It finally feels like winter in New York City, and you’re eager to find a warm cozy place to hibernate inside. But don’t let plunging temperatures and icy sidewalks discourage you from taking part in all that this city has to offer. Winter in New York means sledding in Central Park, perusing holiday markets, and lacing up your ice skates to glide across the rink.
Whether you’re in Brooklyn or Manhattan, there are plenty of places to go ice skating this winter. Here are the top four:
In the summer months, Prospect Park offers rollerblading to families looking to burn off kids’ energy. And in the winter, they cover the rink with a slick coat of ice so it’s primed and ready for a season of ice skating. The rink is partially covered and divided into two large skating areas. There’s even an adjacent café to grab a cup of cocoa in between laps.
The rink is open until April 3rd. Skate rentals will run you $6 and admission is $9 ($6 on weekdays). Spend the day on the ice, sip some hot chocolate, then walk around the park for a day jam-packed with winter vibes.
Lakeside at Prospect Park was created 150 years ago and is still the park’s largest project.
Central Park has two ice skating rinks–one on the east side near Central Park Zoo (Wollman Rink) and one mid-park between 106th and 108th street (Lasker Rink). Wollman offers ice hockey, skating school, party facilities, skate rentals, and lockers. Admission is $19 ($12 on weekdays) and skate rentals are $9.
Lasker serves as a swimming pool in the summer months but converts to a skating rink in the winter. It offers skating, hockey, lessons, skate rentals, and lockers. Admission is only $8 and skate rentals are $7.
Stop by either rink then wander around the park–bring a sled and some snacks for a full day of outdoor activities, far away from the noisy streets and holiday traffic.
In 1986, after six years of trying to fix the failing Central Park ice rink and $13 million down the drain, Donald Trump stepped in to save the rink. At the time, Trump reported to the Times, “I don’t want my name attached to losers. So far the Wollman Rink has been one of the great losers. I’ll make it a winner.”
Skating below the Rockefeller Christmas tree is perhaps the most iconic NYC Christmas activity there is. It’s also one of the most crowded places in New York in December. Visitors can expect to wait up to 90 minutes to get a spot on the ice. Pro tip: get there right when the rink opens at 8:30 AM to guarantee minimal wait time. Admission ranges from $25 – $32, skate rental is an additional $12.
If you would rather watch the skaters go by but stay inside where it’s warm, stop by Rockefeller Cafe and peer through the windows at the rink.
Chances are you’ll be waiting in line for a while, but at least you’ll have a nice view!
The Winter Village at Bryant Park has rows of holiday shops, food stands, and ice skating all in the center of midtown Manhattan. It’s also the only rink that offers free admission (skate rental is $20). The rink is open until March 4th. Go check it out in December when you can use the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts at the adjacent shops. From light fixtures to gourmet chocolate, you’re sure to find something you’ll want to buy.
Free admission? This spot’s the best for anyone with their own pair of skates.
After a full day of skating and enjoying a winter day in the city, there’s nothing better than curling up in a cozy apartment. For furnished bedrooms in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Jersey City, head over to Bedly.com.
Photo credits (in order of appearance): Time Out, CentralPark.org, Jake Rajs Photos, Eyeflare