New York announces the holiday season by opening its ice-skating rinks to the public at the beginning of winter each year. Some ice rinks open at the beginning of October! When there is enough Christmas Spirit in the air (which is literally any time after Halloween), you really feel like grabbing a couple of ice skates and heading to a rink close by—that’s what the locals do.
If you are visiting New York City any time in the winter season, you shouldn’t miss the many ice rinks that the metropolitan is home to. Here are some of the best ones to check out!
The Brookfield Place Rink
Brookfield Place, formerly known as the World Financial Center, sports a 7,350-square-foot ice rink. It is open to the general public at a small fee of $15, $20 if you want the skate rental as well. There are private lessons for first-timers and the rink is open from 12 to 8:30 pm during weekdays and even longer hours on weekends (10 am to 9:30 pm). Whether you are old or young, this rink welcomes all with an icy smile.
Winterland Rink—Pier 17
The Winterland Rink located at Pier 17 in New York City’s only rooftop ice rink! Anyone who visits can skate, take skating lessons, and play broomball—all while enjoying a beautiful panoramic view of the entire city. There is bars and restaurants that let you buy ticket packages and season memberships if you are visiting for longer. As for the tickets, they can range anywhere from $14 to $35.
Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it? You will have to see for yourself to know be sure!
Ice Skating Rink at the Riverbank State Park
If you are looking to experience a more uptown skating place, we would recommend the Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink. Not only does it operate as a roller rink in the summertime, but it also has open skating hours on weekends. This means that you wouldn’t have to design your itinerary around its opening time. There are classes for kids and adults alike, and the fee is quite affordable at $5 for adults and about $3 for kids younger than 12.
Bank of America Winter Village—Bryant Park
If you are a tourist visiting NYC for the first time, you would love the idea of this winter village. Not only is the skating rink popular and beautiful, it is also surrounded by the annual holiday market or bazaar that is held here every year. Here, you get the most value for your money considering that the skating rink is free to enter if you bring your own skates. In case you need to rent some, the cost points can range from $18 to $33 depending on the availability. If you don’t want to wait too much, you can also reserve a spot beforehand and skip the line.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
The gorgeous year-round Sky Rink at the Chelsea Piers is excellent for parties and large groups. Locals get private lessons from some of the top instructors in the area and the public can easily avail itself of the rink’s ease-of-access. The total cost including the skating gear rental is $20.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Even though this is one of the coolest rinks out there, it is also the most crowded. As a tourist, you must be looking for places where you can fully enjoy your exploration without too many people around (a bit impossible in NYC). However, if you want to capture the essence of New York, get a ticket at 7 am when the skating rink opens. The tickets are a bit pricier than the usual, ranging from $25 to $33 or more, with skate rentals costing an additional $13.
Located right outside Central Park, this truly scenic rink can give you an Instagram-worthy experience. It has made cameos in several Hollywood films and will be easily recognizable to you whenever you see it. It has the gorgeous New York skyline as its backdrop with trees in different states of bloom throughout the year. When the sun sets and the buildings light up, that’s when the rink looks particularly mesmerizing. The fee is also super reasonable at $6 and upwards.
Our tip: the autumn is the best time for daytime ice skating; it isn’t too cold outside and the trees are ever sporting hundreds of shades of orange, brown, yellow, and green! To enter, bring cash only
Now that you’ve had a look at so many NYC ice skating rinks, we worry that you would be too spoiled for choice! But if you have picked one you like, go ahead and book a reservation now!
Note: All prices are subject to change at the discretion of those in charge.