Thinking back on my ice skating experience in Bryant Park, it seems more of a dream than an actual reality that not only happened, but happened to me. I’ve seen so many cliche experiences linked to travel that when they do actually happen to you, are a complete let down, this was not one of them.
After spending some time at the Union Square Christmas Market, it was hard to not be in the mood for a full-blown holiday extravaganza. Coming across the ice rink in Bryant Park, just off Fifth Avenue, was a stroke of luck. Our group was turned into a gaggle of mushy, giggle teenagers almost immediately.
A temporary rink, the Bryant Park Winter Village is well laid out with a few Christmas stalls, spots selling hot chocolate and of course, the rink itself. A large seating area to put on skates after you’ve hired them and even lockers to store your bags made the experience hassle free.
The rink isn’t massive, but it wasn’t too busy when we visited so luckily didn’t feel too cramped. It’s a mix of kids and adults and teenagers zooming about, and it’s tons of fun getting out onto the ice. I hadn’t gone ice skating since I was at least 13, but after a few wobbly minutes, I was out there doing ok. Not falling over is the definition of ok.
I can’t remember what the price was the year we went, but I do remember that entrance, skate hire and locker storage were reasonable, in fact I think entrance and storage were free (we had to buy a lock). You can spend as long as you want out on the ice, and when you’re tired, just slide off to the side and take a break to watch everybody else having fun.
For more info on Bryant Park’s Winter Village, click here.
Next time I’m in New York over Christmas, the mission will be to go ice skating in Central Park. We walked past the Wollman Rink on a trip through, but didn’t stop to skate sadly. Such a gorgeous rink and you may even recognise it from a few different movies set here.