New York had braced itself for a nice layer of snow last night but alas it was just a light dusting which means no sledding or general fun in the snow for the City today. Instead, we plan on going ice skating.
New York is filled with ice rinks. There’s the most famous, Wollman rink in Central Park, which is hard to beat for the beauty of its location in the park. You have to get there early to beat the crowds but it is totally worth it to enjoy the experience of being in the natural beauty of the park, surrounding by trees and relative peace with the mighty Manhattan skyline in the background.
There’s not a tourist in town at this time of year who doesn’t pass by Rockefeller Centre Ice Rink. Skating under the shadow of New York’s giant Christmas tree under the watchful eye of the many tall nutcrackers is certainly very New York and if you can somehow figure out how to avoid the crowds, it’s quite wonderful. The reality however, is few New Yorker’s use this rink to skate because the crowds and the lines are just too vast.
The rinks that New Yorker’s flock to are much more low-key. We love Bryant Park ice rink, its free, all you have to do is pay for skate rental so if you own your own skates, off you go. It’s also probably the largest outdoor rink in the City so you have less chance of being run over by another skater and if you get there early, you usually have the entire rink to yourself.
Our other favorite is the rink at the Standard Hotel (below and main image) in the Meat Packing District. While probably the smallest rink in the City, it’s usually quiet during the day and the crowd is pretty much local neighborhood people. The hotel bar serves rich hot chocolate and food and drinks. You can either sit outside under a heat lamp between laps around the tiny rink or simply ditch the skating, sit inside the bar and watch the happy skaters through the wall of glass separating the bar and the rink.Wollman Rink. Enter Central Park at 59th Street. NY. Tel: 212 439 6900 The Rink At Rockefella Centre. 601 5th Avenue. NY. Tel: 212 332 7654 Bryant Park Pond. 41 West 40th Street. NY. Tel 212 768 4242 The Standard Hotel Ice Rink. 848 Washington Street. NY. Tel: 212 645 4646