Where to Go Ice Skating in New York City

This post lists the best ice skating rinks in New York City, including hours, tickets (and available discounts), directions, and suggestions to make your experience great. 

 

 


CENTRAL PARK

Ice-skating in Central Park is popular with locals and travelers alike. The combination of the natural setting with the sparkling skyline in the background is magical.

The park is a must-see destination on your trip, any time of the year. There is something for everyone. Our guide to Central Park lays it all out for you.

If you are interested in exploring the park with a guide, consider taking one of our pay-what-you-wish Central Park walking tours.

You can also enjoy our self-guided tour or GPS-Enabled audio tour anytime, day or night. 


Wollman Rink

This outdoor rink offers a stunning skyline view of the surrounding buildings while you skate. You may recognize this rink from the movie Serendipity. (See our Christmas Movie Tour which you might enjoy).

  • Location: Central Park.  The rink is accessed from the entrance at 59th and 5th Avenue.
  • Schedule: November 11, 2019 – March 29, 2020. Check the website for updates.
  • Prices:  CASH ONLY
    • Monday – Thursday:  $12 adults/$6 children (11 years and under)/ $5 for seniors
    • Friday – Sunday and Holidays:  $19 adults/$6 children (11 years and under)/ $9 for seniors
  • Skate Rental: $10
  • Locker rentals $5 (with a $6 refundable deposit)
  • Spectator Entrance (no ice-skating) $5

MONEY-SAVING TIP: If you are planning on visiting the nearby Museum of Modern Art, there is a combo ticket that includes entry to MoMA ($25 value) and entrance to Wollman Rink with skate rental ($22 value/$29 on weekends). 

Plus, you also get a gift card to Century 21 department store! Purchase this great combo deal here: Wollman Rink/Museum of Modern Art combo ticket.

Avoid the lines with these special tickets:

Early Morning Holiday Skate  

From Dec. 23-31, you can get out on the ice at 8:30 am before the general public enters at 10 am. You can continue skating past 10 am.

Only 100 people total are allowed on the ice during a session, so this is a unique opportunity. The cost is $50 per person, plus tax. Ice skate rental is included. Storage locker, if needed, costs $5.

Though it costs quite a bit more than the public skating hours, if your time is limited, it’s something to consider. Click here to make reservations.

Premier Pass

With this pass, you go can skip the line, get unlimited skating time, and have three-hour access to a heated, rink-side hospitality tent with complimentary refreshments. The price also includes rental skates and a locker.

November 28th – January 1st: $85 per person (plus tax) / January 2nd – February 16th: $62 per person (plus tax)

Find out more on their website


Lasker Rink 

This outdoor rink is located on the northern end of Central Park below the neighborhood of Harlem. The rink doesn’t draw the tourist crowds and they also offer skating lessons if you need a refresher.

  • Location:  Central Park, near Harlem Meer (map)
  • Schedule:  Nov. 11, 2019 – March 29, 2020
    • Weekdays: Mon-Thurs 9:30 am-4 pm; Fri 9:30 am-4:50 pm & 6 pm-11 pm  
    • Weekends: Sat 2 pm-11 pm;  Sun 12 pm – 4:30 pm
  • Price:  CASH ONLY $9 for adults, $5 for children and $3 for seniors
  • Skate Rental: $8
  • Locker rentals $4 (with a $4 refundable deposit)
  • Spectator (no ice-skating) $4

If you are up at Lasker Rink, check out Harlem for some warming comfort food, historic sites, and unique culture.

Our Guide to Harlem has plenty of information for you. 

 


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MANHATTAN ICE SKATING RINKS

There are several rinks throughout the city, varying in price, range. One rink is free to skate, though if you don’t have your own skates, you will have to pay to rent some.

The most expensive is Rockefeller Center, but it also offers you one of those special New York moments.

TIP: Some tourist discount passes include ice skating packages which save you money. See our post on tourist passes to see if one is right for you.


The Rink at Rockefeller CenterRockefeller Christmas Tree

The picture-perfect moment on any holiday trip to New York is skating at the rink at Rockefeller Center. Fortunately, for those coming before the holidays, the rink opens in October.

In late November the iconic Christmas Tree is lit, giving the rink that extra special holiday feeling.

