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New exhibit looks into the history of ice skating in NYC

Written by
Rebecca Fontana

Did you know people have been ice-skating in NYC since the 1800s?

On Wednesday, a new exhibit opens at the Museum of the City of New York on the Upper East Side that chronicles the sport’s existence in the city. It’s titled “New York on Ice: Skating in the City” and runs from December 20 through April 15, 2018. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to museums in NYC

The exhibit includes everything from vintage posters to lithographs to old-school costumes to very well-worn skates. If you’d rather learn about ice-skating than battle the crowds of tourists at the city’s rinks this holiday season, this is the place to go: You’ll learn that the pond in Central Park opened for skating before the park itself was even finished and that the Rink at Rockefeller Center arrived in 1936. (Yes, it was immediately beloved by the aforementioned tourists.)

If you want to know about the future of ice-skating as well as its past, there’s a discussion on January 31 at 6:30pm that covers what’s next for skating in NYC in anticipation of the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

And that’s not all: The museum is also serving free hot chocolate from December 26 to 31, if you needed another incentive to go visit. The first 100 visitors each day will get a cup of homemade cocoa topped with mini marshmallows from Amy’s Bread

There’s also a brand-new statue of Alexander Hamilton at the museum, if you’re into that sort of thing 

Red Dutton’s skates, ca. 1930
Photograph: Courtesy Hockey Hall of Fame
The Biltmore Ice Gardens, ca. 1915
Photograph: Museum of the City of New York, Byron Company Collection, 93.1.1
Union Pond, Williamsburgh, L.I., ca. 1863
Photograph: Museum of the City of New York, The J. Clarence Davies Collection, 3
Empire City Skating Rink, ca. 1868
Photograph: Museum of the City of New York, The J. Clarence Davies Collection, 2
Skaters at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, 1935
Photograph: Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive

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