While some people make it a point to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular
during the holiday season, there's simply no comparison to the amount of people who glide across the frozen rinks of New York City every year. Most famous of all is the Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center
, set below street level in the main plaza and loomed over by a gilded statue of Prometheus and the bright likes of the big tree ($9 rental, $9.50-19 to skate). There's plenty to do once you're back on solid ground, too, like a visit to Top Of The Rock
, NBC Studios
, or the many shops in Rockefeller Center
The Wollman Rink
in Central Park
is equally iconic, having itself starred in more movies than most New York landmarks ($6 rental, $4.75-14 to skate). The rink's location in Central Park gives it a scenic edge over the Rockefeller Center Rink, as well as being more spacious (don’t expect it not to be crowded, though). With nearby kid-pleasing attractions like the Central Park Zoo
and FAO Schwarz
, the Wollman Rink is the perfect family destination.
To the southwest, Chelsea Piers
's huge indoor Sky Rink
offers two full-sized rinks and top-level facilities ($7 rental, $10-12.50 to skate). They also have some of the best skating classes the city has to offer, not to mention the overall sports activities available in the rest of the Chelsea Piers facility. Midtown's Bryant Park
is a cheap alternative, as long as you have your own skates ($12 rental, free to skate). Located right next door to the main branch of the New York Public Library
, the Pond at Bryant Park is local to just about everything imaginable and has crêpes and chocolate fondue for anyone in need of warming up after an hour or two on the ice.
For those who find themselves in Brooklyn, Central Park's Wollman Rink
is recreated in Prospect Park
without the high prices ($6.50 rental, $3-5 to skate). With Park Slope
right around the corner, there's no shortage of things to do post-skating. The Abe Stark Rink
, a former private bathhouse that gave way to the rink facilities in 1963, is a Coney Island tradition and a blessing for those who'd rather skate indoors ($5 rental, $8 to skate). To the east, Aviator Sports And Recreation
houses the largest skating facilities, with two NHL-sized rinks that are Brooklyn's best bet for ice skating ($4.50 rental, $6-8 to skate).