Best Ice Skating Rinks in NYC for Kids and Families

Bryant Park is home to the city's only FREE ice skating rink, plus plenty of other seasonal fun in the Bank of American Winter Village. Photo by Angelito Jusay
Bryant Park is home to the city's only FREE ice skating rink, plus plenty of other seasonal fun in the Bank of American Winter Village. Photo by Angelito Jusay

Time to bundle up and sharpen those ice skates: It's officially ice skating season in NYC and the number of outdoor ice skating rinks in NYC is on the rise. With new additions at Manhattan West, in the Governors Island Winter Village, at Brooklyn Commons, and on the rooftop at the Brooklyn Children's Museum, our list of family-friendly ice skating rinks has climbed to a dozen options.

Whether you prefer an iconic New York City destination like the ice rink at Rockefeller Center or something off the beaten path like the rink at Riverbank State Park, the city offers plenty of options for beginners and experienced skaters alike. And, if it ever gets too cold to glide outside, you can always hit one of NYC's indoor ice skating rinks.

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Most of these ice skating rinks rent kid-sized ice skates, offer skating lessons, and even host ice hockey leagues.

Remember to click through to the rink's website to confirm skating times and daily availability before heading out as schedules can change throughout the season, especially during the busy NYC holiday season. Closing dates listed are subject to weather; unseasonably warm temperatures may force seasons to end sooner than listed. Please double-check masking, social distancing, and reservation requirements amid the current COVID surge.

The Rink at Bank of America Winter Village – Bryant Park

Open through Sunday, March 6, 2022
FREE admission; skate rental and hours vary; skate reservations must be booked online in advance
If you own your skates, Bryant Park's FREE admission rink is one of NYC's best deals. However, the skate rental fees are at least what you'll pay to skate and rent at other rinks in the city and even higher on peak dates. For a contactless experience, lockers have been removed, but skaters will now wear a “shoe bag” onto the ice: a small drawstring-style backpack intended to hold the pair of shoes you arrived in. If you bring your own skates, you can provide your own drawstring bag or purchase one on-site. Penguin- and snowman-shaped skate supports are available for skaters needing extra help and are FREE on weekdays before 11am. Advance online booking is now required for all skaters.

Governors Island Winter Village and Ice Rink – Governors Island

Open through February 2022
We were thrilled with the announcement that Governors Island is now a year-round destination but were unsure what we'd do there in the absence of some favorite summertime haunts. Luckily for us, a Winter Village and 5,000-square-foot ice skating rink await! So grab your skates, catch the ferry, and enjoy the island in a whole new season.

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The Rockefeller Center ice skating rink is one of NYC's most famous
Hit the ice at the famed Rockefeller Center ice skating rink.

Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center – Midtown East

Open through Sunday, March 6, 2022
After a construction-abbreviated 2020-21 season, this popular tourist destination is ready for prime time again. Plan to visit early in the season or post-holidays for the best availability and fewest crowds. Book your tickets and reservations online prior to visiting to ensure you're not turned away.

ArtRink at the Brooklyn Children's Museum – Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Open through March 2022
Pair your next visit to the Brooklyn Children's Museum with a trip to its newly opened rooftop rink. Made with synthetic Glice, you can glide around in the open air while enjoying the view of several art installations surrounding the rink. Combo skate-and-play tickets include an hour of time on the rink, skate rentals, plus access to all of the fun museum exhibits inside.

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Skate under the twinkling lights at the IC Ice Rink
The IC Ice Rink is but one of the family-friendly attractions in the Industry City shopping and entertainment complex.

IC Ice Rink – Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Open through Sunday, March 13, 2022
Industry City's open-air rink is open Thursdays through Sundays and reservations can be booked online in advance, though they are not required. When you've had your fill of on-ice fun, explore the rest of the family-friendly amenities at this mixed-use development, or mosey up to the family-friendly outdoor bar for some hot cocoa and kid-friendly snacks.

Vale Rink – Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Open through Sunday, February 20, 2022
This charming rooftop rink at The William Vale features a synthetic surface instead of traditional ice, but it's a stunning location with sweeping skyline views. Slated to open in November, Vale Rink will be accompanied by a new, outdoor, chalet-themed dining concept. As NYC ice skating rinks go, the price is reasonable: $20 for adults; $12 for children, which includes skate rentals.

