Winter just isn’t winter without ice-skating in New York City. Though a handful of rinks won’t open this season—and those that do, most of which are in Manhattan, will have capacity restrictions and other health guidelines to ensure they offer safe experiences—plenty of opportunity remains to be outdoors in the crisp air and circle the ice under the stars. And you can do so at some of the City’s top landmarks: Rockefeller Center, Central Park and Prospect Park, for a start.
Read on for details of the ice-skating rinks open near you, check back for late-breaking updates (as more rinks may eventually open) and contact the venues ahead of any plans you make, both to ensure their opening and to reserve your time on the ice.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Where: Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets
When: October 31, 2020–March 7, 2021
Price: Entry is free; skate rental $21–36 (depending on date/time)
If you already own skates, this is the most affordable spot in the City—it’s the only rink that offers free admission. You’ll need to reserve a designated time ahead of arrival, and the sessions are timed (morning ones at 8am are the longest, at 75–90 minutes). Midtown’s Bryant Park also hosts its annual holiday shops, a good destination if you want to cross some gifts off your list after your turn on the ice.
Where: Central Park, northeast corner, between 106th and 108th Streets
When: November 20, 2020–March 21, 2021
Price: Adults $9, kids 12 and under $5; skate rental $8 (cash only)
Up in the northern reaches of Central Park, Lasker Rink tends to be a bit less crowded than its sister venue, Wollman Rink (see below); you’ll also save a few bucks if you opt for this one. The rink, near the northern reaches of Museum Mile, has implemented a number of new safety protocols—face mask requirements, temperature checks and limited capacity among them.
The Rink at Brookfield Place
Where: 250 Vesey St., at North End Ave.
When: November 2020–March 2021 (weather permitting)
Price: $15; skate rental $5
This is your best downtown bet for open-air ice-skating, scenically located right by the Hudson River in Battery Park City and not far from Lower Manhattan’s Oculus and World Trade Center. You can book hourlong public sessions, lessons (with an Olympian, if you like) and “private pod” group outings. Brookfield Place also offers ample dining and shopping options, so you can grab a bite and buy some holiday gifts too.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Where: Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets
When: November 21, 2020–January 17, 2021
Price: Adults $15–35 (depending on date/time, with the lowest admission price only available for first or last skates); skate rental $15
In a typical year, big crowds assemble at Rockefeller Plaza to watch skaters taking a spin on the ice below the famous Christmas tree and gilded statue of Prometheus—and to wait on line to experience it themselves. It’s an NYC holiday tradition. This season the crowds won’t be nearly as fierce, and you’ll want to book ahead to guarantee your timed session, but that won’t diminish the thrill of being in the best-known rink in the City.
Riverbank State Park Ice Rink
Where: 679 Riverside Drive, enter at West 145th Street
When: Late November 2020–March 2021 (tentative and weather permitting)
Price: Adults $5, kids 12 and under $3; skate rental $6
Riverbank, in Hamilton Heights, is the only state park in Manhattan; it offers incredible river views across to New Jersey, gorgeous vistas of the George Washington Bridge and a nicely tucked away place to glide on the ice.
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Where: Central Park, southeast corner, between 62nd and 63rd Streets
When: November 2020–early April 2021
Price: Adults $12 (Mon.–Thurs.), $19 (Fri.–Sun.); kids 11 and under $6; skate rental $10; cash only
Few skating spots can match the ambience of Central Park’s Wollman Rink, especially after a fresh snowfall. If you’re there at night, be sure to look up for some prime NYC stargazing. The rink, close to the Central Park Zoo, has the same new safety protocols as Lasker (above).
Where: Prospect Park, near Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Road entrance
When: Late November 2020–March 2021 (tentative; details TBD)
Price: Weekdays $7.25, weekends (beginning Friday at 4pm) $10; skate rental $7
Prospect Park’s Lefrak Center at Lakeside will be one of only two locations where you can skate in Brooklyn this season. It has a pair of rinks for skating (one open air, one covered); and even if you don’t want to get out on the ice, you might still enjoy the views.
Vale Rink at The William Vale
Where: 111 N. 12th St., Williamsburg
When: November 25, 2020–early 2021 (exact date TBD)
Price: Adults $20, kids 12 and under $12
The William Vale, a hotel in Williamsburg, has an open-air rooftop rink with a synthetic-ice surface and great views. It requires reservations; drinks and snacks will be available nearby in socially distanced spaces.
Staten Island Skating Pavilion
Where: 3080 Arthur Kill Rd., Tottenville
Price: Adults $14, kids $12; skate rental $7
Staten Island’s only year-round ice-skating rink offers open ice hockey games and private skating lessons, though public skating hours are somewhat limited; those sessions take place Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, as well as most holidays.