Outdoor Ice-Skating Rinks in NYC Including Four Brand-new Rinks
Big news for New York City ice-skaters of all ages: There's not one, not two, not three, but four brand-new outdoor ice-skating rinks: two in Brooklyn, one at the South Street Seaport and a new location for the Battery Park City rink that debuted in 2012. Many of the city's stalwart rinks open for business in October, including both Central Park rinks, the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center and the Pond at Bryant Park, which has been rechristened Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park. (Not like I'll ever call it that—I still call the RFK Bridge the Triborough.)
All of these outdoor ice-skating rinks offer skating lessons and birthday party packages, and many also have ice hockey. Always check the rinks' official websites before heading out to verify the public skating hours as the schedules often change throughout the season, especially during the holidays. And don't let the current mild weather fool you: At some point it will get so cold, you'll probably want to hit an indoor ice-skating rink.
Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center – Midtown East
Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets
Open through April 2014
Hours vary. Visit the website for a complete schedule.
Prices vary. Again, visit the website for up-to-date info.
Every tourist's favorite rink already opened for the season on October 12. Despite its popularity, it isn't always crowded with three-hour waits—that's just when the Christmas tree is lit. Skating early or late in the season is fun and easy—if expensive. In fact, even during off-season it's by far the priciest rink in the city.
Wollman Rink – Midtown West
Central Park, enter at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue
Open Saturday, October 26-mid-April 2014
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 10am-2:30pm; Wednesday-Thursday 10am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 10am-11pm; Sunday 10am-9pm
Monday-Thursday: $11.25 for adults, $6 for children under 12; Friday-Sunday and holidays: $18 for adults, $6 for children under 12, $8 for skate rental; $5 spectator fee
We couldn't do this roundup without mentioning this iconic NYC skating spot. But this rink is not only perpetually crowded, it even charges a spectator fee! Of course every family should wait in line to ice-skate here at least once. Try to arrive at the start of the first session, or right after school to get a few spins in before the hordes arrive.
Lasker Rink – Harlem
Central Park, enter at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues
Open Saturday, October 26-mid-March 2014
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-3:45pm; Friday 10am-11pm; Saturday 1-11pm; Sunday 12:30-4:30pm
$7.50 for adults, $4 for children under 13, $6.50 for skate rental
This rink is my personal favorite. It's easy to get to, inexpensive and not as crowded as most of the others. You'll find lots of school groups on weekdays, and locals in the evenings and on weekends. Ice hockey, skating lessons and parties are all available. Afterward, stick around and explore this lovely part of northern Central Park, including the recently opened East 110th Street Playground.
WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink – Staten Island
Clove Lakes Park, Victory Boulevard west of Clove Road
Open Saturday, October 26-mid-March 2014
Hours: Friday 4-10:30pm; Saturday noon-4:30pm and 7-11pm; Sunday noon-7pm and select holiday weekdays. Closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
$9, $5 for skate rental
Located in the gorgeous Clove Lakes Park, this is the only outdoor skating rink on Staten Island and is therefore very popular with local families. Although the website says construction is affecting the rink's hours, all of that info (including prices and hours) is out of date. The recorded message is kept current so call if you need to verify info. If you're interested in skating lessons, call 718-390-7245. Planning a skating party? That number is 718-720-1014.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park – Midtown West
Bryant Park, 40th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
Open Friday, November 1-Sunday, March 2, 2014
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 8am-10pm; Friday-Saturday 8am-midnight
FREE, $15 for skate rental
NYC's only no-cost rink is back with a new sponsor and a new name! Due to the free admission, it regularly attracts large crowds. The best time to go is early in the season before Thanksgiving, when the weather is mild and the lines are short (or at least, shorter). Don’t even try to go during holiday break. Later in the season, stick to weekdays before 5pm, and early weekend mornings. If you really can't stand to wait, you can opt to buy a variety of VIP FastPasses, which includes entry, skate rental and bag check for $25 and up, but that kind of defeats the purpose of visiting a free rink. Winter Village also features an indoor restaurant and seasonal holiday shops. Bring your own blades and locks! Otherwise you'll end up shelling out $15 and $9 for each, respectively.
