Updated December 2012
A winter visit to New York City isn’t complete without ice skating in the open air, surrounded by skyscrapers, adoring crowds and holiday decorations.
From Rockefeller Center to Central Park, the five boroughs are home to a diverse collection of outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks– and some are even free!
Scroll down for out top picks for the 2012/2013 holiday season.
Before setting out, here are a few tips to save you time and money:
- Avoid the rush and potentially save a few dollars by going on a weekday.
- Don’t forget to bring ice skates if you have them. Rental fees are not included in the admission price.
- As an added bonus, many outdoor rinks are open until April. Prices often fall and crowds are lighter at the end of the season.
• The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center is open through April 2013. This iconic midtown rink is framed by skyscrapers and adjoins the famous 30 Rock building, home of “Saturday Night Live.” Adult admission costs $25 through January 7. Prices traditionally drop in March and April, when crowds thin out and the temperature climbs. A premium, no-wait pass is available for $95 per person including admission and skates. Consult the price list for information on skating lessons and ticket discounts.
>> For information: Call (212) 332-7654 or visit the Rockefeller Center website.
• The Wollman Rink in Central Park is typically open through early April. This popular rink is located in Central Park and offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. The rink can be entered at 59th Street and 6th Avenue and is close to many subways. It is especially popular with New York City children, probably due to the affordable price: $6 for kids under 12 and $11 for adults on the weekdays. Weekend rates are $6.00 for kids, and jump to $17 for adults. For more information, visit the rink’s website .
>> For information: Call (212) 439-6900 or visit the Wollman Rink website.
• The Lasker Rink in Central Park is typically open through late March. This is the least expensive option for ice skating in Central Park. Admission is $7 for adults and $4 for children– on any day of the week. (Ice skate rental is an additional $6 per person). The Lasker rink is located at the north of the park near 110th Street at Lenox Avenue, and attracts fewer tourists than its southern counterpart.
>> For information: Call (917) 492-3857 or visit the Lasker Rink website.
• Citi Pond at Bryant Park is typically open through February. This is one of the city’s most famous outdoor rinks and it’s also the cheapest. Admission is FREE, although you’ll have to pay $14 to rent skates. If you don’t want to wait on line, purchase a VIP FastPass ticket for $25 (including skate rental) on Citi Pond’s website. Bryant Park offers plenty of attractions for members of your group who don’t skate. Its holiday market is a great place to shop for stocking stuffers, and the trendy Celsius Bar offers lunch, dinner and drinks.
>> For information: Visit the Citi Pond at Bryant Park website.
• The Wollman Rink at Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn and is traditionally an inexpensive place to skate. However, the rink is closed for the entire 2012/2013 winter season due to construction. The much-anticipated Lakeside facility will include an indoor, four season rink.
>> For information: Visit www.prospectpark.org for details on the new facility and re-opening date.
• The Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan is open year-round and offers general skating six days a week (not on Wednesdays). Prices are higher here than at the outdoor rinks, but there’s no risk that adverse weather will ruin your session. Chelsea Piers is located on the westernmost side of Manhattan and is a short walk from the 23rd Street bus. Admission is $10 for all ages. (Skate rental is $5 per person). The rink is also available for birthday parties and lessons. Check the Chelsea Piers website for details.
• City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City, Queens, offers general skating at affordable prices every day of the week. Admission is $5 from Monday-Friday and goes up to $8 on Saturday-Sunday and during holidays. (Skate rental is an additional $5 per person). The rink is a short subway ride from midtown Manhattan; just take the 7 train to 33rd St.-Rawson St. Station. Visit the City Ice Pavilion website for more information.
• The World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadows Park, Queens, is a modern facility that offers public skating every day. Admission is $5 on weekdays and $8 on weekends. (Skate rental is $5 per person). This rink is further from Manhattan than the City Ice Pavilion, but is accessible via the 7 (local) subway. See the World Ice Arena website for driving directions.
These are the most popular skating rinks for visitors to New York City, but there are other places to skate. For a full list of ice skating rinks located in public parks, visit the New York City Parks Department website.
“Pop-up” rinks occasionally open at boutique hotels and near city landmarks. This list will be updated throughout the season with any new developments.
What’s your favorite rink?
Share your recommendation by leaving a comment below!
wow it’s the season again. remembered that snow happen in October..Winter has arrived and now it’s time to have fun in winter. Great list.
You’ve supplied a great resource on where to go ice skating this fall and winter in NYC. Thanks!
I haven’t been ice skating for a long time…. maybe I have to fly to NYC soon.
Cool post on where to ice skate in New York City. Chicago has a few of these as well. This post motivates me to want to skate sometime. Maybe when it is cold and there is no snow on the ground and there is no skiing.
Ice skating in NYC is the best!!! Next you need to list the places to get the best hot choco after a skate.
Yet again, your blog brings back childhood memories. I skated at Rockefeller Center and met Claribel and Buffalo Bob at the tree lighting one year. When I was older, it was Wollman. I went to high school on 110th St. between Lenox and 5th Avenues. No rink there back in those days.
Wollman is still my favorite, but the Citi Pond in Bryant Park is pretty great as well.
I miss NYC but I don’t miss the cold. 😉