Skating at Rockefeller Center is great. There are those crowds of tourists gawking, the huge Christmas tree, the gold statue and the fairy lights all of which make it very special.
But for sheer joy and pleasure in living, you can’t go past Central Park. Skating there in the cold with the view over the city, surrounded by the park is magic, especially at night.
Bryant Park is terrific too, smaller but it feels so cozy with the ring of brightly lit holiday shops surrounding you.
These three are the biggies in prestige and centrality but there are rinks right through the 5 Boroughs, see the list here, Outdoor Skating Rinks New York.
The crowds are fierce at all rinks so if you want to go fast or spin your head off try and go very early or very late and then you’ll have room to stun the few onlookers with the fancy stuff.
And if you’re not much good as a skater but just love it, don’t worry. It’s really all about the pleasure of where you are skating, who you’re skating with, the movement, the biting cold and the sheer beauty of it all. LIKE all the great skating experiences in New York.