Winter just isn't winter without ice-skating in New York City. Though most of us can probably name two or three rinks off the top of our heads, you might be more than mildly surprised to find there are 15 venues open for public ice-skating this holiday season. The best known is without a doubt the Rink at Rockefeller Center—tracing figure eights under the watchful gaze of Rock Center’s Prometheus statue is the quintessential NYC skating experience—but plenty of other (frequently less crowded) options exist.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park
Where: Sixth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Streets
When: October 28 to March 4
Price: Free; skate rental $20
If you already own skates, this is the most affordable spot in the City—it's the only rink that offers free admission. Bryant Park also hosts 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 3 to March 18
Price: Adults $8.50, kids 12 and under $4.50; skate rental $7.50
Up in the northern reaches of Central Park, Lasker Rink is 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 at Brookfield Place
Where: 250 Vesey St., at North End Ave.
When: November to March (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. 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: October 7 to April
Price: Adults $25–$32, kids 10 and under $15; skate rental $12
Millions of visitors plan trips to the City every year just to catch a glimpse of skaters taking a spin on the ice below the famous Christmas tree and gilded statue of Prometheus; others will wait in long lines to experience it for themselves.
The Rink at the Standard, High Line
Where: Standard Hotel, 848 Washington St., at 13th St.
When: “When it’s consistently cold enough” (usually open from late November)
Price: Adults $13, kids $6; skate rental $4 (prices reflect those of last season)
This compact rink is open to the public, not just hotel guests, and provides a hip, scenic downtown setting for carving the ice. It stays open till late, so do some skating under the stars before retiring to one of the hotel bars for a nightcap.
Riverbank State Park Ice Rink
Where: Henry Hudson Parkway between West 138th and West 145th Streets
When: November to March
Price: Adults $5, kids 11 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.
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers
Where: Pier 61, West 23rd Street and Hudson River Park
Price: $11; skate rental $6
Want to skate downtown…in mid-July? This enormous rink at Chelsea Piers is the place to go, though it’s a reliable stop-off any time of year.
Wollman Rink in Central Park
Where: Central Park, mid-park between 62nd and 63rd Streets
When: October 23 to April
Price: Adults $12 (Mon.–Thurs.), $19 (Fri.–Sun.); kids 11 and under $6; skate rental $9
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.
Abe Stark Rink
Where: Coney Island Boardwalk and West 19th Street
When: November 18 to March 18
Price: $10; skate rental $5
Already missing the beach? Take a trip to the Coney Island Boardwalk, where the Abe Stark Rink provides wintertime recreation. Open only on weekends and some holidays.
Aviator Sports and Events Center Rink
Where: Floyd Bennett Field, Flatbush Avenue and Belt Parkway
Price: Adults $12, kids $10; skate rental $6
Marine Park has an indoor rink that stays open throughout the year; relax in the sports lounge before or after your skate.
Where: Prospect Park, near Ocean Avenue and Lincoln Road entrance
When: October 29 to April 3
Price: Weekdays $7, weekends (beginning Friday at 4pm) $15; skate rental $6
This relatively recent construction, officially the Lefrak Center at Lakeside, has two rinks for skating (one open air, one covered); even if you don’t want to get out on the ice, you might still enjoy the views.
City Ice Pavilion
Where: 47-32 32nd Place, between 47th and 48th Avenues
Price: Weekdays $7, weekends $10; skate rental $6
This facility boasts the only rooftop ice-skating in New York City. Public skating hours are limited due to classes and league hockey, so call before you head out.
World Ice Arena
Where: Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Price: Weekdays $7; weekends (beginning Friday at 7pm) $10; skate rental $6
In the northeast corner of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the World Ice Arena provides wintertime activity that the space’s other recreation-focused features (the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Flushing Meadows Mini Golf, adjacent Citi Field) don’t, with year-round skating fun.
Staten Island Skating Pavilion
Where: 3080 Arthur Kill Rd.
Price: Adults $11, kids $10; skate rental $5
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.
War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
Where: Clove Lakes Park, Victory Boulevard, west of Clove Road
When: October 28 to March 18
Price: $10; skate rental $5
Some days might be too cold to fully appreciate Clove Lakes Park’s wetlands and other natural assets, but not to ice-skate: this rink is encased within a huge heated bubble. It’s open Fridays through Sundays, and some holidays.