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Photograph: Gregory Raymond Olympic Fest at Chelsea Piers

The best ice skating lessons for kids in NYC

These ice skating lessons will prepare your kids to be future Olympians (or just get 'em past clinging to the railing)

By Danielle Valente, Hannah Doolin and Yvette Berland
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Ice skating lessons for kids are aplenty this winter! Offerings in NYC cater to all ages and skill levels, from the wannabe-Olympians to the tots who are finally brave enough to step away from the railing (or their parents' hands). 

Bundle up and make your way to our go-to rinks. Not only do they host open hours, but they have a stellar lineup of group classes, private lessons and even skating teams! After a killer session of the best ice skating lessons NYC has on its roster, refuel with some of the tastiest hot chocolate in NYC and curl up in a warm blanket (while preferably watching one of the best family movies around). 

If your kiddos are not quite ready to go home after hitting the ice, check out our other favorite winter activities for kids

Ice skating lessons for kids

Photograph: Courtesy Michael Moran

1. LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park

Attractions Parks and gardens Prospect Park

Consider Brooklyn's communal backyard officially winterized! The ice rink is now open (as of Nov 20) to skaters who are looking for a fun seasonal activity or professionals in the making who want to hone their skills. Under the guidance of Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov, LeFrak Center at Lakeside operates a skate school with group and private lessons from Wednesday through Sunday. Group courses are five weeks long and divided into three sections: Dec 2–Jan 19, Jan 27–Mar 1 and Mar 2–Apr 5 ($175, $20 registration fee). All ages and skill levels are welcome to participate. Plus, if your skater is really good on his or her feet, check out options for hockey and curling as well! Rentals are $8. For more information, email skate@lakesidebrooklyn.com or visit the LeFrak Center at Lakeside website

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Photograph: Courtesy Liberty View Ice Rink and Brookfield Office Properties

2. The Rink at Brookfield Place

Sports and fitness Battery Park City

One of NYC's premiere shopping destinations is also home to a fantastic ice rink come wintertime. Help your kids lace up for a group skating session for five ($275) or ease your lil' athletes into the sport with 15, 30 or 45-minute private lessons (you can select times and instructors online). If your whole family is up for a group outing, check out the season passes ($600 for families of three) and weekly free skate schedules. Rentals are $5. For more information, visit the rink's website

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Photograph: Colin Miller Photography

3. Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park

Attractions Arcades and amusements Midtown West

Every year, Bryant Park opens a no-charge 17,000-square-foot skating rink at the heart of Winter Village. Although admission is free, there is a heftier rental charge ($18–$33) than other locations (though you are welcome to bring BYO skates). Individual and group lessons can be made by emailing skateschool@bryantpark.org or booking onlineAfter a skating session, find a comfort food cornucopia adjacent to the rink—it comes in handy for that inevitable moment when the kids need to warm up with hot chocolate and a yummy treat.

Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + marikav

4. World Ice Arena

Things to do Ice skating Queens

There is no shortage of offerings at World Ice Arena! From group lessons (ages 4 and up) to mommy and me sessions (ages 2–5), little skaters won't have trouble finding their perfect fit. If your youngsters are looking to achieve figure-skating status, look into the 2019–2020 skating academy that perfects particpants' moves through various seven-week sessions ($350, $20 registration fee). For more information, visit the World Ice Arena website

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Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
Photograph: Courtesy Amanda Fischer

5. Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

Things to do Ice skating Chelsea

It's only fitting that Chelsea Piers, the most well-known sports center in the city, offers top-notch training for budding ice skaters. Since 1969, the school has welcomed visitors of all skill levels to glide across the rink. Learn to Skate ($440–$770, $7 skate rentals per day or $40 per semester) is open to those 3, and parents will be pleased to know that helmets are a requirement. Private lessons and hockey are offered as well. For more information, visit the Chelsea Piers website

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flick/gigi_nyc

6. Trump Lasker Rink

Things to do Ice skating Central Park

Certified instructors can help your future Gracie Gold or Jason Brown develop into an accomplished skater through lessons and activities at this rink. There are private lessons ($70 for one-time lessons, packages from $305–$595) and group courses such as basic skills ($225–$510) and a skating academy camp ($95/day, $450/week) to consider when school is out for the winter holiday! For more information, call 917-492-3858 ext. 1017 or 1005 or visit the rink's website

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Photograph: Ezra Suazo

7. City Ice Pavilion

Sports and fitness Sunnyside

This rooftop rink stretches an NHL-appropriate 85-by-200 feet under a weatherproof air dome. The rink is often devoted to lessons in United States Figure Skating Curriculum. Visitors can select from group sessions, private lessons (starting at $45/half hour) and school break camps. For more information, visit City Ice Pavailion's website

The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Photograph: Bart Barlow/© RCPI Landmark Properties

8. The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Things to do Ice skating Midtown West

Arguably the most iconic ice skating rink in NYC, Rockefeller Center hosts tourists and natives all winter long. If your brood has its heart set on gliding beneath the Christmas tree, we recommend scheduling a private lesson ($50 for 30 minutes) by calling 212-332-97655. Chances are high that the rink will still be crowded, but at least you'll have your spot secure. For more information, visit the Rockefeller Center's rink website

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Photograph: Andrew Fladeboe

9. Central Park, Wollman Rink

Things to do Ice skating Central Park

Don't pass up the opportunity to visit Central Park: It's just as lovely in the winter as it is during the warm-weather months, and Wollman Rink is proof. The rink's Youth Skating School features a Beginners Program (ages 3–4, $600), accelerated programs ($300), private lessons and more offerings for all ages and skill levels. For more information, visit the rink online

Photograph: Courtesy Pixabay + 995645

10. Aviator Sports and Events Center

No need to wait until wintertime: New York's largest sports and events venue keeps its ice rink open year-round. There are a plethora of lessons, including: group learn to skate sessions from Thursday through Sunday ($315, $35 registration fee) private lessons, a synchronized skating team and more! Plus, the coolest trend of the season—ice bumper cars—have made their way to Aviator Sports! For more information, visit the Aviator Sports website

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Photograph: Staten Island Skating Pavilion

11. Staten Island Skating Pavilion

Things to do Ice skating Staten Island

The borough's only year-round ice rink is a skater's dream, offering figure-skating and hockey programs for kids and adults of all levels. Learn to Skate classes include 10-week sessions ($250 with skate rental, $230without, $25 registration fee) or let your tiny tots (under age 5) come for a trial lesson for just $30. Try out specialized programs like freestyle, elite and bridge training and hockey sessions, and catch the annual holiday show! For more information, visit the Pavilion's website

Riverbank State Park
Photograph: Charles O’Neil

12. Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink

Things to do Ice skating Harlem

Located about 85 blocks north of the midtown mayhem, the covered rink here—part of a 28-acre recreational facility—provides some of the least-crowded weekend skating in Manhattan. Riverbank Park overlooks the Hudson, so your crew will have nice views of the river and the George Washington Bridge, too. The Little People's Skating Rink Program invites those ages 5–10 to take beginner Learn To Skate classes on Saturdays ($80) and the Youth Skating Rink Programs for ages 7–14 practice on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays ($92). Youth ice hockey and competitive figure skating club are also options. The New York Rangers even come by with their Try Hockey For Free program occasionally for complimentary youth lessons. For more information, visit the website

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