Snow and ice activities

We've rounded up some of the best snow and ice activities to keep you occupied until spring, even if you have to don a few extra layers to do it.

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  • snowicerace

    Ice Wheels Run

  • snownewmindspace

    NYC Snowball Fight Club

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Zogsport

    snowzogsports

    Snow-Tubing with Brewery Tour and Tasting

  • icewollmanrink

    Wollman Rink

  • icebroomball

    NYC Social Sports Club Ice Broomball

  • Photograph: Courtesy of Chelsea Piers

    icechelseapiers

    Hockey lessons at Chelsea Piers

snowicerace

Ice Wheels Run

Skiing

Emilio's Ski Shop ski and snowboard trip
You don't have to relegate yourself to Wii to go skiing on the cheap. This package includes a round-trip bus to nearby Hunter Mountain and lift tickets. You'll have to cover the costs of gear rental, but the trip is still a lot more affordable than airfare to Vail. Buses depart from four locations; check website for details (718-544-0404, emiliosskishop.com). Every Wed--Sun through April; 6am--7:30pm. $84.95.

Belleayre Mountain Adirondack Trailways Ski Day-trip
This deal doesn't cover equipment rental, but in addition to a round-trip bus ride from Port Authority and a lift ticket, you get a beginner's ski or snowboard lesson. Those of you who are bored of the bunny slopes will have to fend for yourselves. Bus from Port Authority Bus Terminal, 625 Eighth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts (845-254-5600, ext 1361; bellayre.com). Dates and times vary; $81.

Sledding

Riverside Park
Daredevils can take a ride down the super-steep slope near Hippo Playground (Riverside Dr at 91st St). If you'd rather go easy, there are plenty of smaller hills in the northern part of the park. Word to the wise: 104th, 108th and 116th Sts tend to be popular (and crowded) spots, so plan accordingly. Riverside Dr at 91st St (212-870-3070, riversideparkfund.org)

The Nethermead, Prospect Park
Tree-lined edges make this open stretch of meadow feel forestlike—even though you're in the middle of Brooklyn. Take your sled for a few leisurely runs down the gently rolling hills before returning to the warmer pastures of civilization. Enter at Prospect Park Southwest and 16th St (prospectpark.org)

Ewen Park
This is another steep one, but the trek uptown is worth it: Stairs installed in 2001 make climbing to the top of the park's wide hill a cinch. Johnson Ave at 232nd St, Bronx (nycgovparks.org)

Ice Wheels Run

Don't have a sled? Build your own—made of anything that'll slide down a hill—and join event organizer Fluff McFluffster for the second winter version of his Central Park Big Wheel race. After your butt goes numb, guitar jams and spoken-word performances from Moth StorySLAM champs will keep you entertained. Central Park, Fifth Ave at 106th St (fluffsstuff.com). Next date TBA; check website for details. Free.

Snowball fight

NYC Snowball Fight Club
If you're lucky enough to be off work after the season's first blizzard, join this group for snowball-filled versions of classic childhood games like dodgeball and capture the flag. Afterward, stomp over to a local bar and vote on superlatives like "Best Arm," "Sorest Loser" and "Sexiest Snow Bunny." Date, time and location TBA. Visit NYC Snowball Fight Club's Facebook page for updates. Free.

Tubing

Snow-Tubing with Brewery Tour and Tasting
Instead of strapping into boards or boots, take the low-tech approach and try an inflatable tube. This day trip to Connecticut's Woodbury Ski Area includes tube rentals and a three-hour lift ticket. Afterward, warm up with a tour and unlimited samples at the Thomas Hooker Brewery. Buses depart from the East 30s; location announced upon reservation (zogsports.com). Dec 17 8am--7pm; $90--$100. Mar 3 8am--7pm; $90--$100.

Snowshoeing

Cross Country Ski & Snowshoe
Granted, the tennis-racket-shaped shoes look ridiculous, but they'll make a snowy hike much easier (the large surface area helps with balance and prevents you from sinking). This package covers round-trip van transportation, equipment rental, trail fees, a beginner's lesson and guides. Meet in front of Apple Bank, northeast corner of 73rd St and Broadway (212-579-4568, outdoorbound.com). Next dates TBA; check website for details. $99.

Ice-skating

Wollman Rink
With the Manhattan skyline in the background and no time limit for skating, this storied spot reminds jaded New Yorkers just how magical winter in the city can feel. Central Park, enter at W 59th St at Sixth Ave (212-439-6900, wollmanskatingrink.com). Mon, Tue 10am--2:30pm; Wed, Thu 10am--10pm; Fri, Sat 10am--11pm; Sun 10am--9pm. $10.50--$15, seniors $4.75--$8.25, children 11 and under $5.50--$5.75; skate rental $6.25.

Citi Pond at Bryant Park
Brave the lines at the Bryant Park rink and take advantage of free admission. You can bring your own skates for a completely gratis ride or rent a pair—either way, the price will make falling flat on your face a little less painful. Sixth Ave between 40th and 42nd Sts (212-661-6640, citipondatbryantpark.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 8am--10pm; Fri, Sat 8am--midnight. Free; skate rental $14. Through Feb 26. 

Ice broomball

NYC Social Sports Club
Harry Potter fanatics aren't the only ones using brooms for sport: Ditching sticks for modified sweepers and pucks for balls, players in this hockeylike game attempt to score goals and stay upright as they dash around the rink in sneakers.  Venue and sessions for 2011 TBA; call 212-929-5353 or visit  nycsocialsportsclub.com for updates.

Ice hockey

Pickup games at City Ice Pavilion
If you're an avid hockey player but can't commit to a league's schedule, grab your gear and swing by New York City's only NHL-regulation-sized rink for a pickup game. Bonus: For those brave enough to play goalie, there's no fee. City Ice Pavilion, 47-32 32nd Pl between 47th and 48th Aves, Long Island City, Queens (718-706-6667, cityicepavilion.com). Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri noon--1:20pm; $20. Sat 10pm--midnight; $25.

Game time/instructional hockey lessons at Chelsea Piers
Former players and those looking to hone their skills can enroll in this once-a-week class, which also includes a conditioning component. You'll work on offensive and defensive strategies—just don't expect to learn the Flying V. Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61, W 23rd St at Eleventh Ave (212-336-6100, chelseapiers.com/sr). Next session TBA; 13 weeks $475.

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April Sandmeyer
April Sandmeyer

Snow Worshippers: Eat, pray, shovel! If you love snow, are in midtown east and are looking for something to do, come to Church of the Covenant-310 East 42nd Street @2nd Avenue for a snow shovelling party. We already have hired help, but it's hard to keep up with the snow blowing. I did it for 5 hours last night and had a blast, can't wait to go back. There will be free coffee, tea, cocoa, hot cider, oatmeal, homemade lentil soup, muffins, pumpkin pie, and a Holiday Bazaar Leftover Rummage Sale with everything half price, so put on your snow boots and join me to clear a path to the church, dig out our neighbors, and bring food to snow bound elderly! Dress warm. Wear and hat, warm socks, and waterproof gloves. My hood kept blowing off yesterday and my hair turned to ice! It took 30 minutes to thaw! 8am- 6pm, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. http://www.covenant.org