If visitors to New York City in the colder months come with a list of things to see and activities to do, it’s likely that “ice skating NYC” is somewhere on the list. After all, there’s no romantic image of the city quite like a carriage ride through Central Park in the fall or ice skating at Rockefeller Center in the winter. But the rink at Rockefeller isn’t the only place where you can go ice skating in New York City — there are rinks scattered throughout the city.
Ice Skating NYC: Central Park
Anybody who has looked at a map of Manhattan has seen how much of the city is taken up by Central Park. This oasis within the hustle and bustle of the city is approximately 2.5 miles long. So, it’s really no surprise that the park contains not one, but two ice skating rinks within its borders.
Wollman Rink is located on the south end of Central Park, not far from the Central Park Zoo. It was first opened in 1949, with funds donated by Kate Wollman. The rink is open for ice skating from late October (in 2018, Open House Weekend is October 20-21) through to April. It has public skating sessions daily, and offers both skate and locker rentals. Note that only cash is accepted — no credit cards or checks.
Lasker Rink is located on the north end of Central Park, between 106th and 108th streets. It was opened in 1966, and named after Loula Davis Lasker, who donated $600,000 to its creation. While you can ice skate in NYC at Lasker Rink from late October through late March, in the summer Lasker functions as a free public swimming pool.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers sits on the west side of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River. This huge sports complex houses Sky Rink — a place to ice skate in NYC all year-round. Sky Rink, which opened in 1969, actually features two rinks, and hosts birthday parties, hockey games and other events. The rink rates skates, as well as helmets for children. Check the schedule before you to make sure general skating is offered that day.
The Standard Ice Rink
The High Line is located just a short distance south of Chelsea Piers and, alongside it is the Standard Hotel’s Ice Rink. The small rink is open to all, and relatively unknown. Go for the skating, the adorable “penguins” that help those who don’t skate well, or the boozy hot chocolate available at the cafe. The Standard Ice Rink is open from late December through March.
The Rink at Brookfield Place
At the southern tip of Manhattan, near to One World Observatory in Battery Park City, you’ll find The Rink at Brookfield Place. The rink bills itself as a “boutique ice skating experience,” and it features lessons and shows from U.S. Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. The Rink at Brookfield Place typically opens for the season in November.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Of course, there’s always the Rink at Rockefeller Center. This New York tradition opens in early October and offers a multitude of ice skate NYC experiences, from Afternoon Tea & Skating to Starlight Skate Reservations and even “Engagement on Ice” for those who want to pop the big question to their significant other. The Rink does have general skating hours, which are first-come, first-serve. If you want to guarantee some time on the ice during your visit to NYC, your best bet is to make reservations.