Best Indoor Ice Rinks In New York City

When it’s bad weather outside, then you may need to avoid the outside ice rinks in New York City and go straight to a protected indoor ice skating rink. Most of the ice rinks in New York City are actually outside, but a few key ones do have the roof and walls necessary to keep you out of the adverse Winter weather elements that may include rain, snow, ice and wind. We list your best indoor ice skating rink choices in the NYC area, where you can have fun on the ice and still survive the New York City Winter weather. Also many of these indoor ice rinks are open in the Summer too, so all year around ice skating is available at some of these rinks, but not all of them.

List of the Best Indoor Ice Rinks in NYC

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers: Manhattan, NY

Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers Website
Size: 2 rinks at the standard hockey rink size of 17,000 sq ft each Confirmed
Location:
West Side Highway at 23rd Street in Chelsea
Cost: 
$20
Reverse Direction After Resurface: No
Ice Quality: Fair
Skate Rental Quality: Fair
Rental Skate Choice: Figure skates only
Helmet Rental: No (but helmets are available for sale)
Year Round Skating: Yes

The Hype: The Sky Rink is a year-round indoor skating rink at Pier 61 at Chelsea Piers and is open six days a week. The venue has the virtue of having two ice skating rinks. Located in the heart of midtown, the Chelsea Piers ice rink offer state-of-the-art facilities and there are plenty of things to do before and after your skate. The public skating session at Sky Rink will only set you back about $20 to skate and the quality of the ice is far better than many of the outside NYC rinks.
The Reality: Although this ice rink complex has two ice rinks, only one of these rinks is ever used for the public sessions, regardless of how many people are trying to skate during the busy times. The other ice rink is always rented out for private hire. The public ice rink can often get jammed with skaters, so jammed that it often gets out of control. Ice skate patrons are barred from skating in the center section of the ice and at all four corners of the rink, due to private lessons taking over those areas (which should really be done in the other ice rink). This means that the Sky Rink crams a huge amount of skaters into the public regular size ice rink and then makes them skate in an odd serpentine fashion, trying to avoid all the coned off areas in the corners and in the center. This leads to skater frustration and many on-ice accidents. Of course, the Chelsea Pier's Sky Rink management deny all responsibility for any skating accidents "as skating does have inherent risks", but their business decisions clearly increase the danger of on-ice accidents at this ice rink. The Sky Rink is often described as a true New York experience: overcrowded, a bit dangerous and generally an unpleasant activity.
The Ice House in Hackensack NJ

The Ice House: Hackensack, NJ

The Ice House Website
Size: 4 rinks at 17,000 sq ft each Confirmed
Location: 
Hackensack, NJ
Cost: 
$20
Reverse Direction After Resurface: No
Ice Quality: Good
Skate Rental Quality: Poor
Rental Skate Choice: Figure skates only
Helmet Rental: No (but helmets are available for sale at the pro shop)
Year Round Skating: Closed for the Summer

The Hype: Just 30 minutes from the George Washington Bridge exists one of the biggest names in ice dance stadiums. The Ice House in Hackensack is a behemoth four rink ice stadium that caters to ice dance, ice hockey, private party hire and public sessions which can often all be happening at the same time as this stadium has four rinks and a ton of professional support for each of its services. So many ice dance stars came out of this rink that this has become the NYC epicenter for US figure skating. The ice is usually well kept and they tend to resurface every 1.5 hrs and often hourly when its very busy. This rink also offers a Friday night disco for young adults during the Winter season. This skate venue is all about the ice and has none of the other frills. There is also a nice gym on site, but it really doesn't make a lot of sense to have it there for regular folk, unless your little Katie is an aspiring Michelle Kwan or a Kristi Yamaguchi.
The Reality:  Just like every other NYC Ice rink (other than the outdoor ice rink at Rockefeller Center), during a public session, The Ice House in Hackensack will attempt to cram as many people onto the ice as they possibly can. This rink has been known to load over 1000 people on one standard size rink at any one time, which is completely nuts and often quite dangerous. Therefore, it is best to avoid the busy times at this rink. The snack bar area and the bathrooms are run-down and the whole ice rink complex is in desperate need of an overhaul. With peeling paint, broken bathrooms and poorly appointed parking, this rink makes you feel dirty. The rental skates are often falling apart here, so you might want to bring your own skates. The rink management usually puts their interests ahead of their own customers and they will not be open on Holidays, which is when many people are most likely to skate - so forget about skating with a News Year's day hangover or after eating your Thanksgiving turkey. You might expect that with four separate ice rinks in the building, they would be able to split the very busy public sessions into two parts, but that logic still seems so far ahead of them. The rink is still stuck in its 1980's ice dance glory years and shows no sign of turning things around anytime soon. They put up wall banners for professional skaters that never actually trained there, including the famous Oksana Baiul (although she did teach there for a short time)
City Ice Pavilion: Long Island City, NY
City Ice Pavilion

City Ice Pavilion: Long Island City, NY

City Ice Pavilion Website
Size: 1 rink at 17,000 sq ft
Location:
The industrial zone in Long Island City
Cost:
$20
Reverse Direction After Resurface: No
Ice Quality: Fair
Skate Rental Quality: Fair
Rental Skate Choice: Figure skates only
Helmet Rental: No (but helmets are available for sale)
Year Round Skating: Yes

The Hype: If you are in the Long Island City neighborhood, then this rooftop skating ice facility is open year-round and its NHL-size skate rink offers public skating. The rink also has hockey programs for youths and adults and a Skating School that provides tuition to those that want to learn some figure skating and to nail that Triple Sal-chow. This is an enormous skate facility that offers great ice and decent rental skates.
The Reality: It may be on a rooftop, but you would never know it. This urban skating rink suffers from the urban problems of parking, so it is better suited to locals and people using public transportation.
World Ice Arena, Flushing, Queens NY
World Ice Arena, Flushing, Queens NY

World Ice Arena: Flushing, Queens, NY

World Ice Arena Website
Size: 1 rink at 17,000 sq ft
Location:
East section of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Cost:
$20
Ice Quality: Excellent
Reverse Direction After Resurface: No
Skate Rental Quality: Fair
Rental Skate Choice: Figure skates and hockey skates available for rent
Helmet Rental: No (but helmets are available for sale)
Year Round Skating: Yes

The Hype: Located in Flushing, Queens, the World Ice arena offers a venue that reportedly has the best ice surface in the New York area and the least amount of people skating upon it. The modern building set in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a pleasant and satisfying skating experience and is a favorite among hard core hockey and figure skaters. The ice skating venue offers the usual set of hockey, figure and learn to skate programs with a fully stocked pro shop. They tried to reverse the direction of skaters during sessions, but were met with many customer complaints, so they reverted back to one direction only.
The Reality: The biggest issue with the World Ice Arena is that it is a quite a long commute from Midtown Manhattan and this rink, however good, is just too far for most people to trek. The commute from Midtown Manhattan is 36 minutes by 7 Train or about 45 minutes by car, making it the farthest ice rink in the NYC metro area. Those times are the very best you can do and you may need to add 20 mins to that number during rush hour or bad off-peak train schedules.