Ice Skating in New York City
January 10, 2013

Get Your Skates On

Among the time-honored winter traditions in New York City is ice skating beneath the statue of Prometheus at Rockefeller Center. However, just as native New Yorkers tend to avoid the crowds window shopping along 5th Avenue, few locals would make a habit of waiting on line and paying the price ($20-$25 for adults; $12-$15 for kids) to ice skate at Rockefeller Center. Fortunately there are plenty of other places in the city to enjoy this outdoor activity at a reasonable price on a regular basis.

Our first ice skating adventure this season ended in disappointment: We happened to be in the neighborhood of Bryant Park and decided to go skating at the rink set up every winter in the center of the outdoor Christmas market. We should have known better. Not only was the wait over an hour and a half long, but admission is “free” only if you own ice skates (rentals are $14). Chances are, if you’re introducing kids to ice skating, you will wait to be sure they enjoy it before investing in skates—particularly given that you will have to purchase new pairs every winter as your kids’ feet grow.

We had better luck the next day when we visited Lasker Rink at the northern edge of Central Park. Given that Lasker Pool (same body of water, repurposed seasonally) was the focus of a post on pools we published last August, this seems appropriate. Not only are the entrance and rental fees reasonable ($7 and $4 respectively), but you can skate for as long as you want. This is—for obvious reasons—not the case at more touristy ice skating locales in the city.

Skating Around the City

If you head to the southern end of Central Park you can also skate on Wollman Rink ($11-$17 for adults, $6 for children). Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx also provide options. In Brooklyn, you can usually skate at the Kate Wollman Ice Skating Rink in Prospect Park, however this season it is closed for renovations. Fortunately the Abe Stark Rink at Coney Island ($8 admission, $5 skate rental) is up and running, so Brooklyners have a local place to skate.

Queens is home to the World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadows Corona Park ($5-$8 kids and adults, $5 skate rental). In Staten Island you can skate at the World War II Veterans Ice Skating Memorial at Clove Lakes Park ($8 admission, $5 skate rental). In the Bronx you can visit the Van Cortlandt Park ice skating rink ($8 for kids and adults, $5 skate rental)..

What are some other places where New Yorkers can ice skate?




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