When the temperature drops, that means it’s time to go ice-skating. NYC has plenty of indoor and outdoor rinks where you can strap on the blades and hit the slick stuff. We’ve ranked the top places to go, so whether you want to skate in the shadow of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or some NYC parks like Central Park, you certainly have a multitude of options. You can even make a full-day out of it when you shop at one of the city’s best holiday markets, followed by sipping hot chocolate and skating on The Rink at Bryant Park Winter Village. If exposure to the elements isn’t your style, you can also check out one of the city’s many all-weather indoor rinks, including spots that offer roller skating.
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Best places for ice-skating in NYC
If you want to eat, shop and go ice-skating all in one-go, The Bank of America Winter Village in Bryant Park is the spot. The Rink (opens October 28) is still free and open late, however, you’ll still have to shell out $20 to rent skates (or BYO). Still, it’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your time on the ice, warm up at the new rinkside restaurant Public Fare. If you want to practice your lutzes and axels with ample spinning room, try visiting during off-peak hours.
This is one of the first outdoor ice-skating rinks to open for the season, which is fitting, since it’s also the most iconic. Even if the sidewalks are overrun with tourists, you’ll have ample room to skate at this beloved landmark; only 150 people are allowed on the ice at once. Unfortunately, that also means that you should prepare for long lines. If you want the privilege of being among the first to hit the cold stuff in the morning, visit the rink’s website to make a reservation for the first skate of the day.
Ahh, is there anything more picturesque than Prospect Park during the fall and winter? We have a feeling you’ll be spending a lot of time there this season, particularly for the park’s massive arena, which transforms from roller rink to ice haven come wintertime. From outdoor and indoor ice-skating and figure skating to hockey, curling and broomball, there’s plenty of sports to try. And the walk through the park’s foliage is worth the price in admission.
There’s no need to wait until winter 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.
This sizable outdoor rink is open to the public Friday through Sunday, and has a roof to prevent December snows and April showers alike from raining on your ice capades. And since Riverbank State Park overlooks the Hudson, you’ll have nice views of the river and the George Washington Bridge as a backdrop.
This seaside rink keeps people flocking to the area even after the theme parks have closed. The 40-year-old venue began its life as the Ravenhall Baths, a saltwater swimming pool that was quite the Coney Island hotspot in its day. It was destroyed by fire in 1963, after which the space was converted into a destination for the heavily sweatered and uncoordinated. It’s open through March for weekend-only skating, but don’t lollygag: Saturday, Sunday and holiday sessions last only for three hours a pop.
This place is an actual airline hangar filled with two NHL-regulation rinks—plus a gym, arcade, rock wall, bungee jumping and air hockey, so you can try out pretty much every sport you love in one place. There’s at least one open-rink session held daily so you can practice that double axel.
Need some skating tips before you attempt to navigate Manhattan’s obstacle-ridden ice? Head to this Queens arena, where dozens of weekly classes are available in addition to daily open sessions. If you need to refuel after all that gliding, the World Ice Cafe serves rinkside grub during most public skating hours.
World Ice’s sister arena has the added benefit of a second, smaller skating area for spillover. The five boroughs’ only rooftop rink, it stretches to NHL size under a weatherproof air dome. (If it’s good enough to withstand Canadian temperatures, it can handle the wussy NYC winter.) The additional rink—made of synthetic material—gives smelly adult-leaguers a place to practice their hockey stops while you enjoy your leisurely laps.
This indoor ice arena is the only rink on Staten Island to stay open year-round, though public skating is available only on weekends (Fri–Sun). If you want to hit the Zamboni slick during the week, join a freestyle figure-skating or open-hockey session.