Best Place to Ice Skate This Holiday Season

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Best Place to Ice Skate This Holiday Season

Bryant Park is one of NYC's best skating spots. (JOHN WISNLEWSKL VIA FLICKR)

Bryant Park is one of NYC's best skating spots. (JOHN WISNLEWSKL VIA FLICKR)

Bryant Park is one of NYC's best skating spots. (JOHN WISNLEWSKL VIA FLICKR)

Bryant Park is one of NYC's best skating spots. (JOHN WISNLEWSKL VIA FLICKR)

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By MARIELLE SARMIENTO
Staff Writer

Tis the season for the holidays, and there is no place more festive in the winter time than New York City! One of the best activities to do to get into the holiday spirit is ice skating. There is certainly no shortage of ice rinks around the city, especially in close proximity to campus. The Observer reached out to several Fordham students about where is the best place to ice skate, and there was one clear answer; a visit to The Rink at Bryant Park is a must during the holiday season!

I think [Bryant Park] is a great option because it’s significantly cheaper than the rink at Rockefeller Center,” says Natassja Agina, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’20, who went ice skating with her friends last semester. Agina has even calculated the possible costs of ice skating at each rink. When choosing where to go ice skating, she factored in general admission fees (Bryant Park is free!) as well as whether or not you have to pay for skate and locker rentals. She came to the conclusion, “Worst case scenario Bryant Park will cost $30, but more likely $20 if you plan ahead and bring a lock. Whereas Rockefeller costs almost $40 best-case-scenario.”

After hearing nothing, but good things, I wanted to experience it for myself! So I asked some fellow Fordham students to join me, and hopped on the D-train down to Bryan Park. We went on a weekday afternoon so, despite the popular appeal of free admission, there was no line to get in and the rink wasn’t that crowded. We got our free purple admission bands, payed $20 for out skate rentals, and had our other friends who were not skating to hold our bags, avoiding the locker rental fee.

Ice skating at Bryant Park is more fun with friends, even if you all have different skating abilities. For beginner skaters, skating aids are available to rent, and the rink hosts walk-in group skating lessons at scheduled times. Another option is to just hang on to your friends who are better skaters.

Haley van den Burg, FCLC ’21, clung to Chynna Williams, FCLC ’21, when she first stepped onto the ice. Van den Burg’s mission was to learn how to skate, and Bryant Park was an affordable, not-so-crowded rink to learn with her friends, but beware of the safety precautions the rink security enforces. Agina recalled an experience with her friends, “The six of us were all holding hands when we first started skating because we were all terrified of falling, and we actually had to be told by a worker that we had to limit hand-holding to pairs so we wouldn’t block the other skaters.”

Even if you don’t plan on ice skating, you can still tag along with your friends to Bryant Park and not miss out on holiday festivities! Right next to the rink is one of the many holiday markets around the city, The Winter Village. “There are so many cute shops to look at and cool foods to try before and after skating that are all right there in the park,” says Agina.

Chelsea Ashley, Gabelli School of Business (GSB) ’21, chose to look around the village and spectate instead of skate, “It was so fun to watch everyone trying to skate, and there was so much Christmas cheer in the area.”

So why should other students brave the cold and spend the cash to go ice skating? Agina wants them to know that, “Ice skating is a lot of fun, and even though it can be a little scary if, like me, you’re not the most coordinated, you’ll laugh a lot, have a lot of fun, and make a lot of memories with your friends.”

If you’re looking for an accessible, affordable holiday activity, make sure to head down to the Winter Village and The Rink at Bryant Park which is open until March 4, 2018!