The bad news is that new social distancing requirements will limit further the number of skaters.
Worse, the rink will shut down in mid-January for a long-planned construction project, instead of skating as usual though March.
Ticket prices range from $5 for small children to $95 for the VIP package that includes a drink and lite bites of your choice after skating in our rinkside City Winery Lounge.
General sessions are $25-$35 for ages 6 to adult, and $10 for under 6.
There are also “first skate” and “last skate” sessions at 9am for $15
Since 1936, it’s been a NYC holiday tradition to glide on the ice, under the gaze of the golden Prometheus and a 75-foot Christmas tree, or watching others do so.
Rockefeller Plaza Redesign Plans
The initial shutdown is due to the long-planned renovation of the plaza and the underground shopping convention surrounding it.
Rockefeller Center owner Tishman Spear plans to “democratize” the area, according to Rob Spear, president and chief executive by opening up the underground shopping concourses surrounding the rink to more light and food traffic.
Right now, there are expensive restaurants at the north and south sides of the rink, providing front-row seats to those who can afford to pay for the privilege, with just tiny slivers of view for pedestrians and shoppers in the underground areas.
Those restaurants are gone now, and the area around the plaza will be made fully accessible to the public. Elevators will be replaced by modern ones, and new stairs will be added.
In hot weather, those windows will pivot open, allowing access back and forth between the condominium and the plaza, enjoying the kind of indoor / outdoor experience that became popular before the epidemic and, of course, the health crisis.
The Rockefeller Center is a city milestone, so the changes had to be approved by the Landmark Conservation Commission. Because the complex is a beloved architectural masterwork, conservationists investigated the proposal, and they were not all in support.
The complex, which is typically home to some 18,000 office workers and attracts countless tourists, has lost its daily bustle since so many office workers started working from home and tourism also took a hit. Some retailers have closed, and others are struggling with less foot traffic.
During the hot weather this year, Teishman set up tables in the plaza, and there were pop-up restaurants and food vendors, including an outpost of the Queens Night Market..
Due to outside food, Tishman pushed back the opening of the rink, which typically occurs on Columbus Day weekend. So the skating season is being squeezed at both ends.