My mom had wanted to skate at The Rink at Rockefeller Center for years. In fact, every time the family came to NYC she would mention doing it, and it usually would get voted down by the rest of the family. So when she was visiting a few weeks ago Greg and I decided to plan a time for us to finally go.
There are two main ways to skate at Rockefeller Center. You can wait outside in the general admission line, which I don’t recommend. Wait times can be significant and this is especially difficult when it’s cold. Or, you can do what we did, and reserve VIP tickets.
The VIP tickets are SO worth it! You can reserve a time to skate (this isn’t possible with general admission) and you don’t need to wait outside in the cold. Instead, you enter the rink through this cute igloo, where the nicest concierges are on hand to assist you with your ice skates (skate rental is complimentary with VIP tickets) and store your belongings.
Oh and did I mention there are Christmas cookies?! The VIP igloo has hot chocolate, coffee, bottled water, and yes, adorable cookies.
And you have in and out access to the igloo during your entire hour and a half skate session, so you can come in from the cold and grab a cookie and hot chocolate whenever you’d like!
When it’s time to skate they let the VIP skaters on the ice first before opening the door to the general admission skaters.
So if you’re fast you can get a quick picture before anyone else is on the ice!
My only complaint, or suggestion really, is that the VIP skaters only have about 30 seconds on the ice before the general admission skaters. It would be great if we got more time, say 5 minutes or so, before they joined us!
I figured the whole experience would be gimmicky and you wouldn’t get to skate very much due to the amount of people. I was pleasantly surprised when that wasn’t the case. When you’re actually on the rink it feels a lot bigger than when you’re looking down on it from above, and it actually wasn’t too crowded.
But even though there weren’t an excessive number of skaters on the ice, there were very bad skaters on the ice! Clearly they didn’t grow up skating on the frozen lakes by their houses like my mom and me! So you definitely need to be careful when you’re skating at Rockefeller Center because you never know who will be falling around you.
For the record neither Greg, my mom nor I fell!
This picture is my favorite. The blur makes it look like we’re going really fast!
We had so much fun ice skating at The Rink at Rockefeller Center! It wasn’t lame or touristy at all, and the VIP experience was really worthwhile. Every New Yorker should try it at least once!
To book your VIP skate, click here. And if you go now, you’ll be able to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree while you skate!
It doesn’t get more festive than that!