Ice skating season has just begun! Sharpen those blades and lace those boots.  In New York, we have some of the most exceptionally beautiful outdoor skating rinks. However, if it’s too cold for you or your tots, there are some well-run indoor rinks too.  A few tips: If you head outdoors, try and go in the early afternoons: the sun has warmed the air and the ice isn’t as hard. For less crowded times- avoid after-school hours and weekends. There are some great deals for ice skating- you just have to know which rinks to visit and at which times. We have the scoop for you here.

Update: Wollman Rink in Prospect Park is still under renovation and expected to open in Fall 2013.

Best deals: The least expensive general admission rates for outdoor skating in order are: Bryant Park (Free), Lasker and Wollman in Central Park (I prefer Lasker).  The cheapest for indoor skating? World Ice Arena in Queens and City Ice Pavillion in LIC are both $5 admission on weekdays.

Aviator Sports (INDOOR)
3159 Flatbush Ave  Brooklyn, NY 11234.
It is just south of Belt Parkway (Exit 11S, Brooklyn, NY 11234).
Skating office: 718-758-7514.
Skating hotline: 718-758-7567.
Aviator Sports is a mammoth event space. It has twin NHL regulation (200’ x 85’) sheets of ice, an enormous gym, basketball courts, fitness rooms, climbing walls, video games, restaurant, euro bungie, fields and games.  Though it can feel chaotic at times because of all the scheduled activities, it is truly a spots hub.  The ice rinks are efficiently run. Make sure you check in at general admissions for paying both admission and skate rental fees for the ice rink.  You can’t do it at the rink itself which is about 200 yards away.  The rink is brightly lit with huge hip-height to ceiling windows with a skate rental shop.  There aren’t enough skating benches or spectator seats though and this is where it felt lacking. Lockers are free, but bring your own padlock. I rented skates here: cushy but they weren’t sharpened properly.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults: $9.00
Children: $7.00
Skate Rentals: $5.00/pair


Chelsea Piers Sky Rink (INDOOR)

23rd St. & the Hudson River
New York, NY 10011
Chelsea Piers is an enormous sports arenas with basketball courts, driving range and golf shop, boat rentals, gym, tot play space, horse arena and of course, the sky rink which consists of 2 ice rinks (East and West) and a skate shop where you can buy skates and equipment. There are both men’s and women’s club rooms with lockers, bathrooms and shower facilities. You can also use the lockers next to the rinks. The lockers are coin-operated.
Admission & Rental Fees:
All ages: $10.00
Skate Rental: $5
Helmet Rental: $4.25

City Ice Pavilion (INDOOR)

4732 32nd Place
Long Island City, NY
This ice rink opened in the fall of 2009 so it is brand-new. It is New York’s only roof-top skating facility. If you have a car, they have free, covered parking.  Otherwise, they have transportation service, with central pick-ups (in Manhattan), and home drop-off. The 7 train to 33rd St- Rawson St. STAtion is 1.5 blocks from the rink. Coin operated lockers available for $.75.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults and Children: $5 Monday – Friday, $8 Saturday – Sunday. $8 on holidays including holiday breaks.
Skate Rental:  $5
Helmet rental: $2

Ice House New Jersey (INDOOR)
111 Midtown Bridge Approach
Hackensack, NJ 07601
With four (4) regulation size NHL rinks, Ice House is the largest facility of its kind in the Tri-State area. Located just minutes from New York City, the Ice House is recognized as a world-class skating facility. Located on two levels with a full view of the rinks, they have a food court, Starbucks coffee bar, an arcade room, and meeting rooms. Ice House operates one of the largest full service hockey and Skating Pro Shops in the New York-New Jersey area. Ice House sent 9 skaters to the 2002 Olympics including gold medalists Sarah Hughes, Elena Bereznaia and Anton Sikharulidze. Other skaters including Tara Lipinski, Oksana Baiul, and Sasha Cohen make Ice House their local training facility. Plenty of free parking.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults: $9.00
Children (11 & Under) & Senior Citizens $8.00
Skate Rental $4.00

Enter the Park at 110th and Lenox Avenue. The rink is btw. 106th and 108th Streets.
917-492-3856 or 212-534-7639
I love this outdoor rink. It feels more hidden than Central Park’s Wollman and it feels larger to me (whether that is true or not I don’t know!).  My friends’ kids grew up on this ice and they say the ice is consistently well kept. This might be the best park location for new skaters for both Brooklyn and Manhattan.  In addition to regular ice-skating, hockey classes for all ages, as well as group and private skating school lessons are offered at the Lasker Rink.  Kids can even have their birthday party on ice!
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults: $7.00
Youths: $4.00
Seniors: $2.25
Skate Rentals: $6.00
Lock Rental: $3.25 + $4.00 deposit

