Where to Go Ice Skating in NYC

Though New York is notorious for being tight on space, the city finds ways to bring ice skating rinks to visitors and locals alike each winter. In fact, there are some that are open year-round! If you’re heading to the Big Apple and are looking to partake in this age-old winter tradition, take a look at these nine rinks across the city that are open to the public.

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1. The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Jamie Pearson/Flickr

Jamie Pearson/Flickr

Beneath the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is one of the most popular rinks in the city. It’s not quite the size of a hockey rink -- only 150 people can fit on at a time -- it’s one of the most scenic skating venues in New York. While some tickets are first-come, first-served, you can also make VIP reservations in advance, which is highly recommended if you don’t want to brave the long lines.

2. The Rink at Winter Village at Bryant Park

Mack Male/Flickr

Mack Male/Flickr

Surrounded dozens of pop-up holiday shops and eateries in Bryant Park, the Rink at Winter Village is the only free admission ice skating rink in New York City (thanks to sponsor Bank of America). That being said, you’ll still have to pay for skate rentals if you don’t have your own equipment! As it’s free, you can expect quite a crowd -- and long lines.

3. Wollman Rink in Central Park

Tomás Fano/Flickr

Tomás Fano/Flickr

This historic rink opened in 1949 and is technically a permanent installation: In the summer months, it’s transformed into a small theme park. Being that the rink is on the heavily-trafficked south side of Central Park, you’ll find plenty of skaters lined up for their turn on the ice. You can also take lessons here, or even play hockey!

4. Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

These dual indoor rinks at New York’s premier sports complex, Chelsea Piers, is open year-round, welcoming the general public during certain free skate hours. Otherwise, the rinks are used for both figure skating lessons as well as hockey lessons and games -- both for children and adults alike.

5. The Rink at the Standard, High Line

The Standard High Line/Oyster

The Standard High Line/Oyster

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It might be tiny, but the Standard Hotel’s ice rink is quite a hot spot (well, technically a cold spot), located in the ever-trendy Meatpacking District, particularly in the evenings, when the adults come out to play at the hotel. Sip on a hot toddy or spiked cider after you hit the ice -- or before, if you’re daring.

6. The Rink at Brookfield Place

Shinya Suzuki/Flickr

Shinya Suzuki/Flickr

Each winter, the Brookfield Place shopping center in Battery Park City opens a small outdoor ice rink that’s often open the public, though both private and group classes are offered, too. If you’re spending the day downtown or sightseeing at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (the ferries are nearby), this rink is should be your go-to spot.

7. LeFrak Center, Prospect Park

Head to the borough of Brooklyn to find two outdoor ice skating rinks in Prospect Park. As tourists tend to stay in Manhattan, you won’t find as many here as you would the previous rinks on this list, but many a Brooklynite will head over for some winter fun.

8. Aviator Sports and Events Center, Floyd Bennett Field

If you go even farther out in Brooklyn, you’ll come across Floyd Bennett Field and the Aviator Sports and Events Center, which is home to a National Hockey League–sized rink. It’s open to the public 365 days a year (it’s indoors), and you can also take classes here.

9. Abe Stark Rink

Though Coney Island is known more as a beachy summer destination, if you visit in the winter, you can skate at the Abe Stark Rink right on the boardwalk. Skate yourself up an appetite before heading to the historic Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant, which was founded here in 1916.

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