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Author Topic: Public Skating in NYC  (Read 9206 times)

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Offline Christy

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Public Skating in NYC
« on: July 30, 2014, 08:16:32 PM »
It looks like we may be taking a trip to NYC in the Fall and I'll have a few hours to fill, so I'm planning to take my skates along (it should be cheaper than Bloomingdales  ;) )
I think we'll be in the Times Square area, so I'm looking for recommendations on the best rinks that may have public sessions during the day (I'm not a member of a US skating club). All information greatly appreciated.

Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 11:29:44 PM »
Christy, in October in NYC SkyRink at Chelsea Piers should be great before 3pm.  Session starts at 1pm I think?  That would be the best time to get there, before the kids get out of school.  I'm not sure if any of the outdoor rinks are open by October.  Maybe if it's the last week.

http://www.chelseapiers.com

You don't have to be a skating club member to skate Freestyle sessions there if you wanted to.
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Offline Christy

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 01:43:44 PM »
Thanks for that information. Do I need to be registered with ISI or USFSA to skate Freestyle? (I am registered with Skate Canada)

Offline fsk8r

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2014, 02:11:10 PM »
Thanks for that information. Do I need to be registered with ISI or USFSA to skate Freestyle? (I am registered with Skate Canada)

I used to skate freestyle in Texas and was never a USFSA member. I think it depends on whether it's rink or club run. The clubs may have their own rules.

Offline alejeather

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2014, 02:51:35 PM »
I skated as a guest once at Chelsea Piers. I just paid my money at the desk and got on the freestyle. I am a USFS member, but it was never checked.

I asked a similar question a few years ago when I was planning a trip to New York, and you may find some info here:
http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=4142
It focuses mostly on outdoor skating, but Kitten23 gave some info on indoor rinks as well.

I never ended up making that trip, as it was the weekend after Hurricane Irene. I went later for a conference in summertime and that's when I skated at Chelsea Piers.
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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2014, 03:35:49 PM »
I usually go on the rink page and look for 'Freestyle Sessions' and check to see what the restrictions are. I've heard of a rink where you must be taking lessons from a coach accredited there, but I've never seen it in practice. I show up, pay up, skate up. Nobody's kicked me off yet!
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Online icedancer

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 03:43:18 PM »
The only places that ever ask for that type of identification are club-owned rinks - and there are very few of those in this country (USA) - Detroit Skating Club for sure will ask for some membership identification (I am guessing Skate Canada would be fine with them since they border Canada) and maybe the Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society... otherwise... it is probably not a big deal - but it is smart to ask first!

Offline Christy

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2014, 08:59:47 PM »
Great - Thanks so much for the information. Sounds like there's a chance that one or more of the outdoor rinks may be open ;D
Would I be better using my pond skates at the outdoor rinks?

Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2014, 10:39:04 PM »
Christy, no you don't need anything.  They do have a few different levels of freestyle sessions though so you may want to ask which would be appropriate for your level.

But again, if you go at 1pm you'll have good ice and it shouldn't be crowded!
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Offline Meli

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2014, 11:24:08 PM »
So glad you asked about this... the hubby and I are probably heading to NYC in October, and I need a place to skate in between hitting up the spandex shops for fabric!

Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 11:33:06 PM »
SkyRink isn't too far from the garment district Meli!
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Offline littlerain

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2014, 12:07:34 AM »

It looks like we may be taking a trip to NYC in the Fall and I'll have a few hours to fill, so I'm planning to take my skates along (it should be cheaper than Bloomingdales  ;) )

That is my entire reasoning for bringing mine with me on my work trip. Aside from the trip being 3 months haha, but the last two years, I spent far to much money shopping, and skating is a much better activity in more ways than one!

I believe the rink at Chelsea piers has a daytime public? Hope you have fun!
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Offline littlerain

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2014, 12:11:59 AM »
Doh, I just read the rest of the thread and saw that everyone mentioned Chelsea piers already.

I think the outdoor rinks open in November if I remember correctly, but you can check on their sites in October. Typically dates/estimates would be posted by then. I don't think pond skates are necessary, I'm pretty sure the ice at Rockefeller and Central Park is the similar or the same as what they put in rinks
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Offline twinskaters

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2014, 06:51:28 AM »
They definitely maintain the ice at the outdoor rinks just like an indoor rink. And it looks like Wollman rink in Central Park opened 10/26 last year, so you might be in luck! Rock Center says it opens mid-October, too.


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Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2014, 10:32:40 AM »
Wollman won't let you skate inside the cones, even if it's empty (lessons only??) so it might depend on what you want to do.  Rock + Wollman are the most expensive public sessions and Rock is pretty short and a fairly small rink but nice NYC atmosphere.

Bryant Park is FREE (I haven't skated there) and then you have some off the beaten path rinks like South Street Seaport and even more so, styvesant Town (might need to be a resident guest for that one).  Looks like these all open in November but wanted to mention them for the next time or others looking.