The Pond at Bryant Park (OUTDOOR)
Bryant Park between 40th and 42nd St and 5th and 6th Ave.
New York, NY
The Pond, a 170’ 100’ rink is in a beautiful locale with free ice skating, skating shows, snacks or a dinner. The rink is, unsurprisingly, very crowded. After all, it is the only place to skate for free in NY.  There are free lockers but bring your own padlock or buy one for $9 there. Bag check is a hefty $7 for a small bag and $9 for a large bag – so yes, admission is free but it’s costly to rent skates and park your stuff.  If you need your skates resharpened or a pair to rent, you can do that easily in the Skating Pavillion. Subway: take the F, V, B, or D train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults and Children: Free
Skate Rentals: $14
You can purchase VIP passes for skate rental and allows you to pass the line.

The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink (OUTDOOR)

601 5th Avenue
New York, NY
This rink is one of the most crowded ones in NYC. However, it is worth a spin once in your life.  The hours are generally 8:30 am to midnight but can vary by day, so check the website.
The rink is open Nov. 9, 2011 –January 7, 2013.  You can buy an Express Pass (read- no lines!) at the Igloo on the Ice.
Admission & Rental Fees:
The admission prices are highest around Christmas. During peak season (November 18th – January 6th), skating is :
Adults: $25
Children under 11: $15 for children
Skate rental: $10.

Wollman RinkProspect Park (OUTDOOR) CLOSED FOR RENOVATION– to open Fall 2013

95 Prospect Park W
Brooklyn, NY
Wollman Rink, located near the Parkside Avenue/Ocean Avenue entrance of the Park, is open for ice skating from late November through March 14. The rink is fairly small and honestly, one of my least favorite places to skate. It feels chaotic with all skaters moving in a large circle around the rink and security guards prohibiting you from standing near the side.  Not great for teaching kids to skate. The interior is very large with ample skating benches and nice personnel- including at the skate rental shop. There is a snack bar and free lockers. You just need to bring a padlock.   There is a parking lot at the rink, though it is often full.  Wollman Rink is best accessed through the Parkside/Ocean Avenues entrance or the Lincoln Road/Ocean Avenue entrance.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults: $5 (ages 15 and up)
Children (ages 14 and under) and Seniors: $3
Skate Rental: $6.50 (tax included)
***Every Friday: ½ Price Admission! (does not include skate rental charge, holidays excluded).

Wollman Ice Skating Rink (OUTDOOR)- CENTRAL PARK (also called Trump Rink now)
830 5th Avenue, New York, NY (enter at 59th Street)
Wollman Skating Rink is a public ice rink in the southern part of Central Park, Manhattan. The rink was opened in 1949 with funds donated by Kate Wollman. Historically, the rink has been open for ice skating from October to April and in the summer seasons is transformed into a venue for other purposes. The skating rink is beautifully situated in the park and is a must-do for a skater. I think the spectator fee is lame though.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults:  Mon – Thur  $11 AND  Fri – Sun $17
Children:  Mon – Thur $ 6  ( 11 & under ) AND Fri – Sun $ 6
Skate Rental:   $ 7
Lock Rental      $ 5 + $6 refundable deposit
Spectator Fee   $ 5.00

World Ice (INDOOR)

When Using a GPS- Use Home Depot Address:
13135 Avery Avenue
Flushing, NY 11355
This indoor rink has some of the least expensive admission fees around.  It doesn’t get as crowded as some of the more popular rinks, so this is a good place to go for new skaters. It isn’t as easy to get to for families though with a 7 minute walk and a bit of a trip on the subway. Bonus: You can skate with Santa every weekend in December at 1:45 pm.
Admission & Rental Fees:
Adults and Children: $5 Weekdays AND $8 Weekends
Skate Rental: $5
Lockers: $.75
Directions: Take the #7 Flushing subway to the Shea Stadium / Willets Point Station. Stay on the platform level and cross the bridge over the LIRR tracks.  At the bottom of the ramp, turn 90 degrees left to a large path between tennis courts.  This path turns into a sidewalk, and the World Ice Arena is a 7 minute walk along this sidewalk.