November marks the start of ice skating outdoors. Take the opportunity to hit the ice (hopefully not literally) before the crowds arrive. While the NJ rinks open a bit later (with the exception of Pershing Field & Secaucus) but there are also the NYC rinks from iconic Rock Center and Wollman rinks to the free rink at Bryant Park already open! Please call to confirm opening times and policies. Most offer “skate buddies” for little beginners.
Newport Skates – Jersey City – Opens November 9th
Located in Jersey City’s waterfront community, Newport Skates is the perfect place to skate with kids. The rink is on the smaller side and pretty empty (or mostly kids) weekday afternoons. Season passes, lessons, and group party rates are available.
Charlie Heger Ice Rink – Jersey City-Opens November 4th
Also known as Pershing Field, this outdoor rink is covered—you can skate (or learn to skate) in all types of weather. Plus, it’s quiet and very affordable. The 2017 skating season will run through mid-March.
Secaucus Ice Rink – Secaucus– Not yet posted
Tucked in the Meadowlands, in Buchmuller Park, you’ll find the Secaucus Ice Rink. Typically open through April, the rink offers skate rentals and party packages.
The Rink at Brookfield Place – Battery Park City– Opens November 7th
Enjoy stunning views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty while skating around this rink, which returns for its fifth season. The ice is cleaned at the end of every 90-minute session, so don’t dawdle getting out there. At 7,350 square feet, it beats the Rock Center rink for space and can accommodate 250 skaters at a time. Prices, however, are steeper than at some other rinks. Parent-and-child skate lessons and hockey classes are offered. Afterward, you’ll find plenty more to do in the family-friendly Battery Park City neighborhood. Adjacent Brookfield Place has bathrooms, hot cocoa, and snacks, as well as Santa and plenty of rotating art and winter fun come the holidays.
Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park – Midtown West -Now Open
FREE admission; skate rental prices and hours vary. NYC’s only free-admission rink attracts massive crowds. The best time to go is early in the season, before Thanksgiving, when the weather is mild and the lines are short (or at least, shorter). Don’t even try to go during holiday break. Later in the season, stick to weekdays before 5pm and early weekend mornings if you can. If you really can’t stand to wait, spring for the Express Skate package, which includes entry, skate rental, and bag check for $30. Afterward, grab a hot chocolate or choose from a selection of comfort foods at the Public Fare Snackbar, then hit the always-popular holiday shops. Bring your own blades and locks for a truly free skate session.
Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center – Midtown East– Now Open
Every tourist’s favorite rink opened for the season October 7. Despite its popularity, three-hour waits aren’t always the norm—just when the Christmas tree is lit. Skating early or late in the season is fun and easy—if expensive. (Even during off-season, it’s by far the priciest rink in the city.) It accommodates just 150 skaters, hence the wait, but some believe it offers one of the most charming, intimate skating sessions, smack in the middle of NYC. Sign up for one of the special packages such as breakfast with Santa for an extra-special holiday treat. There are plenty of family-friendly sights in the area, too.
The Standard Ice Rink – Meatpacking District- Opens November 23rd
The Standard hotel’s 3,000-square-foot ice rink opens in mid-to-late November, depending on the weather, and it’s a surprising gem. Despite the swanky hipster scene at the bar, you’ll find loads of local kids on the ice, wobbling around the small rink. Rent or bring your own skates, and there are usually skate buddies (little penguins and other support racks) available to help newbies find their footing. The atmosphere is friendly and low profile. Parents can even grab a drink at the bar and mingle rinkside if the mood strikes. The rink makes a good destination after an icy winter walk along The High Line or a visit to the Whitney.
Wollman Rink – Central Park -Now Open (Weather Permitting)
This is the iconic NYC skate spot in Central Park. Though it is perpetually crowded, every family should skate here at least once. Try to arrive at the start of the first session or right after school to get a few spins in before the hordes arrive. A moonlit, post-dinner skate is always fun, too. You’ll be rewarded with one of the most famous views of Midtown, not to mention a perimeter of pretty, possibly snow-dusted trees—as well as tired kids, ready for bed. Lockers are available for a fee. Note: It’s cash only.