Make the most of the winter at these top ice-skating rinks in New York City (NYC), where you can ice skate at famous New York ice rinks in some pretty fabulous places like Rockefeller Center and Central Park.
Most city rinks stay open from November through March, affording a wide window of time to plan your winter outing and to sample multiple rinks throughout the season. If you are not a skater, most rinks offer classes.
With a gilded statue of Prometheus, the world-famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and the 70-story 30 Rockefeller Center building towering above, The Rink at Rockefeller Center affords the most glam skating experience in the city (but also the priciest).
Accommodating just 150 skaters at a time for 90-minute skate sessions, the rink is one of the few areas of Midtown where you won't find crowds (though lines can get quite long, especially during the holiday season). Entry is first come, first served, though they do offer packages that allow for advance reservations and perks like skate concierges, hot chocolate, and/or breakfast.
Season skating passes are also available to skip the lines and gain unlimited access to the rink.
The rink is open daily. Sessions are: 8:30-10:00 a.m, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 noon, 12:30-2:00 p.m., 2:30-4:00 p.m., 4:30-6:00 p.m., 6:30-8:00 p.m., 8:30-10:00 p.m., and 10:30 p.m.- Midnight.
Rates are dependent on the time of year and are higher during key holidays. Skates are available to rent.
Location: Rockefeller Plaza, 600 Fifth Avenue, between 49th & 50th Streets.
Part of the Bank of America Winter Village at picturesque Bryant Park, this 17,000-square-foot rink has brought free ice skating to NYC for more than a decade (while access to the rink is free, note that you'll need to pay for skate and helmet rentals if you don't have your own). The Rink at Bryant Park provides skate aids for $22/hour.
After a spin on the ice, stick around to nosh at the Danny Meyer rink-side restaurant, Public Fare, or browse the 125-plus boutique-style vendor at the Holiday Shops (through January 2, 2019).
As Manhattan's only no-cost rink, expect crowds accordingly. Opt-in, at an extra cost, for skating lessons, Express Passes (skip the lines and nab skates are offered), or season passes.
Location: Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Streets, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
Framed by skyscrapers on the horizon, and bucolic Central Park, the Wollman Rink offers ice skating at about half the cost of Rockefeller Center. Plus, sign up for plenty of extras, including group and private skating lessons, with learn-to-skate, ice dancing, and figure skating slants, as well as a hockey program.
VIP tickets include skate rental, no-wait admission, use of a heated tent, snacks, and locker access ($60-78). Note: In a rather unusual policy, spectators must pay to watch here; it's a $5 cash fee.
Location: East Side of Central Park, between 62nd & 63rd Streets.
Rates: Adults $12 - $19 depending on the day of the week, kids 11 and under $6.00, Seniors $5.00 - $9.00
This Battery Park City Rink at Brookfield Place, situated alongside the Hudson River's North Cove Marina in front of the Winter Garden, offers great views of downtown skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.
At 7,350 square feet, it's bigger than the Rink at Rockefeller Plaza. In recent years, the rink has partnered up with U.S. ice dancer Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov who host various skating programs throughout the season.
For more immersion on the ice, consider the family learn-to-skate programs, try "kick ice hockey fitness," or sign up for season passes.
Location: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street at West Street (on the upper plaza)
Price: $15/adults & kids (90-minute session); $5 skate rentals.
At the trendiest rink in town, ice skating has never been so cool, thanks to super-hip hotel The Standard's ice rink, an intimate 3,000-square foot affair, with late-night hours primed for the Meatpacking District crowd.
The rink has been redesigned to inspire the "golden age of the après-ski lifestyle," with touches like rocking chair seating and vintage plaid and faux fur blankets. Enjoy some "après-skate" at the rink-side café Skate Shack and indoor Living Room bistro serving up specialties like apple strudel or roasted acorn squash, along with mulled wine, hot toddies, and hot chocolate to wash it all down.
Location: The Standard Plaza at The Standard High Line hotel; 848 Washington Street at 13th Street.
Overlooking the Hudson in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood, this covered rink at Riverbank State Park offers a budget-friendly skating experience in a scenic setting, far removed from the bustling crowds further south in Manhattan. Sign up for affordable learn-to-skate, figure skating, or ice dancing lessons; an ice hockey program is scheduled, too.
Location: 679 Riverside Dr., enter the park at 145th St.
Price: $5/adults; $3/kids (under 12); $6 skate rentals