Ice-Skating in New York City
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The outdoor rink in Rockefeller Center, open from October through early April, is much smaller in real life than it appears on TV and in movies—though it is as beautiful, especially when Rock Center's enormous Christmas tree towers above it. Tickets are first come, first served, so be prepared to wait—especially around the holidays. Skating rates are $12–$16 and skate rentals are $9.
The city's outdoor rinks, open from roughly November through March, all have their own character. Central Park's beautifully situated Wollman Rink offers skating until long after dark beneath the lights of the city. Be prepared for daytime crowds on weekends. The Lasker Rink, at the north end of Central Park, is smaller and usually less crowded than Wollman. Chelsea Piers' Sky Rink has two year-round indoor rinks overlooking the Hudson. Skate rentals are available at all rinks. Citi Pond at Bryant Park offers free skating, not including the cost of skate rental, from late October through February, from 8 am to 10 pm from Sunday through Thursday and from 8 am to midnight Friday and Saturday. A $20 Citi Pond Fastpass (available online, includes skate rental) allows you to skip the line. Head to the Standard Hotel's teeny ice rink in the Meatpacking District from noon to 1 am in winter. The scene is cool and the cocktails are hot! Skate tickets are $12 and skate rental is $3.
Bryant Park (1065 6th Ave., between 40th and 42nd Sts., Midtown West, New York, NY, 10018. 212/661–6640. www.citipondatbryantpark.com. Subway: B, D, F to 42nd St.)
Lasker Rink (Midpark near E. 106th St., 2 Lenox Ave., Central Park, New York, NY, 10026. 917/492–3856. www.laskerrink.com. Subway: B, C to Cathedral Parkway (110th St.)–Central Park West; 2, 3 to Central Park North (110th St.).)
Rockefeller Center (50th St. at 5th Ave., lower plaza, Midtown West, New York, NY, 10020. 212/332–7654. www.therinkatrockcenter.com. Subway: B, D, F to 47th–50th Sts./Rockefeller Center; E, M to 5th Ave.–53rd St.)
Sky Rink (Pier 61, W. 23rd St. & the Hudson River, Chelsea, New York, NY, 10011. 212/336–6100. www.chelseapiers.com/sr. Subway: C, E to 23rd St.)
Trump Wollman Skating Rink (North of 6th Ave. and Central Park South entrance, between 62nd and 63rd Sts., New York, NY, 10065. 212/439–6900. www.wollmanskatingrink.com. Subway: A, B, C, D, 1 to 59th St./Columbus Circle.)
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