Do you find it appealing to Ice skating in New York? There are many things to see and many things to do in the “Big Apple”. I would say that you can do almost anything, but skating on ice is one of the most traditional and characteristic activities in New York, especially if you go at Christmas.
Of course, New York has a wide range of activities, including ice skating has become a symbol of Christmas in New York, along with Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or the special Christmas show of Radio City Music Hall.
But today I’m going to talk about where and how to skate in New York, an experience that I recommend you try and add to your list of traveling experiences fulfilled.
Where Ice skating in New York
There are many ice rinks that extend through New York City, both in Manhattan and in other districts. I speak here of some of the most emblematic:
- The “Ice Skating Rink”, the ice skating rink of Rockefeller Center.
- The “Wollman Skate Rink” or “Trump Rink”, ice rink located in Central Park
- Another central track is “the Pond”, the skating rink of Bryant Park.
All of the rinks of Ice skating in New York are very central, in the heart of the Big Apple and although Google has decided to join them on foot by the 6th, you can also go from one to another along the famous 5th avenue.
The Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
The Rockefeller Center skating rink is known as the Ice Skating Rink and is probably the best-known skating rink in the world. To find it, travel to famous Fifth Avenue halfway between 49 and 50. From there you can see the great Christmas Tree Rockefeller Center, just ahead is the ice rink.
The price of fame is the endless queues that have to be supported if you want to treat yourself to skate on it. You choose, stand the tails or skid another track, but of course, you must approach to see it.
If you decide to skate on this track and do not want so many lines, you have two options:
- Go very early in the morning to skate to the opening
- Buy a VIP pass, much more expensive but … “fame has a price”
The Ice Rink of Central Park
The ice rink of Central Park is called Wollman Skate Rink and is also known as Trump Rink. This is the Christmas ice rink, couples, families and children from the Hollywood movies. It is also very famous and therefore with tails, but being much larger than the previous one, it goes faster and probably the wait is long but smaller.
As you can see on the map, it is located in the southern area of Central Park. Inside this park, further north there is another ice rink called Lasker Ring, which is reached by entering 110 avenue.
The Bryant Park Ice Rink
Although less known to tourists, the Bryant Park skating rink is also very central and popular. It is known as “the Pond” and is located between the fifth and sixth, at the height of 42 and not far from Times Square. In the large square where the track is located is also the Christmas fair, a large tree and the public library with its spectacular facade.
It is a municipal track and is the only free skating rink in New York. If you bring your own skates it will be completely free, but renting the skates is more expensive than in the others. In any case, the whim of Ice skating in New York is not expensive.
This track has a small advantage over the others. In case of group travel or family, if not all want to skate, you can rest from the day and have a drink in the bar under cover of the weather comfortably watching the skating rink through the glass.
If you are traveling with children, it can be tempting to sit down to rest after a long day of sightseeing and watch the children enjoy skating, but it is better to cheer up and share a day of ice skating with children in New York. If you travel with very small children (cart), the rest area is perfect to wait without losing the visual connection with those who skate.
Other ice rinks for Ice skating in New York
There are other less traditional skating rinks, but they can help you to get rid of the bug and they may fit better on your route.
I tell you:
- Brookfield Place Winter Garden, next to the 11-S memorial south of Manhattan
- The ice rink of Chelsea Piers, a more “professional” ice rink, covered and open all year
- The ice rink of the Standard Hotel: somewhat isolated from the classic tourist routes, but at the hand of the Meatpacking district
When can You Ice skating in New York?
Although skating is an activity that we associate with Christmas, in reality in New York you can skate on ice much of the year. Many of the ice rinks that are mounted around the city open from October to April.
But if you do not just want to skate on ice, but you want to feel like you’re in one of those Hollywood movies about Christmas, you’ll want to skate on the ice surrounded by lights and Christmas trees. For this, you will be interested to know that the general lighting of lights and shops is never done before the day of thanksgiving that is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.
The lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree next to the skating rink is the best symbol of that official start of the Christmas season in Manhattan, which usually takes place earlier than in other districts of the city.
The Ice skating in New York Experience
If you have not already done so, I definitely recommend adding the ice skating experience in New York to your wish list at Christmas, a recommended option for everyone, whether you travel in a group with friends, with your partner or if you traveling family with children.
New York is a big city with a wide range of activities that can push you to discard ice skating so you do not tire excessively. Do not discard it, you will remember the moment skating on ice many times in your life, every time you leave these scenes in the movies, go, a profitable trip.
Practical Information for Ice skating in New York
These are some of my tips if you decide to skate in New York:
- The first and most important, take warm clothes. Winter in New York can be very cold and if you are close to the ice, more.
- Also, the day you plan to skate and if you are not very expert, wear spare clothes, especially if you go with children.
- In all the tracks you will find lines, but without a doubt, the Rockefeller Center track takes the cake. Think well that you prefer, those exaggerated queues, skating on one of the alternative tracks or pay the VIP pass Rockefeller Center, I chose Bryant Park
- My advice is to skate at night, it’s … more authentic. Also, you will not steal too much time from other activities that can only be done during the day. That is, if the goal is to reduce the queues, it is better to get up early and skate to the opening of the chosen track.
Accommodation in New York
New York has a great attraction at all times of the year, but being a large city in general you will not have problems finding accommodation. That is, the accommodations with better value for money are sold out soon.
The best way to visit and experience the city at any time of the year is to stay in Manhattan itself, although you can find cheaper accommodation in nearby neighborhoods well connected as Harlem, Queens or Brooklyn.