To see the tree lighting, read our post, Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony,

  • Location: In front of 30 Rockefeller Plaza (map). To get to the Skate House where you buy tickets, go to 5th Ave. between 49th and 50th Sts. Walk through the Channel Gardens, go down the stairs at the promenade and turn to the right to look for an official greeter in a red coat.
  • Schedule:  Oct. 12, 2019 – April 2020
    • Sessions are 90 minutes long and start at 8:30 am, and then every two hours on the half-hour thereafter until 10:30 pm.
  • General Admission Prices: For Oct – Dec 2019. (Prices for Jan – April 2020 TBA)
    • Range from $25 -$33 for adults depending on the date. 
    • Children under 11 and seniors are always $15. 
  • Skate Rental: $13 (or bring your own for free) 
  • Note: You cannot reserve in advance unless you purchase a special ticket. Below are the options.

Reserved Ticket Options

First Skate 

  • Reservation for the first skate of the day from 7 am – 8 am, before general public entry.
  • Includes skate rental and hot chocolate or coffee.
  • Available most dates November 16 – December 31, 2019, and January 2, 2020
  • $40 – $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. The price depends on the date you choose. 

VIP Skate 

  • A reserved skating time – bypass any lines for General Admission.
  • Skate rental provided
  • Skate Concierges to assist you with skate rentals
  • Refreshments including hot chocolate, Nespresso coffee, and bottled water
  • An assortment of freshly baked cookies

Whether you go skating or not, there is so much more to do at Rockefeller Center. Use our self-guided tour of Rockefeller Center to learn more.   


The Rink at Bank of America Winter Village

This rink is located in the middle of a lovely holiday market in Midtown Manhattan. It is the only FREE ice skating rink in NYC.

How can they afford to let you skate for free? Because the skate rental price is much higher than other rinks.

For almost all of December and early January, skate rental is a whopping $33!

Non-peak dates (varies by month), rental is between $18- $23. Much of November is $23 to rent skates. January and February are mostly $18.

Also, peak times, the wait to get on the ice can be long. We don’t want to deter you from skating at this beautiful rink. 

So we include tips below on how to save money and time if you choose to skate here.

  • Location: Bryant Park. Enter at 40th St bet. 5th and 6th Aves. (map)
  • Schedule:  Oct. 31, 2019 – Mar. 1, 2020, Daily 8 am-10 pm
  • Admission: Free
  • Skate rental: Between $18 – $33. Prices vary by date.
  • Bag Check: $12. They have free very small lockers that do not have locks. Bring a lock or rent a lock for $12. If you reserve a skating slot online, you must indicate a storage option.
  • Premium Ticket option: For $135 (yes, you read that right), you get skip the line entry, skate rental, bag check, skate concierge service, access to their Polar Lounge, water, and cocoa.

Tips to save you time and money:

First, you can save a lot of money by leaving your bags at a secure luggage storage shop near the rink. See our post on luggage storage in NYC.

Second, some tourist discount passes can save you money off of the steep skate rental prices. For example, NY Pass holders get a free skate rental.

For those more concerned about saving time, a New York Explorer Pass allows you to enter through the Express line.

If you aren’t familiar with tourist discount passes, find out more about the benefits of purchasing one from our post comparing all the pass options.


The Rink at Brookfield Place

This Lower Manhattan rink has stunning views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

At 7,350 square feet, it’s way larger than the Rockefeller Center rink and can accommodate 250 skaters at a time.

Also, there are lots of things to do inside Brookfield Place, with shopping, a great food court and rotating art exhibits and performances. 

  • Location:  230 Vesey Street between West Street and North End Avenue (map)
  • Schedule: Opens early November 2019
    • (start times for a 90-minute session):
      • Monday – Friday 1 pm, 3 pm, 5 pm, 7 pm
      • Saturday, Sunday & Holidays 10:15 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm
  • Price:  $15 (90 mins)
  • Skate rental:  $5 

Brookfield Place is across the street from the 9/11 Memorial. Our self-guided tour and GPS-enhanced audio tour tell you all about the Memorial and what to see. 


