Ice Skating and Gifts at Citi Pond in Bryant Park, NYC

People ice skating at Citi Pond in Bryant Park durring the NYC holiday season

It’s that time of year again! Are you looking to get in the holiday spirit? Need a fun idea for a date? Want something cheap and tiring to do with your kids during the upcoming Thanksgiving break? Well we’ve got the answer for you! One of our favorite seasonal NYC traditions is back and running stronger than ever; free ice skating at Citi Pond in Bryant Park! In addition to the ice skating rink, there are excellent snack options to choose from and the surrounding Holiday Shops offer quite a few unique gift-buying options too.

The park and the ice rink can get choked with tourists and packs of teenagers, but we always have fun at Citi Pond when it opens in late October early November each year. 

Indoor seating at Citi Pond in Bryant Park allows non ice skating visitors to watch those who do

Outdoor Ice Skating At Citi Pond

The Bryant Park setting all around lively and lovely this time of year, the rear facade of New York Public Library dominates one end of the park, and it is surrounded by soaring midtown towers. Citi Pond is a good size rink measuring, 170’ ft by 100’ ft respectively. The ice is well-maintained and rental skates are of a better-than-average comfort and quality. Admission onto the ice is free, skate rentals will cost you $14. The lockers are free, and can fit a few pairs of shoes but remember to bring your own lock or you’ll need to buy one for $9. Also, bags are NOT allowed on the ice, so if you can’t fit whatever you’re carrying into your locker you’ll need to check it for either $7 or $10, depending on the size of your stuff. So if you own skates and are prepared Citi Pond at Bryant Park is wonderfully free! If you arrive needing skates, a lock, and a place to stow your large bag, it’s $33! There are other options, if you get a VIP FastPass Online it will get you onto a shorter entrance line, a skate rental, and a bag check service for $25. Bryant Park also offers lots of seating for non-skaters who just want to watch the fun.

Woman shopping at the Holiday Shops in Bryant Park park of the Citi Pond ice skating experience

Bryant Park Offers More Than Just Ice Skating

And then there’s the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park, about which we have mixed feelings. First the good there are plenty of solid food vendors this year, including Dough, Daisy’s Grits, Raaka Chocolate, Le Churreria, Wafels Dinges, and Max Brenner, in addition to the year-round and always first-rate offerings at the various witchcraft booths. We also loved the beautiful jewelry by Jessica DeCarlo jewelry. She has lots of terrific new designs at a wide range of price points. Alice Rose, sells bags, gifts, and accessories by several of our favorite local city artisans. NYC Subways Circa 1980, featuring iconic images of that era from photographer John Conn, Studio Manhattan and Art, with their wallets and wall-hangings printed with NYC signage and W Records by Monkey, especially their bangles made from old vinyl. As for the rest of the vendors, let’s just say we’ll leave the Diet Coke ornaments, wacky mittens, and cat clocks to the out-of-towners.

Unique and artisan treats and snacks are available at Citi Pond in Bryant Park NYC

Ice Skating At City Pond and Holiday Shops at Bryant Park 

The Citi Pond ice skating rink will be at Bryant Park through March 3, 2013, opening at 8:00 a.m. every day, and until 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 12:00 midnight on Friday and Saturday. The Holiday Shops will be open through Christmas, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Saturdays, and until 6:00 p.m. Sundays. For lots more information about everything, please see the Bryant Park website, here.  

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