Whether you’re in it for fitness or fun, ice skating is guaranteed to please. Add in some frosty temps, a gorgeous outdoor venue and some hot cocoa afterward and it rises to the level of spectacular (if you’re bundled up, of course!). We’ve chosen our favorite outdoor ice skating rinks in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. Head to the spot nearest you and enjoy the classic winter pastime with family or friends.
Make sure to call if it’s snowing or extremely cold; some rinks will close if conditions are hazardous.
The Westport PAL outdoor ice skating rink has the distinction of being the only outdoor ice rink in Fairfield County. The full-size regulation rink offers indoor heated areas for changing, concessions and plenty of time for free skate, hockey practice and learn-to-skate and hockey lessons. It’s open daily through March. Monday-Thursday: A full-day skating pass costs $9; $7 ages 11 and under. Friday-Sunday: A full-day skating pass costs $13; $10 age 11 and under. Skate rental is $5.
Glide along in one of Boston’s most scenic spots at the Frog Pond in Boston Common. Here you’ll find adorable skating aids disguised as seals, skate rentals and lockers. You can even take lessons with the Skating Club of Boston. And if you’re hungry – or chilly – warm up with some snacks or a cup of hot chocolate from the Frog Pond Cafe. Skating begins in November and lasts through March. The rink is open daily and admission is based on the skater’s height: $6 for those 58 inches and over; free for those under 58 inches. Skate rental is $12; $6 for children.
Want a little history mixed in with your outdoor pursuits? Then head for the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond at the Stawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth. The family-friendly rink is nestled within the 10-acre living history museum, and offers a learn-to-skate program for those new to the ice. In addition to free skating hours, the rink also offers adult hockey sessions. The rink is open daily through March. During peak periods (Saturdays, Sundays, Jan. 15, Feb. 19 and New Hampshire February school vacation week, Feb. 25-March 1), skating costs $11; $9 for ages 6-17; free for age 5 and under. Off-peak skating costs $8; $6 ages 6-17. Skate rentals are $5. Admission to the museum costs extra.
In the summer, the two regulation size inline skating rinks at Central Park of Morris County are, well, just that. Come wintertime, however, they’re flooded and turned into outdoor ice skating rinks. The Parsippany park is open daily when weather permits; check the website for schedules.
Sure, we could have chosen the obvious spots in New York City – Rockefeller Center or the rinks at Central Park – but there’s something magical about skating on the banks of the Hudson River with the One World Trade Center building in the background. The Rink at Brookfield Place has all that, plus skate rentals, learn-to-skate and learn-to-play-hockey packages, and instruction offered by former Olympic figure skaters Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. It’s open daily, with a 90-minute skating session costing $15; skate rental is $5.
There’s no better way to show how much you love your family and friends by bumping into and ramming them on the newest – and dare we say, coolest – attraction at Providence’s BankNewport City Center outdoor ice skating rink: ice bumper cars! Get ready for the wildest 20 minutes of your winter. They’re offered daily during specified hours, and must be reserved by calling 401-331-5544. See website for the full schedule. They cost $12 for 20 minutes of bumpy, jostling fun.
If skating is more your speed, don’t worry. You can still glide along the capital city, with the sparkling lights of City Hall and the Providence Biltmore behind you. The rink offers skate rentals, lockers and helmets, ice hockey programming, cute penguin skate aids for little ones (and not-so-sure bigger ones) and skate-sharpening services. You can also sign up for learn-to-skate programs. The rink is open Sunday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. $7; $4 age 12 and under for four hours of skating time. $6 skate rental.
What’s your favorite outdoor skating rink? Tell us in the comments!
This post was first published in 2018 and has been updated.