Ice Skating in New York with kids – our recommendations

Going Ice Skating when in New York City is a must do activity and was one of the many highlights of our trip to the city, especially as so many of the rinks are instantly recognisable after being shown in iconic Christmas movies such as Home Alone 2 .

Although you can skate at cities across the world there is nothing that can come close to an ice skating experience in New York City.

Here are some of the best places you can ice skate in Manhattan New York City.

The Rink at Rockefeller Centre

With the world famous Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree towering above the rink this is the most glamorous places to go ice skating with the kids when visiting the city – but with glamour there is always a cost and this is the most expensive option.

The rink is limited to 150 skaters at a time for a 90 minute skate session.  The cost depends on the time of year – and during busy periods such as thanksgiving it might be worth paying the extra for the VIP access to save having to wait in the cold with the children.

This is not the best option for children who cannot skate as there are no skate aids to hire.  If you are in the area you have to take your kids to the brand new FAO Schwarz store, Lego store and the huge American Girl store all of which are located in Rockefeller Plaza.

Location: Rockefeller Plaza, 600 Fifth Avenue, between 49th & 50th Streets.

Visit the Rink at Rockefeller website

Winter Village at Bryant Park

Bryant Park is transformed into the Bank of America Winter Village and boasts a 17,000 square foot ice skating rink and was our favourite rink in the city.  Best of all it’s free but you have to bring your own skates, so if you are visiting like us you can hire them at $20 for 60 minutes.

This is also the only skating rink in Manhattan that offers hire of penguin or snowmen skate aids $22 per hour which is essential to help less experienced skaters around any ice skating rink.

As it’s free to skate here it can get very busy but I would recommend you arrive early.  The rink opens at 8am and was the best time to visit as its when the rink is at its quietest.  At the Winter Village which you can shop for unique Christmas gifts which adds a special touch to this rink.

Location: Bryant Park, 40th to 42nd Streets, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.

Visit the Bryant Park website

Wollman Rink, Central Park

Framed by the iconic New York skyline the Wollman Rink at Central Park is the most magical and iconic, perhaps because we have just watched Home Alone 2 again.  It’s here at this rink that Kevin McAllister escapes the clutches of Marv and Harry in the film.

If you want to skate here it’s a cheaper option than the Rockefeller Centre ranging from $12 – $19 for adults dependent on the day of the week and $6.00 for under 11’s.

We did want to skate here and arrived at opening 10am as its when the rink is at its most quietest but unfortunately they do not offer skate aids  for inexperienced skaters.

The VIP option looks worth the extra cost when it’s busy as you don’t have to wait to skate.  This VIP package includes your skates, use of a heated tent, snacks and access to a locker.  Prices range from ($60-78)

Location: Central Park South (59th Street) and 6th Avenue. Wollman Rink is a two minute walk into Central Park from this entrance

Visit the Wollman Rink website

Brookfield Place, Battery Park

The rink at Brookfield Place in Battery Park is actually bigger than the one at Rockefeller Plaza and offers amazing views of the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan such as the One World Trade Centre and toward the statue of liberty.

Prices are $15/adults & kids for a 90 minute session and $5 skate rentals.

View the Brookfield Place website

Location: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street at West Street (on the upper plaza)

The Bloomingdales Ice Skating Rink

The rink at Bloomingdales was a lovely little ice skating rink for kids who have not had much experience on the ice.  Located on the ground floor of this iconic store their winter wonderland area was a great place to help build up children’s confidence skating before trying out the real thing.  Free skate rentals are available to adults and children.

Next to the rink is Ralph’s (as in Ralph Lauren) coffee bar where you can warm up with some complimentary hot chocolate and candy canes.  There were virtual reality snow pods which offer a virtual sleigh ride experience – how cool does that sound!

Kids will also love the windows of the store this year which are Grinch themed and best of all they are interactive – the girls loved singing along to the Grinch and seeing their photos projected on the window.

Location: 1000 Third Avenue 59th Street and Lexington Avenue

Most of these rinks open from November right into the start of spring, so even if you are visiting New York after the Christmas period you can still try your ice skating skills.

 

 

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