In many ways, gliding along the ice is the closest we humans can come to flying without leaving the ground. Test that theory out for yourself by heading to one of the city’s best ice skating rinks. Here are our five favorites. By Jessica Allen.
Prospect Park (Enter at Parkside and Ocean Avenues)
Boasting 32,000 square feet, the LeFrak Center shows that Brooklyn is better. The center opened a few years ago, and features a water playground and roller skating rink in the summer. In the winter, you can skate until your heart’s content, or until frostbite kicks in. At just $6 during the week, a spin around the ice is a pretty cheap way to enjoy the afternoon. Skate rentals are also available.
The Rink at Brookfield Place
230 Vesey Street
New York, NY
The seasonal rink at Brookfield Place lets you skate while checking out the actual ice on the Hudson and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Check the calendar for details about free classes and party programs. When you’ve had your fill of spinning around the rink’s 7,000+ square feet, head inside to the much-better-than-it-sounds food court, featuring bagels, barbecue and lots more.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
601 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
Probably the city’s most famous skating rink, and with good reason: a spin along the Rink at Rockefeller always feels magical, especially during the holidays. It’s no wonder that so many folks choose to propose here, beneath the golden statue of Prometheus. (Indeed, if you want to be among them, have a look at the rink’s special proposal packages). Even if you’re not popping the question, you won’t have to worry about personal space, as the rink is capped at around 150 skaters at a time. The sidewalks nearby, however, are considerably more crowded.
Central Park (Enter at West 59th Street near Fifth Avenue)
New York, NY
More: Overlooked Central Park
Wollman Rink is beautifully set among the trees of the southern edge of Central Park, with an iconic cityscape rising up in the background. If you don’t know your camel spins from your change-foot spins, or your Ina Bauers from your Rittbergers, you can sign up for skating school. Consider going at night on Fridays and Saturdays, when the rink stays open late, and imagine the lights from the surrounding buildings are constellations.
World Ice Arena
13135 Avery Avenue
Offering ample opportunity for free skating, the World Ice Arena, in Queens, also features classes and community-focused events, as well as an on-site shop that allows the opportunity to get fitted for skates of your very own. Plus, unlike so of the other rinks on this list, you can skate here long after the temperature outside has turned ice to water; check out the summer programs for more info.
Jessica Allen is a New York based writer.