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Little girl overlooking Wollman Rink in Central Park
Spend a day in lovely Central Park and take a spin on the ice while you're there. Photo by Janet Bloom

Wollman Rink – Central Park

Open through Thursday, March 31, 2022
We couldn't do this roundup without mentioning this iconic NYC skate spot in Central Park. Under new management this season, big changes include a refurbished clubhouse, revitalized dining options, and an increased emphasis on providing access—and discounted tickets—to all New Yorkers. Given its history and iconic location, one thing that's unlikely to change is its popularity. We advise arriving early in the day when it first opens or hitting the ice just after school to avoid the crowds. Online reservations are recommended.

Riverbank State Park – Harlem

Open through March 2022
Riverbank State Park is a hidden gem in New York City. It's rarely crowded and one of the least expensive rinks for public skating. Riverbank also offers an inexpensive hockey program and skating lessons, and season passes are also available. After you skate, check out the park's other attractions, including sports fields and amazing views. There's a snack bar adjacent to the rink, as well as the restaurant Sofrito NY near the entrance of the park.

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LeFrak Prospect Park Best Ice Skating Rinks in NYC for Kids and Families
The LeFrak Center at Lakeside features both a covered and an open-air ice rink. Photo courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance

LeFrak Center at Lakeside – Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Open through Sunday, April 3, 2022
Built on the old Wollman Rink site, this Prospect Park complex features 32,000 square feet of skating surface on two rinks: one open-air, the other covered. Skating sessions will be limited to 90 minutes this season; advance reservations are not required but are recommended to avoid being turned away. Tickets will be available online once an opening day is announced. Skating lessons for beginners and experienced skaters, hockey leagues for kids and adults, and birthday party packages are offered. Beginner skaters can get some help from a limited number of penguin-shaped ice skating supports (distributed on a first-come, first-served basis). The Bluestone Cafe on-site offers sandwiches, salads, and snacks as well as coffee and hot chocolate. In summer, the ice rinks transform into a roller rink and water play area. Read our full review of Lakeside.

WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink – Staten Island

Open through March 2022
Located in the gorgeous Clove Lakes Park, this is the only outdoor skating rink on Staten Island, and it is very popular with borough families.

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The Rink at Brookfield Place is popular among neighborhood kids who fill the ice after school.

The Rink at Brookfield Place – Battery Park City

Open through Saturday, March 26, 2022
Enjoy stunning views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty while skating around this rink, which returns for its sixth season. The ice is cleaned at the end of every 90-minute session, so don't dawdle getting out there. Visitors are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. At 7,350 square feet, it beats the Rock Center rink for space. Prices, however, are steeper than at some other rinks. Parent-and-child skate lessons and hockey classes are offered. Afterward, you'll find plenty more to do in the family-friendly Battery Park City neighborhood. Adjacent Brookfield Place has hot cocoa, snacks, plenty of rotating art exhibits, and indoor fun.

The Rink at Manhattan West – Midtown West

Open through Sunday, March 27, 2022
We're always excited to welcome a new rink to this list and the team behind Brookfield Place's popular ice rink is bringing a new spot to Midtown's brand new Manhattan West development. The rink will be open for 1-hour sessions on weekday afternoons and evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. Lessons are available. All sessions and lessons should be booked online in advance.

The Rink at Brooklyn Commons – Downtown Brooklyn

Open through Sunday, February 27, 2022
Glide across the ice at this brand new 5,000-square-foot ice skating rink in the heart of Brooklyn Commons Park. Maximize your on-ice time by filling out the waiver before you skate. Public skating sessions are offered on weekday afternoons and evenings and all day on weekends. Sessions are broken down into 90-minute or two-hour blocks depending on the date. Skating lessons are also available for children and adults. 

If you're looking to glide in northern Central Park, take note: Lasker Rink is closed for the foreseeable future as it undergoes a multi-year transformation to the Harlem Meer Center meant to blend more seamlessly into the park surroundings.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the venues.

This article, originally published in October 2009, is updated annually.

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