Ice skating in NYC!

As many of you know, I have been playing ice and roller hockey for years, however you don’t have to be a hockey player to enjoy ice skating. In Manhattan, ice skating has been a popular sport since the mid 1800s when there were very few residents north of 23rd Street. Shortly after the Central Park lake was filled in 1858, the first uptown skating rink was opened and everyone, rich and poor alike, came out in droves to enjoy the ice. When the ice thickened to four inches, a red flag was hung to signal that the ice was suitable for skating, and downtown trollies hoisted a red ball high on their poles to signal favorable skating conditions. This great January Curbed article by urban historian, Rebecca Dalzell gives a rich history of NYC ice skating and says that the skating rink was the only place single men and women could go without a chaperone to find a potential match. ladiesskate1-thumb

At the time, it was a racy sight to see a glimpse of a woman’s ankle or foot as she put on her ice skates. I wonder what those skaters would think of Paper Magazine today.

Times have changed but skating is still a fun winter pastime and there are now many more options for skating in NYC. Below is a list of all currently operating NYC ice skating rinks. Click on the link for details about each ice skating rink.

Open through February

The Standard Ice Rink

South Street Seaport Rink

The Rink at Winter Village in Bryant Park (closes March 1)

Open through March

Riverbank State Park Ice Skating Rink

Abe Stark Arena

WWII Veterans War Memorial Ice Skating Rink, Staten Island

The Rink at Brookfield Place

Lasker Rink

Lakeside Prospect Park

Open through April

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Wollman Rink in Central Park

Open All Year

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers

City Ice Pavilion

World Ice Arena


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