As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, your first instinct may be to retreat into semi-hibernation, preferably with a mug of something hot in hand. Don’t let the cold spoil all your fun, though – get out there and enjoy one of the best winter activities in New York City. Be it with your significant other, your adventurous friends or solo, we’ve rounded up our picks for the best ice skating rinks in NYC.
It’s no surprise that this iconic Manhattan sports hub has a great spot for skaters of all levels. While the golf driving range might be the most iconic image of the Chelsea Piers, its ice rink has been a firm favorite with New Yorkers since 1969. The rink, which can be found on Pier 61, is open all year round and offers everything from a skating school to private lessons and general free sessions. Kids can learn to figure skate or work on their hockey skills, while adults can also book a freestyle session.
You might expect your hotel to have a pool or a spa, but not many have their own ice rink on site. Then again, as Brooklynites know, the William Vale is no ordinary hotel. When you’re done dining at the top-class Italian restaurant, sipping cocktails in the Westlight bar, indulging in the winter spa or simply relaxing in Vale Park – the elevated neighborhood green space – you can head to the 23rd-floor rooftop, with 360-degree views of Manhattan and Brooklyn. In summer, this is where you’d go for lawn games, film screenings and cocktails parties, but in winter it’s all about the Vale Rink. It’s smaller than most on this list, so you’d be wise to book ahead, but the panoramic city views and intimate setting make this one of the dreamiest skating spots in the city.
Additional reporting by Gethin Morgan.