Ice-Skating Rinks to Rival Rockefeller’s

| December 9, 2011 4:00 AM

The rink at Rockefeller Center is one of New York City’s most iconic seasonal attractions, but it’s not the only place to get your skate on. A handful of other skating rinks offer the same festive fun in unique city settings. Check out our choices below for the best alternative rinks.

Wollman Rink, near 59th Street in Central Park, is the city's largest rink. Flickr/SpecialKRP

Manhattan

Wollman Rink at Central Park
830 5th Ave, New York, NY.

Hours: Varies daily, see schedule
Admission: Weekdays, $10.75 Adults/ $5.75 Youth; Weekends, $16.00 Adults/ $6.00 Youth
Spectator fee: $5
Rental: $6.75

You’ll feel far from the city chaos at Wollman Rink, located in the heart of Central Park. Wollman Rink is NYC’s largest and therefore perfect for first-timer skaters.

Lasker Rink at Central Park
10826 East Dr,  New York, NY.

Hours: Varies daily. See schedule
Admission: Adults $6.75/Youth $3.75
Rental: $6

Although not as scenic as Wollman, Central Park’s second rink — located at the bottom tip of Harlem — is less crowded and more economical. With far fewer tourists, the rink is better for more serious skaters looking to practice their skills.

An Aerial view of Citi Pond. The rink can hold up to 500 skaters at once. Flickr/Bryant_Park

Citi Pond at Bryant Park
1 Bryant Park , New York, NY.

Hours: Sun. to Thurs., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 9 a.m. to midnight
Admission: Free
Rental: $14

Skating at Citi Pond is a holiday must-do. Surrounded by the New York Public Library and skyscrapers of midtown, the rink offers a magical setting and festive music. After a few laps, head over to the outdoor Holiday Market for a one-of-a-kind holiday shopping experience.

Riverbank State Park Ice Rink

679 Riverside Dr, New York, NY.

Hours: Fri., 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.; Sat. and Sun., 12 p.m.-3 p.m. and 4 p.m.- 7 p.m.
Admission: Adults $5/Youth $3
Rental: $6

Riverbank Ice Rink is a covered outdoor rink that offers spectacular views of the Hudson River and Palisades Mountains.  The water-side rink is cordoned into two sections depending on your experience and has few crowds.

The teeny Standard Hotel Rink is located in the shadow of High Line Park. Flickr/ Don Juan Tenorio

The Standard Ice Rink
848 Washington Street, New York,  NY.

Hours: Weekdays, 12 p.m.-midnight; Weekends, 9 a.m.-”late”
Admission: $12
Rental: $3

This tiny but picturesque ice rink, right off the front plaza of the chic Standard Hotel, is perfect for an adults-only skate date. The rink is open late and the pop-up food stand Kaffeehaus serves boozy beverages to keep you toasty.

Sky Rink Chelsea Piers
61 Chelsea Piers, New York, NY.

Hours: Varies Daily. See schedule
Admission: Adults $13.50/Youth $11
Rental: $8

This indoor rink — with amazing river view–  is open year-round and amazingly, 24 hours a day. Sky Rink also shares space with Chelsea Brewing Company, now featuring holiday-inspired wines and beers like Pumpkin Pie Ale.

Brooklyn

Aviator Sports & Events Center
3159 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY.

Hours: See schedule
Admission:
Adults $9/Youth $7
Rental:
$5

Housed in a former airplane hangar, the Aviator Sports & Events center is a sports hub for entertainment. This indoor ice skating rink is open year-round and offers ice skating on NHL regulation ice. Lockers are free, but bring your own padlock. If you want to do more than ice skating, walk a few feet to enjoy the basketball courts, climbing walls and video games.

Note: The Kate Wollman Ice Skating Rink in Prospect Park, Brooklyn is currently closed for renovations for the 2011-2012 skating season.

Queens

City Ice Pavillion
47-32 32nd Place, Long Island City, NY.

Hours: See schedule
Admission: Mon.-Fri., $5; Weekends/Holidays, $8
Rental: $5

This band new (it opened in 2009) indoor rooftop skating rink offers some of the most affordable skating prices in town. As an added festive bonus, kids can look forward to ice time with Santa Claus each Saturday and parents can enjoy free onsite parking.

Staten Island

WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink
1150 Clove Rd., New York, NY.

Hours: Please call 718-720-1010
Admission: $8
Rental: $5

It might be worth the trek to Staten Island for a stress-free and spacious skate at this indoor rink situated in the middle of Clove Park. The unique park boasts New York’s only remaining wetlands and is a destination in itself.

New Jersey

Charlie Heger Ice Rink in Pershing Field Park
1 Pershing Plz, Jersey City, NJ.

Hours: Varies daily. See schedule
Admission: $5 for non-residents /$3 for residents
Rental: $2.50

This long-time outdoor rink, located in the Heights section of Jersey City,  is great for good, old-fashioned ice skating. It’s far from the cushy rinks in Manhattan, but very spacious and super cheap.

Westchester

Playland Ice Casino
Rye Playland, Rye, NY.

Hours: Varies daily. See schedule
Admission: Adults $9/Youth $6
Rental: $4

Rain or shine, the Playland Ice Casino is a sure bet for an ice skating extravaganza in this indoor and climate-controlled ice skating facility in Rye. Once it does get colder however, feel free to bring your own skates to Wampus Pond in Armonk or Wilson Woods in Mount Vernon when frosted ponds become nature’s picturesque answer to ice rinks.

Bridget Leahy contributed reporting.

  • Harold Jacobs

    Your rink reviews lack addresses.

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