Van Cortlandt Park Ice Skating Rink – Riverdale
Broadway at 242nd Street
Monday, November 4-Saturday, March 30
Hours: Monday-Wednesday noon-4pm; Thursday and Sunday noon-8pm; Friday-Saturday noon-10pm
$5 on weekdays, $8 on weekends; $5 for skate rental.
It's the second season for the Bronx's sole ice-skating rink. We visited last year and had a blast. It's run by the same folks behind Queens' two indoor rinks: City Ice Pavilion and World Ice Arena. Check the website for info on skating lessons, ice hockey and parties. Afterward, discover everything Riverdale has to offer for families.
The Rink at Brookfield Place – Battery Park City
In front of Brookfield Place’s Winter Garden, 220 Vesey Street between West Street and North End Avenue
Open November 15-mid-March 2014
Hours: Daily 10am-10pm
$15, $5 for skate rental
Formerly known as Liberty Rink, BPC's ice-skating spot has a new name and a new location right on the plaza outside of Brookfield Place’s Winter Garden. At 7,350 square feet, it beats the Rock Center rink and can accommodate 250 skaters at a time. Adjacent restaurant P.J Clarke's will serve up eats, and Manhattan Youth and Asphalt Green Battery Park City will offer skating lessons and ice hockey. We can't wait to visit!
McCarren Rink – Williamsburg
776 Lorimer Street
Open Friday, November 15-Sunday, January 5, 2014
Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
$8 for adults, $4 for children; $5 for skate rentals
According to media reports, the so-called "beach" area in the McCarren Park pool will finally turn into an ice-skating rink this season. While the 7,200-square-foot rink won't be big enough for hockey, there will be skating lessons plus a shop and food carts.
Riverbank State Park – Harlem
145th Street and Riverside Drive
Open Saturday, November 23-March 2014. Check the website for exact date and hours.
$5 for adults, $3 for children under 12 (helmet required); $6 for skate rental. Season passes are also available.
Most people don't even know about this covered outdoor ice-skating rink in the awesome Riverbank State Park. It's rarely crowded, offers an inexpensive ice hockey program and ice-skating lessons, and you can buy a seasonal pass for $200 for adults, $150 for children under 18. After you skate, check out the park's other attractions, including an indoor swimming pool, sports fields and amazing views.
The Standard Ice Rink – Meatpacking District
848 Washington Street at 13th Street
Open Thursday, November 28
$12 for adults, $6 for children; $3 for skate rental
The swanky Standard hotel promises that its offbeat 3,000-square-foot ice rink will be back for another go, but further details including opening date are yet to be determined. While the rink is open to all ages, the scene has always been more hipster than family.
South Street Seaport Rink – South Street Seaport
Open Friday, November 29-Sunday, March 2, 2014
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm; Sunday 10am-9pm
$10, free for children under 6; $6 for skate rentals
South Street Seaport is once again getting an ice-skating spot. Although there was a rumor that admission would be free, that turned out to be false. The good news for locals? Residents living in zip codes 10038 and 10005 get 50% off (proof required), and seasonal passes are also available. There aren't any lockers however for $8 you can do bag check where you stuff all your items into a big sack.
LeFrak Center at Lakeside – Prospect Park
Open Friday, December 20-March 2014
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm; Friday-Saturday 9am-10pm; Sunday 9am-8pm
Weekdays: $6; weekends: $8; $5 for skate rentals
After $74 million and many years of construction, Lakeside in Prospect Park—which includes two rinks, one open-air, the other covered—is finally opening this season. Built on the old Wollman Rink site, Lakeside boasts 32,000 square feet of skating surface and will offer skating lessons and hockey leagues. Additional amenities include a cafe, restrooms, bag check and a green roof with incredible views. In summer, the rinks will transform into a roller rink and water play area. Read our full review.