ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Skating at Rockefeller Center Ice Rink: Is it Worth It?

Updated on November 14, 2011

Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

At holiday time, skaters  at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink in Manhattan glide by a golden statue and a towering Christmas tree.
At holiday time, skaters at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink in Manhattan glide by a golden statue and a towering Christmas tree.

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

Train tickets to NY: $90. 3 admissions and 2 skate rentals at Rockefeller Center Skate Rink $65. Hot chocolate at Starbucks $15. Skating outdoors with my kids against the backdrop of an iconic Art Deco Building, a 75-foot sparkling Christmas tree, a gilded statue, and hundreds of onlookers: priceless.

Gorgeous Setting for an Urban Rink

Rockefeller’s rink is small, its admission is high (and jumps higher during the holidays), and the wait can be more than hour. But if you are looking for moments to make memories, then this magical setting in the midst of Manhattan’s skyscrapers is worth it.

Colorful flags surround the intimate rink, and a statue of Prometheus gilded in gold glistens in front of a water fountain. Tourists and locals alike take in the view and snap photos of a spot that has become a NY winter icon.

The rink’s web page (link below) gives the lowdown on hours and prices (which vary between $9 and $19 for admission depending upon age and season), but here’s some tips on how to make the most of your visit to the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink.

Crowds at Holiday Time

Both the price of admission and the size of the crowd jump at the holiday season when the Christmas decorations are up. For a shorter wait, go early. If possible, go on a week day. Accept that you are going to have to wait in line and just enjoy the city scene. Getting impatient will ruin your experience.

If you have to wait in line, be sure to have your group all together as you approach the front of the line. They do not allow you to save spots!

If you do not like waiting, come before or after the peak season is over. There are no lines during October, January, February, March and April.

Equipment and Ice

You can bring your own skates, but the rentals (about $9 to rent) are just fine. The skate shop has an adequate supply of sizes up to mens 14. The locker room is extremely tiny and gets crowded. The floor gets damp, so be careful not to get your socks wet (bring an extra pair) and not to leave behind gloves or other small items. You can check your shoes and other belongings at the booth. Bring a couple bucks for a tip.

If you want to buy your own skates, check out deals on eBay (see below) We got my daughter $800 skates for about $100. Ebay also has good deals on skate tights and skate dresses. So if you want to look your best on Rockefeller Ice, shop ahead of time. See below for a link to my tips on how to buy used skates and skate dresses.

The Ice
Although the rink is small, the ice itself is not too bad, and between skating sessions a Zamboni smooths it out.

How Long Can You Skate?

The Session
Each session lasts an hour and a half. If you can, time it so you come at the start of a session to you get the most ice time. Times are posted at the rink and on the Web site. Once you make it to the ice, you can skate until the end of the session. Then the ice is cleared so the Zamboni can come on. Tip: If you come at the end of a session, ask if they will let you come to the next session so you get your money’s worth. When we went they allowed this.

The official rules state that once you stop skating, you cannot come back on. However, this does not mean you cannot stop at all. There is a small area off to one side with benches where you can take a short break. You just cannot remove skates, leave, and come back in a different session.

Skaters take turns posing in front of the golden statue of Prometheus.
Skaters take turns posing in front of the golden statue of Prometheus.

Capture the Moment

Take a Camera or at Least Your Phone
You’ve paid a premium for the location, capture the moment. Rink employees patrolling the ice are happy to snap your photo. Rockefeller Center’s beautiful ice rink has been used as a location in movies such as Elf, Home Alone 2 and A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Switch to video mode, and capture a few seconds of yourself skating on the most famous urban rink in the world. We did.

My Daughter Doing a Spin at Rockefeller Rink

Remember Your Skating Experience with a Gift

What Do You Think?

Is skating at Rockefeller Center worth it?

See results

New York Movie Settings

New York: The Movie Lover's Guide: The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie New York
New York: The Movie Lover's Guide: The Ultimate Insider Tour of Movie New York

The Rockefeller rink has been used as a setting in movies, especially those with a holiday theme.

rockefeller center ny:
Rockefeller Center, Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020, USA

get directions

Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

Did You Skate at Rockefeller Center? Share your experience.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      5 years ago from East Coast

      This is a useful and fun hub. I've always wanted to go to Rockerfeller but have just not been able to. We have an outdoor rink at an area mall each winter and it gets so crowded. Also, the ice gets choppy very quickly and is about as fast as skating on my living room carpet. This year I'm going to reserve it at least once for myself, family, and a couple of friends. There is nothing like doing a layback or inverted camel and looking at the stars!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)