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Industry City ice rink
Photograph: courtesy Industry City

Where to go ice skating in NYC

For winter time fun, head to these spots for ice skating in NYC

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver
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Ice skating in NYC is one of the city’s most beloved seasonal traditions. While some skating rinks are open year-round, ice skating in the winter — especially around the holidays — is a special treat that will warm your cockles with the spirit of the season. The iconic rink at Rockefeller Center and the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park are bursting with holiday cheer (and fab food and drinks), while low-key rinks at NYC parks offer a more chill experience. Make a day of it and combine ice skating with a visit to NYC’s best holiday markets and holiday light displays. Whether you’re a newbie, an enthusiast or a full-on triple salchow kind of skater, there’s a rink for you. If you’re not into gliding around on an icy surface but feel the need for speed, you can always opt for roller skating instead. Be sure to check opening dates and times for seasonal skating options!

Ice-skating in NYC

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Midtown West

Have your moment with the bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend Prometheus starting in November. Whether the weather is frigid or balmy, nothing stands in the way of New Yorkers and their time on the ice. Fun fact: The attraction, which first opened on Christmas Day in 1936, was meant to be temporary, but it has stood the test of time to become one of the most coveted things to do in New York, especially during the holidays. 

 

  • Things to do
  • Markets and fairs

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 17,000-square-foot outdoor rink is free and open late, however, you’ll still have to rent skates (or BYO). It’s a veritable winter wonderland: After your time on the ice, warm up with hot chocolate at the new The Lodge Deck rinkside. The Village opens October 28.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Prospect Park

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. The walk through the park to view the foliage is a bonus, so save time for a stroll.

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Central Park

In addition to great skating, Wollman Rink includes a side-rink cafe that will be serving, among other offerings, hot dogs (even vegan ones!), burgers, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches and more. It all starts on October 23 for the season. Braving the crowds is worth it for the priceless Central Park scenery.

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  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Chelsea

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. You can book a freestyle skate session, which you can book here.

  • Attractions

Industry City will be a holiday destination this year, because alongside all of its local shops and eateries, it'll once again have an open-air ice skating rink.

Starting on Friday, November 18, the outdoor rink in Courtyard 5/6 will be located next to an outdoor bar operated by Frying Pan Brooklyn that’ll serve up hot cocoa and snacks. It’ll also be decorated to the nines with holiday decor and be heated so don’t worry about getting chilly.

Tickets can be purchased on site or online.

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  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Harlem

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. You could even stop by Sofrito, which is on the premises, after a brisk day of skating.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Coney Island

This seaside rink keeps people flocking to the area even after Coney Island's 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 $10 to skate and $5 per skate rental.

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  • Things to do
  • Ice skating
  • Queens

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. Admission is $7 for weekdays and $10 for weekends (starting at 7pm on Fridays) and holidays and skate rental is $6. You must register online before you arrive to skate.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Sunnyside

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. Right now, public skate sessions are on Sundays between 11:40am and 2:20pm. It's $12 $7 to skate and skate rental is $8. You must register online before showing up to skate.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Battery Park City

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.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Open all week long throughout the winter season, the 60x80 rink offers both public skating hours and specific programs hosted by Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov (private lessons, for example). The location of the rink clearly also calls out to the new NHL Shop, adjacent to Manhattan West. The two destinations will work together to offer New Yorkers unique on-the-ice programming and more.

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Need to warm up a bit?

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés

New York's hot chocolate revival can be traced back to City Bakery more than 20 years ago, but even though that bakery bastion shuttered in 2019, the scene is still piping hot. One reason? Baristas. A great coffee shop is often a great hot chocolate spot—that latte-quality milk can make all the difference when you want a cocoa to lift your spirits when battling the brutal cold.

But whether you get it from your corner Joe joint, one of the city's best bakeries, or from a bar as a warming hot cocktail, hot chocolate in NYC has never been better. There are so many high-quality options in this city that you could go on a season-long cocoa crawl, and try everything from classic cups to more creative expressions. (Cardamom almond milk hot chocolate, anyone?)

Fancy techniques aside, the best cocoas are comforting—there's a reason why hot chocolate is one of the defining flavors of childhood.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to best restaurants in NYC

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  • Travel

The perfect winter getaway from NYC requires a few things: hot chocolate, a crackling fireplace, wool sweaters and a cozy cabin to cuddle up in. Whether you need lodging at ski resorts near NYC or somewhere rustic chic for a girls’ weekend, this list of cabins near NYC on Airbnb has got you covered. After just a few hours of driving, you could be snuggling in a chalet in the Pocono Mountains, relaxing in a geodesic dome in upstate New York or sipping a hot toddy in a trendy container cabin in the Catskills. No matter where you choose to go, escaping the city to a snow-covered wonderland has to be one of the top things to do in the winter.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to weekend getaways from NYC

Note: please check the latest travel guidance before booking your trip.

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