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The Mall, Central Park, 2013
Photograph: Lauren SpinelliThe Mall, Central Park, 2013

Take advantage of a rare opportunity to ice skate on a pond in Central Park for free

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

Mother Nature played a cruel trick on New Yorkers this weekend, with temperatures creeping up above 40 degrees for the first time since Interstellar was an Oscars’ front-runner. After luxuriating in that balmy paradise, Gothamites woke up today with temperatures predictably below freezing once again, a development that brought with it plenty of frowns, tears and lots and lots of ice.

On the plus side, those icy conditions make it the perfect time to take advantage of a pretty rare opportunity in Central Park. The Central Park Conservatory has opened the Conservatory Water (the four-feet deep body of water where kids sail boats in the summer) for ice-skating. Similar to past years the city's gotten cold enough, the CPC has drained the pond to a depth of one foot and built wooden ramps for people to enter and exit the pond. Skating is free, but you’ll have to bring your own skates to get on the ice.

Skating on frozen water in Central Park actually has a long history. Ice Skating was one of the first and most popular activities in the park when it initially opened, and The Lake was actually designed for skating when it was first conceived. Regardless, it will probably feel pretty freeing just not having to skate around in a circle or deal with a time limit while you're out there. This could really be your Elsa moment. 

The Conservatory Water is on the east side of the park between 72nd and 75th streets. After an afternoon of skating, try warming up with a hot chocolate, delicious stew or at a cozy restaurant.

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