I used to have an ice skating at my building when I lived on 34th street!  It's why I moved there.  Tiny rink but I could run down to the laundry room and see when it was empty and skate every day for hours!  It doesn't exist anymore sadly.
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Offline Willowway

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2014, 11:48:57 AM »
Bryant Park is just lovely but tiny and almost invariably crowded but so darn pretty that you might want to try it. Rock Center is also beautiful (iconic really) but also small and the ice gets chewed up pretty fast; in my view though if you're in NYC you want to have skated there at least once just to 'feel' it - it is unique. If you're really trying to practice seriously go to Chelsea Piers. If you want some lovely photos of yourself on a wonderful city rink try the others. Different rinks for different intentions. I have skated on them all and they are just for varying experiences. I'm not a big Wollman fan - quality of the ice (usually an inconsistent mess in my experience) but that too is amazing as an experience - on ice looking up at towers lining Central Park South, pretty special.

Added - JoJo Starbuck teaches (she has in prior seasons - no reason to think it won't happen in the upcoming season) a very early weekday adult class on uncrowded ice at Rockefeller Center. The class has a wonderful reputation. If you call ahead perhaps you can take the class for a day or two.

Further added after reading rd350 and thinking on it - NYC is NYC and for good and bad, isn't like any other place. If I were coming here for a holiday I would first try those rinks which you can only experience here - Rockefeller Center, Wollman, Bryant Park. You can practice on an inside rink at home and everywhere else (including Chelsea Piers) but heck, bring home a genuine New York experience. Since you'll be on holiday, early hours when the ice is less crowded or not crowded might work beautifully and then you'll be able to point at all sorts of scenes in all sorts of movies and say "I skated there." It's fun.

Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 12:52:44 PM »
Great advice!  Truly Wollman and Rockefeller are an "experience" and gorgeous, high energy I'm in the heart of NYC skating rinks!  Agreed about the ice at Wollman.  I went there my first time back on the ice after ?12 years?.  It was fine for that but I wouldn't skate there regularly.

I am going to check out Styvesant Town and Seaport for a season pass just because they are both pretty close to me.  @Willowway, have you skated at either?
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Offline Willowway

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 01:04:17 PM »
No I haven't skated at either place but am always open to trying something new, even if it's for a one-time experience.

Offline littlerain

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Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2014, 02:35:51 PM »
One of my college dorms was right outside the seaport on water street. And I lived very close to Stuyvesant one year. Never knew they did rinks at either place. Too bad I wasn't skating then! Lol

The few times I've skated at Bryant park it was very crowded and the ice was pretty chopped up because of it. Imagine wollman/rock would be too, given they are very popular tourist destinations ☺️
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Offline Christy

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2014, 02:55:01 PM »
They definitely maintain the ice at the outdoor rinks just like an indoor rink. And it looks like Wollman rink in Central Park opened 10/26 last year, so you might be in luck! Rock Center says it opens mid-October, too.


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Ohhh - that sounds good. I'm used to the outdoor rinks here for which maintenance is pretty much non-existent (maybe a man with a shovel!).

I skated at the Rock in April 2000 but hadn't expected to do so and ended up with rental skates  :o

Offline twinskaters

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2014, 04:11:10 PM »

Ohhh - that sounds good. I'm used to the outdoor rinks here for which maintenance is pretty much non-existent (maybe a man with a shovel!).

I skated at the Rock in April 2000 but hadn't expected to do so and ended up with rental skates  :o

The worst experience of my kids' skating life was going to skate this Christmas at Olympic park in Atlanta. We were visiting my MIL and didn't bring skates because my husband said we wouldn't have time. Christmas Day SIL and my niece (lives in Miami, also 8 years old, not a skater) were gung-ho to try skating, and my girls were all psyched to show off, and are picturing a regular rink like they're used to, and at least crappy figure skate rentals. I was at least picturing wollman or rock center quality. Nope. It was a tiny, crowded shoveled-off oval, the rentals were those ski-boot-hockey-skate hybrids, and their mortification was complete because in addition to not being able to do any tricks, they were overtired and became completely emotionally unhinged and acted like crazy people. I wasn't skating and was glad I had decided not to, because it was such a cluster#*?! 

My niece, on the other hand, is extremely athletic and had never experienced ice before, so she thought the whole thing was awesome and ended up having an ice skating birthday party in Miami a few months later.


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Offline Meli

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2014, 10:16:26 PM »
Looks like Bryant Park is slated to open on October 21st... just in time for my trip!

Offline littlerain

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #22 on: August 06, 2014, 11:43:28 PM »

Looks like Bryant Park is slated to open on October 21st... just in time for my trip!
Nice! I hope it is early enough to beat the crowds!
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Offline twinskaters

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2014, 03:34:30 PM »
Rock center opened today, apparently! http://www.newtonshows.com/userfiles/file/10_10HUNTINGTON.pdf

Now I'm tempted to do an early-season trip there just for the girls to get the experience. Except 84 bucks for the four of us to skate, plus dragging four pairs of skates on the train...that's putting a damper on the idea!

Offline rd350

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Re: Public Skating in NYC
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2014, 06:09:22 PM »
Rock Center is SOOOO expensive!  And such a tiny rink with short sessions.  I think kids skated free this morning after Merryl & Charlie skated.  Something to keep in mind for next year's opening.
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