Ice skating was around Central Park since its opening, “living” at The Lake and The Pond, who were open for skaters in the late 1850s. In fact, skating was so popular that even ghosts enjoyed it! However, the artificial water bodies in Central Park were not perfectly suited for skating due to the fact that they rarely froze. This called for the creation of actual skating rinks for all the skaters of Manhattan.
Today Central Park offers two skating rinks (plus one depending on the weather) – Wolman Rink, Lasker Rink, and Conservatory Water!
Central Park’s favorite place for model sailboats turns into an amazing ice skating rink if the weather is cold enough to permit it. It is a popular location in winter as it is in summer due to the fact that skating is free! You just need to bring your own skates!
There is also a cozy café nearby where you can get something warm after all the skating.
Another location that is popular all year long. The Lasker Pool is preferred by guests of the park that want to cool down a bit or do a lap.
In winter, the Lasker Rink opens somewhere in October and closes in mid-March, if the weather permits it. It fields two round skating rinks, with one being saved for high school hockey teams, and the other – open for people of all ages. You can find rental skates, locker rooms, and skating lessons.
The Lasker Rink is planned to receive a huge renovation in 2021 that is planned to turn it into a top-quality facility for swimming, hockey, and skating. It will open all year round.
By far the most popular skating rink in Central Park (if not in whole Manhattan). Wolman Rink “starred” in the movie “Serendipity”, and had a cameo in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. It is by far the largest and the most popular of the three. Wolman Rink offers a skating school, hockey practices, skate rentals, lockers, and even party facilities.
The Wolman Rink is named after Kate Wolman, who donated $600,000 in 1949 for its creation. Since its opening in 1950, the Wolman Rink has become a long-standing winter icon of Central Park.
There is a snack bar where you can get some hot cocoa or tea after your skating adventure. And in summer the Wolman Rink becomes the Victorian Gardens Amusement Park!
New York and winter share a recurring love story. The city is a Christmas pop icon, with its numerous activities around the Christmas holidays – the Radio City Rockettes, the lights on Times Square, “Home Alone 2”. Central Park is no stranger to all of this. Winter turns it into a landscape of a fairytale. Green gives way to white as far as the eye can see.
There is a shift in the preferred activities when winter comes to Central Park. The traditional biking, boating, and rollerblading give way to skating!