The ice is going to break!!! (in Christopher Walken voice)
December 17, 2009 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Ice Skating in NYC. Recommendations please?

I am looking for an ice skating rink in NYC for a date. I'm trying to find one that is fun and not so crowded and you know...romantic and shit. So there are a few options I know of, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, and Bryant Park. I'm looking for an outdoor rink so Chelsea Piers is out of the question. How about the one at the Museum of Natural History? Is the one in Prospect Park any good? I'm not discounting Brooklyn. (I am a native, therefore surprise surprise, I have not been to any of these places.)

Also, this is important, which one has good hot chocolate nearby?
posted by cazoo to Society & Culture (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Later in the year one opens in Seaport. View of downtown and the river....but also the FDR. Several coffee shops on Front St.
posted by milarepa at 12:08 PM on December 17, 2009

Are you close to the one train?

Riverbanks State Park has a very decent rink. It's not nearly as crowded as many of the Downtown or Central Park rinks, and it's comparatively cheap. It's up around 145th street on the West side. If you're doing the date thing, you're a stop or two from the Cloisters, so you can also impress her with your knowledge of medieval art.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 12:20 PM on December 17, 2009

Wollman is the big crowded rink near the bottom of Central Park, but do you know about Lasker Rink, at the very top? The entrance is at 110th and Lenox - it's never nearly as crowded as those other, more touristy destinations. I found it kinda romantic, myself. :)
There's also a concession stand with hot chocolate, though I can't vouch for the quality.

(I know you mentioned Central Park above, but I've encountered a staggeringly huge number of NYCers who don't know this particular one.)
posted by bookgirl18 at 12:21 PM on December 17, 2009

Lasker, hands down. The one at the Museum of Natural History isn't a real rink (it's on some sort of synthetic material).
posted by ocherdraco at 1:01 PM on December 17, 2009

Neither Seaport Ice at the South Street Seaport nor the Polar Rink at the American Museum of Natural History will reopen for the 2009-2010 season.

Here's a fairly comprehensive listing of the different rinks.

Some hot-chocolate-not-from-a-packet options are Jacques Torres (UWS), Vosges (UES), La Maison du Chocolat (Rockefeller Center and UES), perhaps the newly opened Fran├žois Chocolate Bar (UES).

Not sure about Bryant Park -- maybe The Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, the Lily O'Brien store?

However, I would call to confirm hours as not all of them stay open all that late. And some, like La Maison du Chocolat, run out of hot chocolate towards late afternoon.
posted by kathryn at 1:01 PM on December 17, 2009

Bryant Park: hot chocolate both within the rental facility and at several of the year-round and seasonal concessions. There's also a Starbucks on the NE corner of 42nd and 6th at the top of the park. The rink can get pretty crowded after work during the week, and definitely so on weekend afternoons.

Prospect Park: only open late Fri & Sat. Larger and usually less crowded than Bryant, but again weekend afternoons are the busiest. Skip the hot chocolate here, it's no good.

Rockefeller: not unless waiting in line is romantic.

Lasker: been ages since I was up there, but I think previous commenters are on point.
posted by sonofslim at 1:45 PM on December 17, 2009

For hot chocolate near Lasker try: Zanny's at 108th & Columbus and Saurin Park Cafe at 110th & Central Park West. If you want to walk a little there's Silver Moon, though seating is limited (nonexistent?) in the winter.
posted by stargell at 4:17 PM on December 17, 2009

I was just up at the one in Riverbank State Park (as HabeasCorpus mentioned) earlier this week and it was very quiet up there. Below are the skating times and costs for some of the rinks listed above.

1-4pm, 5-8pm Sat, Sun
6-9pm Friday
$5 to Skate, Skate rental is $6.

Bryant Park:
8am-10pm Sun-Thu
8am till 12am Fri, Sat
Free to Skate, Skate rental is $12

10am-9pm Sun
10am-2:30pm Mon,Tues
10am-10pm Wed, Thu
10am-11pm Fri, Sat
$9.50 to Skate, Skate rental is $5

10am-3:45pm Mon-Thu
8pm-10pm Tues
10am-10pm Fri
1pm-10pm Sat
12:30pm-4:30pm Sun
$4.50 to Skate, Skate rental is $4.75
posted by langeNU at 7:33 AM on December 18, 2009

Bryant Park: several of the year-round and seasonal concessions

The problem I've found with relying on the year-round 'wichcraft booths is that they often don't have hot chocolate, and when they do, it's an odd take on it (they use bay leaves).
posted by kathryn at 9:33 AM on December 18, 2009

Thank you for all the info guys!
posted by cazoo at 8:36 AM on December 19, 2009

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