An important part of NYC as a winter wonderland is the city’s ice skating rinks.
Even though you aren’t as graceful as an Olympic medalist, you can still have fun at one of the many outdoor and year-round indoor rinks in NYC, including some where you can skate for FREE.
Here is your complete list of 15 ice skating rinks in NYC, including rinks in NYC parks and rooftop rinks with picture postcard skyline views.
(Updated in November 2019)
Probably the world’s most famous skating rink, is also likely the busiest during the holidays when everybody wants to glide or twirl in the glow of the lights from the world-famous Rockefeller Center holiday tree.
Best is to skate early or late in the season, and early or late in the day, to avoid the longest waits, since the rink holds only 150 skaters at a time.
Be prepared for the cost, too. This is the most expensive skating rink in town, especially when the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is aglow in more than 50,000 lights, and when there is peak holiday pricing.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center no longer posts its regular prices on its website, only special packages and VIP tickets.
These were the prices last year, for the 2018/2019 season, but we cannot verify whether they are the same or more for the 2019/2020 season.
Just be prepared with a wallet full of cash or credit cards.
- Standard, $25: weekdays in Nov., and Jan. 2 to end of season,
- Peak, $32: Nov. 23 – Jan. 1
There also are VIP “skip the line passes, which include reserved skate time, complimentary skate rentals and complimentary beverages including coffee and hot chocolate.
VIP prices for the 2019/2020 season:
- Standard: $60 -$90 | October 18 – November 25, 2019
- Holiday: $75 -$175 | November 26, 2019 – January 1, 2020
- Standard: $60 – $75 | January 2 – February 23, 2020
The Rink also offers packages, such as skating and lunch, skating and dinner, skating and Breakfast with Santa, and skating combined with tickets to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Before or After:
Visit the FREE sound and light show covering the facade of Saks Fifth Avenue, one block away.
Another iconic skating location, in the heart of Central Park.
Like Rockefeller Center, it’s almost always crowded, but feels less cramped because it’s three or four times the size.
You’ll find more locals here than tourists, especially for the special early morning figure skating and free skating sessions. Sessions here are as long as 2 1/2 hours.
The rink is open until 10pm weekdays and until 11pm on weekends.
There’s also VIP pricing, which includes skip-the-line privileges, skate rentals, three hours of reserved table seating in the heated, rink-side tent with unlimited access to snack buffet that includes hot chocolate, apple cider and fresh-baked cookies, and a storage locker.
NYC on the Cheap Editor Evelyn Kanter learned to skate here as a child, and got good enough to be a skating instructor the winter of my senior year in high school, so it’s a sentimental favorite.
Wollman Rink is in Central Park near 59th St., enter at Central Park South and Sixth Avenue.
2019/2020 rates are:
- Adults: $12 Mon.-Thurs.; $19.00 Fri.-Sun. and holidays
- Seniors (60 & older): $5.00 Mon.-Thurs.; $9.00 Fri.-Sun. and holidays
- Children (12 & under): (11 and under) $6.00
- Skate Rental: $10.00 (tax included)
- Lock Rental: $5.00 + $6.00 deposit (Deposit is returned after lock is returned.)
Before or After:
Visit the FREE light show in the atrium at the Shops at Columbus Circle,
At the northern edge of Central Park, this is a popular free swimming pool in warm weather, but quieter in the winter when it’s frozen over into a giant skating rink. There is rarely a line here, and the ice is smoother because there are fewer skaters carving gouges into its surface.
Perhaps more importantly, Lasker is half the price of its sibling Wollman Rink at the other end of Central Park.
Lasker also is unique in the city because when the ice melts, it is a FREE public swimming pool from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Lasker Rink is at 110th St., mid-park. Skate rentals are available.
- Adults: $8
- Seniors (60 & older): $2.25
- Children (12 & under): $4.00
- Skate Rental: $7 (tax included)
- Lock Rental $3.25 + $4.00 deposit for lock(Deposit will be returned to the customer upon return of the lock.)
Before or After:
Visit the Central Park Christmas Tree at the Dana Discovery Center
As New York City’s premiere FREE skating rink, and centrally located one block from Times Square, there can be a two-hour wait on weekends.
Go when school is in session or early in the day for the best chance of getting in before your fingers freeze. Open daily 8am to 10pm.
Share your photos with the hashtag #wintervillage and you might see your picture at the Skating Pavillion or online.
Be sure to visit the Holiday Market booths around the rink for unusual hand-made gifts.
- Admission is FREE
- Skate rentals are $15, except for the peak Thanksgiving to New Year’s season, when it’s $19.
- Lockers are free. Bring your own lock or rent one for $9.
Before or After
Visit the Bryant Park Christmas Tree and European-styly holiday market
This indoor rink overlooking the Hudson River is open year-round, for ice skating in winter and roller skating the rest of the year.
Since this is a State Park, fees are low:
- Ticket Info: Adults – $5; Kids – $3;
- Skate Rentals – $6, same as last season
- Hours: 6am- 11pm, same as last season
Also overlooking the Hudson River, but in Lower Manhattan, this rink adjoins what used to be called Winter Palace at what used to be called the World Financial Center. Now both are called Brookfield Place.
This is a smallish rink with gret views. Hours are Weekdays 1pm – 8:30pm and Weekends 10am – 10pm.
The Rink at Brookfield Place is positioned as a “neighborhood” rink with Mommy and Me classes and free sessions for local FIDI residents.
- Adults: $15 single session (90 mins)
- Skate rental: $5
- $200 Individual Season Pass
- $500 Family of 3 season pass
Before or After
Visit the Luminaries FREE light show at the glass Winter Garden atrium
New York City’s only rooftop skating rink returns for its second season in 2019/2020 with picture postcard views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building and other NYC landmarks.
Winterland Rink at Pier 17 is at 89 South St., and there are food kiosks here, too.
- Adults $14–35 (depending on date/time),
- Kids: 5 and under free;
- Skate rental :$8
The city’s only year-round indoor skating rink is a large, well-maintained rink with popular for figure skaters, lessons and children’s parties.
General skating sessions vary by day.
Like Rockefeller Center, Sky Rink no longer posts prices on its website.
Last year, for the 2018/2019 season, sessions were Noon to 5pm daily, and cost $11. Skate rentals were $6 and helmets were $5.
But we can not verify if those prices are in effect for the 2019/2020 season.
Be sure to check the schedule before you go, since general skating sessions are often bounced for figure skating and hockey leagues and for TV filming, including commercials.
- Chelsea Piers is at 18th St and the Hudson River.