Who knew that ice skating burns as many calories as running five miles? And we’re not talking about Olympic training for Vancouver. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, an average 150-pound person (even one with weak, wobbly ankles) burns about 600 calories by skating for an hour. Add in a little choreography, like forward and backward crossovers, and the calorie burn goes up to 800 per hour. And it’s a perfect way to spice up your winter exercise rut.
For such a dense metropolis, where public schools barely have yards, the city has an amazing number of skating rinks. The one in Bryant Park is the only one with free admission. Most provide skate rentals (rates vary from $3 to $12), lessons, and hot chocolate, too.
NEW!! BATTERY PARK CITY ON ICE
This large open-air rink just opened on the Battery Park City-Tribeca border.
Located at North End Avenue, between Murray and Warren; 888-727-5423; batteryparkcityice.com; Admission: $10; Skate Rental: $3.
THE POND AT BRYANT PARK
Although everything about the Pond screams corporate sponsorship, we won’t quibble with the free admission, which leaves money left over for a hot chocolate afterward at Celsius, a nearby pop-up bar.
Between 40th and 42nd Streets, Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas; 866-221-5157; thepondatbryantpark.com; Admission: free; skate rental: $12.
Little known fact: Donald Trump owns Central Park’s Wollman Rink, but we like it anyway and there’s no more enchanting place for evening skating.
Central Park at 63rd Street; wollmanskatingrink.com; 212-439-6900. Admission: $12 adults, $5 children (less on weekdays); skate rental: $6.25.
KATE WOLLMAN ICE SKATING RINK
This rink is no-frills and no tourists and is plenty big to practice your axels and swizzles. Just watch out for the Park Slope kids who will totally outskate you.
Prospect Park, Brooklyn (near Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance); prospectpark.org; 718-287-6431 or 718-287-5252. Admission: $5 adults, $3 children and seniors; skate rental: $6.50.
No round-up of NYC ice skating rinks would be complete without it, but leave this small expensive rink to the tourists.
Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets; 212-332-7654; patinagroup.com. Admission: $19 adults, $12.50 children and seniors; skate rental: $9.
CITY ICE PAVILION
City Ice Pavilion opened a year ago. Although it bills itself as open-air, it’s actually inside a white plastic bubble. That said, it’s enormous and immaculate.
4732 32nd Place, Long Island City, Queens; cityicepavilion.com; 718-706-6667. Admission: $5 Mon–Thurs; $8 Fri and wkends; skate rental: $5.
ABE STARK RINK
Dorothy Hamill, the figure-skating and hair-style icon, dedicated the opening of this indoor kid-friendly Coney Island rink in 1970.
Coney Island Boardwalk and 19th Street, Brooklyn 718-946-6536 or 718-946-3135; nycgovparks.org. Open wkends only. Admission: $8; skate rental: $5.
Have a favorite city rink? Tell us about it, here!