ArtRink Brings Rooftop Ice Skating to the Brooklyn Children's Museum

You can now glide your way across the Brooklyn Children's Museum's roof thanks to the opening of its new exhibit, ArtRink. Photo by Winston Williams
You can now glide your way across the Brooklyn Children's Museum's roof thanks to the opening of its new exhibit, ArtRink. Photo by Winston Williams

If you're looking for a cool new outing, bundle up and head over to the Brooklyn Children Museum's new rooftop ArtRink, which transforms the space into an art-filled winter wonderland. The 3,200-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink is the main attraction on the museum's newly bedecked rooftop, which also features interactive art installations and plenty of places to cozy up—all under the sparkling lights of a giant rooftop canopy.

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Little boy on the rink at the Brooklyn Children's Museum's new ArtRink
The Brooklyn Children's Museum's new installation, ArtRink, includes a smile-inducing synthetic ice skating rink.

The big draw here—the rooftop ice skating rink—is constructed from "Glice," a Swiss-engineered synthetic surface that feels very different from a traditional frozen ice rink. It took us a few rounds to figure out how to glide on what felt like slightly rubbery plastic. Once we got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing. My 6 year old loved that he could fall down without getting cold and wet and was much more daring than he usually is on frozen ice rinks. One bonus not usually offered at ice rinks: Parents who wish to forgo skating can don plastic booties to accompany their kids onto the ice.

Before or after your skating session, set aside time to take a stroll around the roof to view the various art installations created by local NYC creatives. My kids loved the mini "village" of winter playhouses, each individually decorated in vibrant colors and designed for open-ended play. The art continues in the whimsical, blue "Ice Cave," which transforms the rooftop's "Nest" climbing structure into a tunnel of light and shadows. Kids can crawl inside to be surrounded by twinkling lights or climb on top for a view of the whole rooftop.

Next, head to the "Winter Woodland Walk" where archways decorated with sparkling lights and evergreen branches create a cozy, festive space—perfect for snapping a perfect holiday shot under the large arch in the center. Finally, take a break in "The Rainbow Lounge" which offers yet another great spot to snag some photos. Kids can recline on light-up chairs and the ice cube benches, which can also be used as building blocks. Don't forget to leave a message on the large chalkboard wall.

RELATED: Best Ice Skating Rinks in NYC for Kids and Families

ArtRink affords kids a rooftop skating rink at the Brooklyn Children's Museum
New skaters can lean on a skate aid for a little help staying upright as they glide across the rooftop rink. Photo by Winston Williams/courtesy of Brooklyn Children's Museum

Though the BCM's café is temporarily closed, the rooftop does have several picnic tables where families may eat whatever snacks they bring. Keep in mind that the museum's water fountains are not available, so be sure to bring your own full water bottles—you'll be thirsty after your skate!

Since admission to the rest of the BCM is included in the ticket price, round out your visit by exploring some of the museum's interactive spaces. My son loves the new A-MAZE-D installation on the second floor, which transforms the area into a meandering adventure of twisting corridors and tunnels. Little ones (up to age 6) flock to the Totally Tots exhibit on the ground floor, featuring a giant water table and nine different sensory play areas, including dress-up, sand, blocks, and climbing structures.

Know Before You Go To ArtRink at BCM

  • ArtRink runs through March 2022 and is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm and on Thursdays and Fridays from 2pm-5pm.
  • Tickets must be booked in advance online. For access to the rink, be sure to book skate and play tickets, which are $23 for adults and children ages 1 and up, and include 1 hour of skate time, plus full access to the museum exhibits before or after you skate.
  • Skate rentals are included in the price (or you can bring your own), and a limited number of skate aids are available.
  • If you don't want to skate, regular admission ($13 per person) includes access to the rooftop art installations but not the skating rink.
  • To get the full effect of the decorative lighting, book a session later in the day.
  • ArtRink is a completely outdoor experience and there are no heat lamps, so dress accordingly.
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