Winterland Rooftop Rink at Pier 17

This outdoor rink is located on the rooftop at Pier 17, so you get stunning views of the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge and the even Empire State Building in the distance!

It is located in the South Street Seaport which is a lovely historic district in Lower Manhattan. The entrance to the rooftop is on the south side of Pier 17 (opposite Brooklyn Bridge side). 

When you purchase a ticket online, you choose a time slot. Enter the rink at that time and skate as long as you want! Tickets are also available for purchase in person at the Seaport Skate House.

  • Location: Pier 17 at 89 South Street (map and directions)
  • Schedule: Nov. 22, 2019 – tba
    • Hours:  Mon-Thurs 3 pm-10 pm/ Fri 12 pm-11 pm /Sat 10 am-11 pm/Sundays 10 am-10 pm 
  • Price: Varies by peak/non-peak dates. See the pricing calendar here.
    • Non-Peak dates: Mon-Thurs $15 / Fri-Sun $18
    • Peak dates: $27 / Skate Rental $35
    • Children 5 years & younger skate free (skate rentals not included)
  • Skate rental: $8
  • Locker Rental: $11. Oversize bags and luggage are not allowed. If you have large bags, you can find inexpensive luggage storage nearby.

Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink

Admission to this rink is as cheap as it gets (other than free Bryant Park).  It’s located in Manhattan’s Hamilton Heights neighborhood on the border of Harlem.

The ice rink is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as an indoor roller-skating rink in spring and summer and in the colder months transforms into an outdoor ice rink.

  • Location: 679 Riverside Drive, Upper Manhattan (map)
  • Schedule:  TBA
  • Hours:  Fri. 6 pm–9 pm, Sat.–Sun. 1 pm–4 pm & 6 pm–9 pm
  • Price: Adults $5; kids $3
  • Skate rental: $6

While in Hamilton Heights, you can take a quick bus ride to Harlem where you can find fantastic comfort food! Perfect after ice-skating! Use our neighborhood guide to Harlem to see where to eat. 


Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

The year-round indoor skating rink at Pier 61 has public hours 6 days a week, with afternoon hours. Before or after your skate, consider joining our pay-what-you-wish Chelsea and High Line Tour. If you prefer to explore on your own, use our guide to the High Line.

  • Location: Pier 61, Hudson River Greenway at 23rd St. (map)
  • Schedule: Year-round
    • Hours:  Mon 1:30 pm-5 pm, Tues/Thurs 3 pm-5 pm; Fri 1:30 pm-5:20 pm, Sat/Sun 1 pm-3:50 pm. No sessions on Wednesdays.
  • Price: $12 per person
  • Skate rental: $6
  • Helmet rental: $5

TIP: If you get hungry, be sure to stop by the Chelsea Market for great food!


The Standard Ice Rink 

Located on the High Line, the Standard Hotel has a miniature skating rink alongside its Alpine-themed terrace serving seasonal eats and drinks.

Kids are welcome, but this spot is definitely geared toward adults, especially in the evening when the rink feels more like a party. 

  • Location: Standard Hotel, 848 Washington at 13th St. (map)
  • Schedule:  TBA. Check their website for updates.
  • Price:  TBA
  • Skate rental: TBA

 


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BROOKLYN AND QUEENS

If you are curious about New York City’s most populated borough, go ice skating in Brooklyn and find out!

Ice-skating in Prospect Park is as lovely as skating in Central Park, but it’s more affordable and less crowded.

For even more to do, see our post, Things to do in Brooklyn.


Abe Stark Rink at the Coney Island Boardwalk

Coney Island is known for its summer fun. At this rink by the famous boardwalk, public skating is available on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (October – March). 

  • Location: Boardwalk and West 19th Street, at Coney Island (map)
  • Schedule: 2019-2020 hours not yet announced.  Check their website for updates. 
  • Price: $9 per person
  • Skate Rental: $5

Coney Island is great all year-round. Use our Guide to Coney Island to find out all the fun things you can do there. 


Lakeside Prospect Park

Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center Ice Rink includes two rinks (one indoor and one outdoor) and 32,000 square foot total for skating. 

Visitors can join one of the many classes offered for everyone from toddlers to beginner adults, or bring the family down for open skate sessions.

