollman Memorial Rink in the park. The entire Lakeside complex is 26 acres located in the southeast corner of the park, offering seasonal ice skating, roller skating, biking, boating and water play.
The ice rink you see above is a stunning new addition to the city. With a domed section and open air section, the rink is huge with plenty of space to skate. Skating is open all week, with weekday admission costing $7 and weekend/holiday admission $10, plus $7 for skate rentals.
The LeFrak Center was a truly ambitious project, but now complete, it brings much needed updated facilities to Prospect Park for Brooklynites to enjoy the all kinds of sports. The rink is now open so head on over to Brooklyn!
Aviator Sports Center
While Floyd Bennett Field is known as a largely abandoned facility with a rich history, some of its buildings are being put to good use. One of those offers to New Yorkers two NHL sized rinks open all year round for enjoyment. The Aviator Sports Center is the only facility in the city to offer this kind of ice. With public skating hours, and opportunities for figure skating and hockey, it is a much needed addition to Brooklyn and New York as ice skating becomes more popular.
The Aviator Sports Center is found at 3159 Flatbush Ave. Adult admission comes at $12 plus $6 skate rentals, and has regular and holiday public skating hours. Be sure to check their website for more details on times.
Abe Stark Rink
Situated on the Coney Island Boardwalk and West 19th Street, the Abe Stark Rink is a little known skating destination in the south of Brooklyn making Coney Island enjoyable even in the winter time. Open only on weekends, the rink, named after the revered three-term Brooklyn borough president who served in the ’50s and ’60s is a winter staple for the local community and schools.
Regular weekend hours are from 2:00 to 3:30 pm, but special holiday hours from December 26 to January 1 will extend those hours to noon to 4:00 pm, as well as on January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and February 19 (Presidents Day). Admission is $10 plus $5 skate rentals.
City Ice Pavilion
The City Ice Pavilion on Long Island City is known largely only to locals of the area and figure skaters and hockey players in New York City. But just a few stops into Long Island City off the 7 train, the indoor City Ice Pavilion is a wonderful spot for public skating, particularly during harsh colder months where outdoor skating is not as pleasant.
Located at 47-32 32nd Place, public skating is available every day of the week at varying hours. Admission costs $7 Monday through Friday and $10 on weekends and holidays, plus an additional $6 for skate rentals.
World Ice Arena
The World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadows Corona Park has a long history in the area that goes back to the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. A skating facility has been a part of this area since then and very recently, a newly renovated ice arena makes this skating outpost a great addition for the city.
Open year round for ice skating, it is a great destination not only for figure skaters and hockey players, but for general public skaters as well who can cap a full day of exploration at Flushing Meadows Corona Park with ice skating.
Public skating hours are available every day, with additional times on the weekends in the afternoon and evening. Admission costs $7 during the weekday, and $10 on the weekend (starting Friday at 7:00 pm) and holidays. Skate rentals are $6 per person. The rink is accessible by car and subway if you take the 7 train to the Shea Stadium / Willets Point Station.
WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Ice skating doesn’t only have to be enjoyed in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. Staten Island has two rinks, one of which is the outdoor WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink at Cloves Lake Park. The rink has been open since 1995 giving the local community the chance to enjoy the winter activity as those in Manhattan.
Now open for the season with skating hours on Friday from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday from noon to 4:30 pm, 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and Sunday from noon to 7:00 pm. Admission is $10 for adults plus $5 skate rentals.
Staten Island Skating Pavilion
The Staten Island Skating Pavilion is a 3,000-seat multi-purpose arena giving Staten Islanders an indoor rink to enjoy all year round. Opened in 1995 to the borough, the skating pavilion offers public skating, figure skating, and hockey to its residents and visitors.
Public skating sessions are Friday 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday 2:40 pm to 4:40 pm, and Sunday from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Admission is $11 for adults plus $5 for skate rental. Be sure to check their website for special holiday hours and activities!
Next, check out 10 Fun Facts About NYC’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.