Ice skating at Rockefeller Center is a quintessential New York City winter experience. The Rink at Rock Center first opened on Christmas Day in 1936. It can accommodate approximately 150 skaters at a time and the rink is 122 feet long and 59 feet wide.
Advice for Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center
While ice skating at Rockefeller Center is an experience that many New York City visitors desire, keep in mind that you're paying a premium to be able to say "I skated at Rockefeller Center," despite the small skating surface and the often crowded atmosphere.
Ice skating prices at Rockefeller Center are most expensive during peak holiday periods, and the rink is at its busiest at those times as well.
When It's Least Crowded
Early morning during holiday periods and weekdays before 4 p.m. tend to be the least crowded times times to skate in Rock Center. It's also less crowded earlier and later in the season, compared to peak season, which runs from Thanksgiving through New Year's.
If you are worried about crowds, there are a couple of options to guarantee access to skating in Rock Center. Their First Skate package is the only way to reserve specific skating time which runs from 7-8 a.m. For $50-65 a person, you can skate and enjoy complimentary coffee/hot chocolate while you skate. 2017's dates are: November 17-27, December 1-3, and December 6-31. For $65-90 a person, you can have breakfast at Rock Center Cafe after your skating session with their "Bountiful Breakfast" package, on specific dates.
If early-rising isn't for you, the VIP Skate package (which ranges from $60-150 per person, depending on the date you choose) offers 90-minute-long reserved skate sessions, bypassing of lines, rentals, beverages, and fresh baked cookies.
If you'd like to combine skating with some other holiday offerings, the Rockettes + Skating Package is available for select dates starting at $178.
You get the VIP Skate package mentioned above along with a ticket to see the the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes and a three-course meal at either the Rock Center Cafe or Sea Grill.
If you're interested more in ice skating than in saying you ice skated at Rockefeller Center, check out Ice Skating in New York City for some other options.
When: The rink at Rockefeller Center typically opens Columbus Day weekend and stays open through early April. It is open for 90-minute skating sessions every 2 hours, starting at 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. with the last at 10:30 p.m. to midnight.
Skating Sessions: Skate rentals and admissions are charged per session. Time your visit appropriately to get the most skating for your money.
Admission: Adult admission is $25-32 depending on the day and admission for children under 11 and seniors are $15. Group rates for 15+ adults offer significant discounts (but are unavailable from November 9, 2017 to January 6, 2018). Season passes for 2017 start at $275 (use of locker is an additional cost).
Check the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center website for the most current information.
Rentals: Skate Rentals are an additional $12, whether paying regular admission or with a lesson.
Ice Skating Lessons: Half-hour private lessons are $50 per person, daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, and include one hour of skate time in addition to the lesson. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to make reservations.
Nearest Subways: F, B and D to 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center; 6 to 51st Street; 1 to 50th Street.