Countdown to opening day at Rockefeller Center Skating Rink in NYC! Located in midtown Manhattan (Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets), the rink opens promptly at 8:30 am on Saturday, October 13. Of the outdoor rinks in NYC, Rockefeller Rink is always the first to open and usually the Today show has a special skating guest to commemorate the opening day -- I'll be on the lookout for any announcements on that front. As a veteran of Rockefeller Rink, here are a few helpful tips:
- The rink opens daily to the general public from 8:30 am to midnight. Sessions are generally 90 minutes long. Expect to wait in long lines once the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is up. Tree arrival and lighting dates are still to be announced. From October 13 - November 8, per session it's $20/adult, $12/child and $10/skate rental. Once the holiday season begins from November 9 - January 7, the price increases to $25/adult and $15/child. From January 8 - sometime in early April when the rink closes, the price goes back to $20/adult and $12/child.
- Skating lessons are available all season long. There are three terrific instructors on hand to provide private one-on-one lessons or semi-private lessons where two skaters can take the class together. Call (212) 332-7655 to book a lesson.
- If you want to avoid long lines and be treated like royalty, consider express skating at The Igloo,
open November 16 - January 4. For $95/person which includes admission and skates, you avoid the lines and enter from a different entrance into an enclosed igloo-like structure where the area is heated, there is free hot chocolate and the atmosphere is just generally more pleasant. My good friend Tim runs The Igloo and he truly obsesses over the customer experience so if ya got the dough, worth it. Click here if ya got the dough.
- New this season: From November 9 - January 7, you can skate at 7 am. Yes, 7 am. $25/adult, $14/child. $10/skate rental. Click here if you're that crazy.
- If you're like me and skate several times a week, get a Season Pass. The Season Pass information is coming soon, but in the past, the price has been in the $300 range. You bypass any line and the manager reserves most Wednesday early mornings for just season passholders to skate. You can also purchase a locker for an additional fee. If you're interested in a season pass, call (212) 332-7655.
- Thinking of proposing? Why not at Rockefeller Rink? For $225 or $300 (depending on holiday season or not), you and the lucky one get 5 minutes on the ice (just the two of you!) while your favorite song plays overhead. Afterwards, you get a champagne toast at the Rock Center Cafe, which is adjacent to the rink. So you provide the CD of the song, a bouquet to be presented to her, and of course the ring. The rink provides the unforgettable venue. The many times I've seen an Engagement on Ice, it's really sweet and everyone claps and hollers. Click here if you're pretty sure she's gonna say "yes."
Check out the official Rockefeller Skating Rink site here and if you have any additional questions, contact the rink at (212) 332-7655.