• The 8 Best Ice Skating Rinks To Visit In New York City

    Every rink that you and your kids should be practicing your figure eights on this winter.

    By Ben Berk
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    Rockefeller Center, Photo via Carolina Rojas S. on Flickr

    Millions of people stream in to New York City over the holidays for shopping, shows, and New Year’s celebrations. One of the most popular attractions in the city throughout the winter months is ice skating, and there are a few rinks that truly excel. They combine great rinks, friendly staff, and fantastic amenities. So, grab your scarves and remember — everyone falls the first time!

    Rockefeller Center

    One of the most famous public rinks in the world, this skating center in the heart of Midtown is known for the great view of Rockefeller Plaza and the surrounding skyscrapers. While there is always a crowd, they do an excellent job keeping it from feeling too crowded. General admission skating is open from 8:30am to midnight every day, with periodic stops to clean the ice. Prices for adults range from $25 to $32, depending on when during the season you arrive, children under 11 and seniors pay $11, as well as a $12 fee for skate rentals. They also have group rates, so your little one and their friends can skate while you save some cash! You can also spend $50 for private lessons, which include general admission. 5th Avenue, between 49th and 50th streets, (212) 332-7654

    Wollman Rink

    Another famous rink, Wollman is located in the southern end of Central Park. Surrounded by greenery, you can escape the city, for a while at least, while you glide along the ice. The rink opens at 10am every day, and remains open until the late evening five days a week (it closes at 2:30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays). It’s only $12 for adults Monday through Thursday and just a few dollars more on weekends and holidays. Skate rentals are $9, and you can rent a locker to secure your belongings while you skate. You can register for a group or private skating lesson, available for both children and adults. If you get tired of the ice, take a relaxing ride on the famous Friedsam Memorial Carousel, for only $3 per person. Enter at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue and walk north in to the park, (212) 439-6900

    Lasker Rink

    For a skating option on the northern end of Central Park, Lasker Rink is the choice. It’s slightly less stress on your wallet – just $8 for adults, $4 for kids, and $2.25 for seniors, along with $7 for skate rentals — but be sure to hit the ATM beforehand because it is cash only. The hours of the rink depend on the day, so make sure you check ahead of time. Lasker Rink is very welcoming of young hockey players – it is a non-checking program and hosts the city’s only all-girls team, the Lady Hawks! If your child is already a skating fanatic, host their birthday party at Lasker for unlimited skating, food, and drinks as well as private seating. Nearest street entrance is 110th street and Lenox Avenue, (917) 492-3856

    Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

    If you want to skate and get out of the cold, head to Chelsea Piers and check out the Sky Rink. There are two rinks available so there is plenty of space, and if you fall in love with skating, it is open year-round! The rinks are open in the afternoons almost every day, with $10 admission, $5 skates, and $4.25 helmet rental, so parents concerned about safety will love it. There are group rates and discounts, so bring your friends and family! You can also host everything from birthday parties to bar and bat mitzvahs at Sky Rink. If you want a little bit of competition, you can try your hand (or skate) at hockey or figure skating – they have adult and youth leagues as well as lessons. Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, (212) 336-6100

    Winter Village at Bryant Park

    If you’re willing to brave some crowds, head to Bryant Park, just behind the lions at the New York Library. The Rink is the core of the spectacular Winter Village, which includes shops that sell all sorts of fun trinkets, cafes where you can get hot chocolate and coffee, and a giant Christmas tree. The Rink is the only free admission skating rink in the entire city! Rent a pair of skates for $20, sharpen a pair of your old skates for the same price and rent a locker to store your bags for $10 – $12. Bring your own combination lock to save money. You can arrange for skating lessons and even have a helper skate with your children still unsteady on the skates when you need a break. Rink is open 8am to 10pm daily. Located between 40th and 42nd streets, and Fifth and Sixth Avenues, (917) 438-5166

    City Ice Pavilion

    For a quieter skate that doesn’t hurt your wallet, cross the East River to Long Island City for the City Ice Pavilion. Whether you’re looking for a hockey league, skating lessons, or just a fun public skate, you can find it here. Only $6 on Mondays through Fridays, and $9 on the weekend, you can have a great time in Queens. You can even sign up to be in their Winter Show on December 11! 47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City, (718) 706-6667

    Aviator Sports and Events Center

    If you’re a Brooklyn resident, you might prefer a day of skating that doesn’t require having to enter packed Manhattan streets. You’re in luck, because this rink on Flatbush Avenue is open 365 days a year. Aviator has two NHL-sized rinks for everyone to enjoy as well as a food court nearby for post-skate snacks. Admission is not expensive — $11 for non-member adults and $9 for their kids, $10 for members and $8.10 for their kids. Skate rentals are just $5, too. Lockers to store bags are free – just make sure you bring a lock. The schedule changes depending on the day, so make sure you call or check their web site while you plan your trip. Floyd Bennett Field, 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, (718) 758-7500

    LeFrak Center in Prospect Park

    Throughout the year, the LeFrak Center is full of fun. During the winter months, ice skating takes over. Just $6 on weekdays and $9 on weekends and holidays, this fabulous new destination in Prospect Park is part of a massive restoration of the southeast corner of the famous park. Check the schedule because there are different hours for different days. Don’t forget about the Bluestone Café nearby, which is perfect for rest and refreshments before or after you skate. Located inside the park near the Lincoln Road and Parkside/Ocean Avenues entrances, (718) 965-8951

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