When the cool weather of fall fades into the freezing frostiness of winter, it takes a lot of effort to leave our warm, cozy homes. However, one festive activity that gets New Yorkers out of their apartments is ice skating, a New York City tradition since the 1850s. Ahead, find some of the best places in the city to ice skate, from gliding underneath one of the world’s most iconic Christmas trees at Rockefeller Center to attending lessons hosted by Olympic skaters at Manhattan West and Brookfield Place.
Photo courtesy of Shinya Suzuki on Flickr
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
600 5th Avenue
Skate underneath one of the world’s most iconic Christmas trees at the Rink at Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Plaza has been home to an ice rink since 1936 and is on every NYC winter to-do list. Besides public skating sessions, the rink also hosts private individual and group lessons. Tickets for general admission start at $11. Note, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is on display through January 14.
Central Park, 830 Fifth Avenue
An iconic Central Park attraction, the Wollman Rink lets guests spin and glide across the ice surrounded by the glittering Manhattan skyline. Nestled next to the rink is a cafe, serving ice skaters snacks like hot dogs, burgers, and more. Tickets start at $15 for adults and $10 for children and seniors.
Image courtesy of Colin Miller
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park Rink
Bryant Park, 41st Street and 6th Avenue
The 17,000-square-foot Bryant Park Rink is located at the center of the renowned open-air Bank of America Winter Village. Nestled next to the rink is the Lodge, which provides a “rinkside, apres skate escape” where visitors can enjoy festive food and cocktails and watch as skaters circle the ice. Admission to the rink is free, with tickets for skate rentals starting at $14. Reserve them here. If you have your own pair of skates, ice skating is totally free.
Image courtesy of Manhattan West
The Rink at Manhattan West
385 9th Avenue
Located within the new Brookfield Properties development Manhattan West, this rink hosts weekday public skating, weekend and holiday public skating, events, and lessons taught by Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. Admission starts at $20 plus tax and fees.
Photo courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation
Ice Rink at the Seaport
Seaport Square between Piers 16 & 17
The Seaport’s ice skating rink is the perfect destination for a winter outing. Skate underneath Aurora, an overhead light installation designed by Ithaca Studio that spans over the entire distance of the rink and features stunning light displays mimicking the Northern Lights. Rink admission is free, and skate rentals cost $23 on weekdays and $26 on weekends.
View this post on Instagram
The Rink at Brookfield Place
230 Vesey Street
Situated on Lower Manhattan’s waterfront, the Rink at Brookfield Place is an upscale ice skating experience with activities for guests of all ages and skill levels, as well as skating lessons hosted by Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. Guests should be sure to take in the waterfront views and grab a bite to eat at Hudson Eats, Brookfield Place’s dining terrace with several fast-casual options. Weekday skating sessions are $15, with skate rentals costing $5. More information on pricing can be found here.
Photo credit: Trust for Governors Island
Governors Island Winter Village Ice Skating Rink
Enjoy a wide variety of winter festivities, including ice skating, at Governors Island’s Winter Village. In addition to enjoying the 7,500-square-foot rink, skaters can pick up some hot chocolate and food from Little Eva’s, rent bikes and sleds, play lawn games, and sit by a fire pit. Reservations for the rink are available in 90-minute blocks. Tickets start at $12 and skate rentals cost $9. Rink admission is free every Thursday.
Image courtesy of Edge
Sky Skate at Edge
30 Hudson Yards
On January 10, Edge will become home to the highest ice skating rink in NYC. Located within the indoor portion of the Edge sky deck, Sky Skate offers guests the ability to glide across the ice at 1,131 feet in the air. Edge’s 1,024-square-foot rink is made of Glice, a synthetic form of ice that consumes zero energy. Tickets start at $48 for adults and include 30 minutes of skating time and skate rentals.
Image courtesy of Industry City
Industry City Ice Skating Rink
51 35th Street, Courtyard 5/6
Industry City’s outdoor uncovered rink is a perfect winter activity for the whole family. The rink is nestled in courtyard 5/6 at the campus with a nearby bar serving hot cocoa and snacks. The IC rink will be open during the winter season every Friday through Sunday through March. Admission costs $15, and skate rentals cost $10.
Image courtesy of The William Vale
The Vale Rink
111 North 12th Street
Located on the 23rd-floor rooftop of The William Vale hotel in Williamsburg, the Vale Rink offers a fun winter outing with views of the city skyline. The Vale Rink is made out of a synthetic form of ice that offers a nearly identical skating experience without the cold and wetness of traditional ice. Next to the rink is the Winter Village at Westlight, a heated area offering Alpine-style fondue, Westlight’s signature dishes, and festival craft cocktails. Admission to the rink is $20 for adults and includes skate rentals and locker storage.
Abe Stark Rink
Coney Island Boardwalk and West 19th Street
For 40 years, the Abe Stark Rink has given visitors a reason to head to the Coney Island Boardwalk during the winter. The rink is a community favorite frequented by schools, sports leagues, and locals of all ages. The rink offers public skating sessions, hockey, and skating classes. Admission is $10 and skate rentals are $5.
Image courtesy of Michael Moran
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Prospect Park, 171 East Drive
Found in the southeast corner of Prospect Park, the LeFrak Center at Lakeside has a covered and uncovered ice skating rink and hosts ice skating and hockey lessons, birthday parties, and other special events. Their Bluestone Cafe serves up piping hot mugs of hot chocolate, coffee, and other warm treats for your post-skating cravings. Admission is $9.50 on weekdays and $14 on weekdays. Skate rentals cost $9.50.
World Ice Arena
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, 134-04 Meridian Road
Located within Queens’ Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the World Ice Arena is an ice skating rink that hosts public skating sessions, skating classes, hockey, and more. Public skating sessions are held seven days a week, with admission costing $8 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Skate rentals cost $6.
WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Clove Lakes Park, 1305 Victory Boulevard
The WWII Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink is Staten Island’s only outdoor skating rink, hosting adult and youth skating lessons, events, and parties. Admission is $12, and skate rentals are $7.
- How New York keeps its cool: A history of ice skating in NYC
- The Urban Lens: The Museum of the City of New York looks back at NYC ice skating over the centuries
- In 19th century NYC, sleigh carnivals took over parks on snowy days