Wintertime is Skating Time in New York City

Winter activities in New York… New York has a zillion things to do: all the usual tours and venues, plus Manhattan’s several ice skating rinks.

Yes, you can skate in Rockefeller Center. But the rink is rather small and there’s often a long line to get in. That line can be bypassed, however, by signing up for VIP skate reservations. Packages run from $60 to $150.

The normal charge through January 1 is $32 for adults, $15 for seniors and children under 11. Skate rental is $12.

Just a few blocks south at Bryant Park is a much bigger rink, surrounded by a Christmas village. General admission at Bryant Park is $8 for age 13 and over. Skate rental is $5, both figure skates and hockey skates.

The most popular hours at Bryant Park – meaning the most crowded times on the ice – are between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. After 8 or so, the crowd usually thins out. The rink is open until 10 p.m. and kids under 42 inches (106 cm) in height can rent an ‘EZ Skater’ in the shape of a snowman or penguin that helps them balance. That rental is $5.

Just north of Midtown in Central Park, about a five-minute walk into the park from the 6th Avenue entrance will take you to the Wollman rink. It also is a very large rink, although occasionally sections are set off for skate training for kids. Public skating hours:

10 to 2:30 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday and Thursday it’s 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Sunday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for kids age 11 and under, and $5 for seniors.

Are you skating in lower Manhattan? Brookfield Place, across the West Side Highway from the World Trade Center, has an ice skating rink facing the Hudson River and harbor. Beautiful views!

Rates are $5 for skate rental; $15 per public session, lasting one and a half hours. On weekdays, there’s a session at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 pm.

Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, there are 90 minute sessions from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sessions on those days continue at 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. These sessions also last 90 minutes each.

Questions? Ask by tweeting me at @TourguideStan.

Or contact me at . You can find information on private, customized walking tours there, as well!