  • Location:  171 East Drive, inside Prospect Park in Brooklyn (map). 
  • Schedule: Approx. November 2019 – late March, 2020.
    • Hours below are for the uncovered rink (weather permitting). In inclement weather, skating takes place indoors in their covered rink and the schedule is slightly different so be sure to check their website
      • Weekdays – Mon 9 am-5 pm; Tues/Wed/Thurs 9 am-7:15 pm; Fri 9 am-9 pm
      • Weekends – Sat 10 am-9:00pm;  Sun 10 am-5 pm
  • Price:  TBA
  • Skate Rentals:  TBA

Prospect Park is located in the charming neighborhood of Park Slope. It’s worth a stroll around and our self-guided tour can help you find your way around. 


Aviator Sports

Aviator Sports in Brooklyn has the only indoor ice skate rink in NYC open 365 days a year. They have two rinks that are NHL-size and prices are very reasonable. It can be reached by public transportation.

  • Location: 3159 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn, in Floyd Bennett Field (map)
  • Schedule: 365 days a year. See their website for schedule. 
  • Price: Adults $12 and Children (ages 11 and under) $10
  • Skate Rental: ­$6.00/pair
  • Lockers: Free but bring your own lock

City Ice Pavilion

This rooftop skating facility in Long Island City is open year-round. Its NHL-size skate rink offers public skating, hockey programs for youths and adults and the City Ice Pavilion’s Skating School. 

  • Location:  47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City (map)
  • Schedule: All year, Wednesday 12 pm- 3:50 pm, Sunday 11:40 am -2:20 pm (Check the schedule here).
  • Price: $7 on Wednesdays;  $10 on Sundays and Holidays
  • Skate rental: $6
  • Locker rental: $.75

 


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WINTER ACTIVITIES IN NYC

There are so many reasons to visit New York City in the winter months. For a complete guide of things to do this season, see our Winter Guide to New York City.

In addition to finding cheap airfare and good hotel deals, there are many other reasons to come to NYC, as there is always something going on here.

November to March is considered off-peak season (excluding the holidays). There are fewer tourists in town and you can enjoy the most popular attractions without waiting in line.

New York Tourist Discount Passes

If you do plan on seeing at least 2 of the city’s main paid attractions, look into purchasing an all-inclusive tourist attraction discount pass.

They can often help you save a sizeable amount of money during your trip. Read our post that compares the various attraction passes.

The colder months are an excellent time to take a bus tour. You can stay warm but still see it all.

Our post, Best New York Bus Tours, can help you find the right tour for you. 

New York Bus Tours

November has the magical Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the lighting ceremony of the iconic Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

For other events, see our post Things to do in NYC in November.

December is a wonderful time to be in New York. You can enjoy all the Christmas-related events, such as taking a Holiday Lights of Manhattan Tour or strolling the many pop-up Holiday markets.

You can also experience an unforgettable New Year’s Eve in Times Square

Our post, Things to do in December in New York City has dozens of events and activities for this jovial month. 

January has plenty to keep you busy and save you money! Get 2-for-1 deals on select theater shows during Broadway Week.

Pay under $30 for a 3-course lunch at the top eateries during Restaurant Week.  There’s much more to do so be sure to look at our list of Things to Do in NYC in January.

February is a short month but full of fun things to do! Celebrate the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown or spend President’s Day visiting the historic sites in Lower Manhattan, such as Federal Hall, where George Washinton was inaugurated. See our post of Things to do in February in NYC for more ideas.

March is Women’s History Month – what could be more perfect than a visit to Lady Liberty!  Here’s our guide on How to Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

March is also a very good month to take one of our pay-what-you-wish tours since our tour groups are smaller and the weather is moderate. See all our tours by clicking here.

Our post, New York City in March, has many more suggestions for what to do in March.

No matter when you visit New York, be sure to check out our definitive guide of Things to Do in NYC.

 


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About the author

Courtney is a lifelong New Yorker fascinated with the city’s history, culture and cuisine. She loves exploring the world, as well as sharing her travel expertise with others.

She joined the Free Tours by Foot team in 2011, first as a guide and then as a writer. She has a law degree, a teaching degree and a worn-out passport. Her motto is “Have backpack, will travel”.

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