This really is the most wonderful time of the year. I love everything about the holidays, from holiday parties to gorgeous window displays. However, my absolute favorite thing about the holidays, and winter in general, is having the opportunity to go ice skating.
One of the things most visitors to the city are the most surprised to hear is that there are many ice skating rinks in NYC other than the iconic Rockefeller Center. Though I think ice skating at Rockefeller Center is one of the most quintessential NYC experiences in the winter, you have numerous options for experiencing this winter activity. Here is a list of all the rinks open for winter:
Rockefeller Center – Located in the center of the complex of buildings between 47th and 50th Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues. The rink typically opens Columbus Day weekend and remains open through April. Rates vary based on time of your visit,Adult admission ranges from $10 – $19. Ice skate rentals range from $8 -$9. If you are planning to skate on a weekend or during the holiday season, expect ridiculous crowds and long lines. My first trip to the rink was in mid January on a weeknight, after just moving to the city, and it was much more intimate waiting until post holiday season.
The Pond in Bryant Park – Not only is there an ice skating rink, but currently there are lines of quant shops for the holiday season. I bought the most adorable vintage necklace in lieu of skating last weekend, due to long lines. Though Bryant Park’s lines are long, admission to the rink is free.Skate rental is $12 and locker or bag check will be an additional charge. If you’d still like to avoid a line, but want to experience a winter wonderland, check out The Pond. Dining restaurants and bars with porch swing seating, overlooking the rink, have been erected just for the winter season.
Wollman Skating Rink – Located in Central Park, access to the rink for the full day is $10.25 ($5 children) during the week and $14.75 weekends ($5.75 children). Ice skate rentals are $6.25. Wollman Rink is located off Central Park East between 62nd and 63rd Streets. Due to its location in Central Park, this rink can also attract tourist and thus be crowded on weekends during the holiday season.
Lasker Rink in Central Park – Another Central Park ice skating option is Lasker Rink located mid-park between 106th and 108th Streets. Ice skating will cost you $6.25 (children under 12 are $3.50) and ice skate rental is $5.50. Like Wollman rink, admission is good for a full day of access, but offers a more intimate ice skating experience with less crowds than Wollman rink.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers – Located at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, Hudson River and 17th St. Admission to the rink is $13.50, skate rental $6.25. I have yet to visit this rink, but love Chelsea Pier in the summer, so I’m anxious to see its winter transformation.