Hit up these great kids' ice skating spots in NYC for an active family outing that's truly cool. Once you lace up your skates and hit the ice, there's no stopping your tykes from zooming around at top speed (or just clinging to your leg).
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We compiled a list of the most stellar ice skating rinks in the city, inclduding top picks in Rockefeller Center, Prospect Park and McCarren Park, to name a few. No skates? Never fear! Most rinks offer rentals of all sizes, though if you're hard to fit (or want to spare the expense), you can definitely bring your own.
Great kids ice skating in NYC
Even if the sidewalks are overrun with tourists, your crew will have ample room to skate at the city’s most iconic rink; only 150 people are allowed on the ice at once. Unfortunately, that also means that your family should prepare for long lines—unless you plan on going early in the morning or between 9am and noon on Thanksgiving, expect a one- to two-hour wait. Reservations for the first skate of the day can be made online. Open Oct 11—April. $15–32, skate rental $12. Group rates available.
During the winter months, Bryant Park opens a no-charge 17,000-square-foot skating rink. Don’t get too excited: The admission may be free, but you gotta pay to rent skates (or BYO). On the upside: The complex holds 500 people, holiday shops, an indoor pavilion and the Canadian-themed lounge Celsius, which conveniently offers a full children's menu and plenty of hot chocolate. Open Oct 29—March 5. Free; skate rentals $20, helmet rental $6.
This $74 million project overhauled 26 acres of the park’s southeast corner and now offers year-round fun. The LeFrak Center houses two seasonal ice-skating rinks—one covered and the other open-air—plus a cafe. Kiddos can get in on skating lessons through the Skate School, take clinics with the Hockey Academy, or even try their hand at curling and broomball. Open Oct 28–March 26 Mon–Sun various times. $6 weekdays, $9 weekends and holidays, skate rental $6.
Located on the plaza in front of the erstwhile World Financial Center Winter Garden (it's now called Brookfield Place Winter Garden), this rink brings a much-needed cold-weather option to the seasonally popular outdoor spot overlooking the North Cove Marina. At 7,350 square feet, it's even bigger than the Rink at Rockefeller Plaza. New this season, the rink offer Learn to Skate classes with Olympic medal–winning husband-and-wife team, Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. The ice-dancing pros will lead Intro to Basics lessons and Parent & Me classes throughout the season. Ice-hockey lessons are on offer too, in case your crew's in need of a little coaching. 2016 DATES AND PRICING TBA.
At this spiffy center that's home to two NHL-sized ice rinks, skating is offered 365 days a year! No other sports center in NYC can claim that, and we're totally glad it exists. It's also friendly to groups, since group outing pricing and ice-skating birthday parties are available options (in addition to private lessons, of course). 3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn,(aviatorsports.com, 718-758-7567). Open Mon–Sun at various times. $11, children 11 and under $9. Members: $10 children 11 and under $8.10. Skate rentals $5; free lockers available, but guests must bring their own lock.
There’s no need to wait until winter for your family to glide across the two NHL-size rinks at this megacomplex—they’re open year-round for general skating as well as hockey and figure skating. Unlike most indoor ice arenas, this one doesn’t feel like a cave; ample windows afford sweeping views of the Hudson River to the west. Oct 6–Dec 18. Closed Wednesdays. $11-13, skate rental $5.
This 40-year-old venue began its life as the Ravenhall Baths, a saltwater swimming pool that was quite the Coney Island hot spot in its day. It was destroyed by a fire in 1963, after which the space was converted into a destination for the heavily sweatered and uncoordinated. Arrive at the rink promptly at 12:30pm when it opens; the ice fills fast and it closes at 3:30pm. 2016 DATES AND PRICING TBA.
Although this rink offers hockey programs and private lessons, families can enjoy free-skate sessions every day of the week. World Ice also hosts inexpensive birthday parties; the fee ($23–28 per child) includes skate rental, pizza and several hours of ice time. Opens Oct 10. $6 weekdays, $9 weekends; skate rental $5.
The five boroughs’ only rooftop rink stretches an NHL-appropriate 85-by-200 feet under a weatherproof air dome (if it’s good enough for Canadians, it’s good enough for the wussy New York winter). Stop by Wednesdays from 12-4pm or between noon and 2:30pm on the weekends. At other times, the rink is devoted to skating lessons, hockey practice and private parties. Open yearround. $6 weekdays, $9 weekends; skate rental $5.
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. Public sessions take place on Fridays from 8–11pm, Saturdays from 2:30–4:20pm and 7:30–9:30pm, and Sundays from 2–3:50pm. Parties and private rink rentals are also available. $11 per half hour; skate rental $5.
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. Bonus: Families celebrating birthdays at the rink can reserve tables for after-skate cake and ice cream. Learn to Skate, Ice Dance, Figure Skating and Ice Hockey programs are also on offer. Open yearround. $5, children $3; skate rental $6 per day.