The best ice-skating rinks in NYC
Winter is the season to seek the best ice-skating rinks in NYC. Every year, New York City is abuzz with locals and tourists alike heading to parks and plazas to skate. NYC ice skating is a social event, with music blaring and children laughing. Some NYC skating rinks have live DJs, some have bumper cars, and one is even 1,000 feet up in the sky! Let’s explore which NYC skating rink is best for you.
Wollman Rink is arguably the most famous of all NYC skating rinks. It’s easy to forget you’re in a city that’s home to over 8.5 million people while gliding about Wollman Rink in bucolic Central Park. Wollman Rink has been featured in movies and television shows such as Love Story, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Serendipity, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Muppets Take Manhattan, and Gossip Girl. Adult Admission to Wollman Rink starts at $25 and skate rental is $10. Wollman Rink has refreshments available for purchase to keep you fueled throughout the day. Private skating lessons are available.
THE RINK AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Vying for the title of most famous NYC skating rink is The Rink at Rockefeller Center. This famous NYC skating rink is at the base of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, directly below the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree during the holiday season. It’s been featured on the Today Show, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Autumn in New York, and Elf. A giant, gold statue of Prometheus towers above The Rink at Rockefeller Center, a symbol of forward-thinking progress. Adult tickets to The Rink at Rockefeller Center start at $21, and skate rental is $11. After your skate session, explore Rockefeller Center (LINK TO SECRETS OF ROCKEFELLER CENTER) and take advantage of the complex’s many shops and restaurants. For an extra special afternoon, head over to Times Square and see your photo on a Times Square billboard. Visit timessquarebillboard.com to learn how that can happen!
THE RINK AT BRYANT PARK
The Rink at Bryant Park is amongst the best Olympic-sized NYC ice-skating rinks. Wollman Rink is shaped like a gumdrop, and the Rink at Rockefeller Center is on the small side, but the Rink at Bryant Park is ready for your Olympic figure-skating routine! Admission is free, and skate rental starts at $18. Even though The Rink at Bryant Park is technically free NYC ice skating (if you have your own skates), reservations are required. The Rink at Bryant Park offers something no other NYC ice-skating rink does—bumpers cars! Starting at $20, you can take a 10-minute bumper car ride on the Rink at Bryant Park. These rides take place at the end of every hour. Visit bryantpark.org to reserve.
THE RINK AT BROOKFIELD PLACE
The Rink at Brookfield Place is one of New York City’s local secrets. Located next to the Hudson River on the southwest tip of Manhattan, The Rink at Brookfield Place offers calming views of New York Harbour. There are even places around The Rink at Brookfield Place where one can see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The Rink at Brookfield Place tends to be much less crowded than other NYC skating rinks and is near all the attractions in Lower Manhattan. Adult admission to The Rink at Brookfield Place starts at $22.57 (with skate rental). When you’re finished skating, stop by Le District or Hudson Eats for food, or peruse the luxurious shops at Brookfield Place.
THE ICE RINK AT THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT
The South Street Seaport is quickly becoming one of NYC’s trendiest neighborhoods. Fancy restaurants, artisanal bakeries, and boutique shops line the streets. Some of the country’s biggest pop stars and most famous comedians have performed at Pier 17. Locals love walking by the water and taking a break from the city at the South Street Seaport. As such, it seems natural that the South Street Seaport would get its own NYC ice-skating rink. The skyline views are what really set The Ice Rink at the South Street Seaport apart from the others. Every Thursday night, a live DJ plays music, usually based on a theme, such as “love” or “the nineties.” At night, an illuminated art installation called Aurora lights up overhead. Adult admission starts at $20, and skate rental is $17. A neighborhood discount for locals is available.
SKY SKATE AT EDGE
Outdoor NYC ice-skating rinks can be cold and are frustratingly dependent on the weather. Edge at Hudson Yards, one of NYC’s five observation decks (LINK TO OBSERVATION DECK ARTICLE), has solved the issue. Soaring 1,131 feet above ground, Edge is the highest outdoor observation deck in NYC. As you can imagine, the views are stunning and expansive. Through March 14th, Edge also hosts an indoor Glice-skating rink with stunning views of the city. Glice is synthetic ice that won’t melt, even as the temperatures rise. To boot, Glice is an ecologically friendly alternative to ice, as it uses zero energy. A 30-minute Sky Skate experience adds an additional $10 to your visit at Edge. Skate rental is complimentary. In fact, you are not allowed to bring your own skates, so leave them at home.
RIVERBANK STATE PARK
If you’re in Uptown Manhattan, Riverbank State Park offers an outdoor NYC ice-skating rink with a covered top to protect skaters from snow and rain. Skating season runs through March 12th, and admission is only $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Skate rentals at Riverbank State Park are $6 per person. Of all the NYC ice-skating rinks, Riverbank Park is best for travelers on a budget.
365 days a year, Chelsea Piers offers climate-controlled, indoor ice skating at their Sky Rink. They have figure-skating freestyle sessions, youth and professional hockey sessions, and public freestyle sessions. Chelsea Piers is a sports megacomplex that is also home to a bowling alley, swimming pool, fitness center, and even a driving range for golfers. After your skating session, consider joining a New York City Experiences Bateaux Dinner Cruise for unforgettable Statue of Liberty views.