Mother Nature may be fickle, but from November to March in New York City her whims are overridden; spaces are cleared, ice-making equipment is tuned up, and private and public outdoor skating rinks are constructed according to schedule. With nearly a dozen outdoor rinks dotted around Manhattan and the boroughs, skating is a fun, clever and very social way to explore different neighbourhoods. Here are some of the best rinks:
A mini-Central Park, Prospect Park was created in the mid-19th century to attract the wealthy and accommodate the needs of Brooklyn, at the time, the third-largest city in the United States.
The immaculate ice surfaces at the LeFrak Center, include two rinks, one covered and one open air, with generous views of Prospect Lake. There is plenty of room to skate your heart out to the piped-in tunes of popular and retro music
The pop up rink at the South Street Seaport, is worth checking out for the area’s East River location, history, architecture and artisanal stores and restaurants. A fascinating neighborhood.
The Standard Highline is the only hotel in NYC with its own skating rink.
Under the early darkness of winter, small children cling to oversized penguins for balance, chopping their way across the ice. Their parents sit rink side with hot drinks, under the glow of heat lamps. As the kids wind down, they are replaced by friends and lovers trying out their skating legs. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the lounge – “The Living Room” – offer a glorious view, separating the inside action from the outside action. The space is lively, romantic and easily accessible to mugs of hot chocolate spiked with Bailey’s and other cocktails, a post-skate necessity. Highly recommended.
Midtown’s Bryant Park rink has a lot going for it, besides being free. It is large and centrally located beside the main branch of the New York Public Library. It opens at 8:00 am, earlier than any other rink, so it’s possible to catch a skate while the sun rises, before heading off to work. At midday, it was busy but didn’t feel crowded, a mix of singles, couples and families and school kids clinging to their friends and the boards.
Just seven blocks up 5th Avenue from Bryant Park, the rink at the Rockefeller Center is home to the world’s most famous skating rink. The downside is that everybody wants a piece of Rock and so it can become abysmally crowded, especially during the holiday season. If this isn’t a must-have on your bucket list, you may want to opt for Bryant Park or the most magical rink of all…
Cross 59th at 6th and enter Central Park, curve slightly left, and then gently to the right. In just a few moments, the Wollman rink appears below, sheltered in a shallow bowl. Of course it is a perfect place for a skating rink, because nothing in Central Park is left to chance. No music blares; the sounds are of laughter and delightful conversation and a little traffic if you listen closely. And the view? Like out of a fairytale.
Our Luxury Hotel Consultants Recommend:
From a distance, the 20-story glass structure that is The Standard High Line NYC looks like a book standing on end. The stunning and contemporary design of the exterior extends through the lobby and into every single modern guestroom. In addition to the alluring design, The Standard High Line NYC hosts a social scene as vibrant and sexy as the Meatpacking District in which it resides. With too-many-to-count venues on-site, guests will have no problems filling their social calendars during a stay at The Standard High Line NYC.
Le Parker Meridien balances historical design features with whimsical touches, creating an atmosphere as stimulating as its bustling Midtown location. Home to two of Manhattan’s favorite eateries, Norma’s and The Burger Joint, Le Parker Meridien has the means to satisfy. In addition to unique décor and culinary variety, guests will enjoy the indoor rooftop pool with amazing views of Central Park.
WestHouse Hotel New York was born from a passion: for Art Deco design, style, fashion, luxury and comfort. While the hotel tips the hat to the 1920s, there’s a decidedly modern theme throughout that promises first-rate amenities and services. The 172 guest rooms and suites (located on floors 19 through 25) will please even the most finicky of WestHouse’s “residents” (their term for guests) with a full range of comforts and tasty treats.Brooklyn, Bryan Park, Central Park, LeFrak Center, midtown, new york city, nyc, Prospect Park, Rockefeller Center, skating, skating new york, skating New York City, South Street Seaport, The Living Room, The Standard High Line NYC, Wollman Rink