Ice Skating on Rockefeller Center
The ice rink at Rockefeller Center is probably the best known winter attraction in the city, especially when the Christmas tree and lights are up. During the holiday season (November and December), the rink is full of people at all times, so you will need to either arrive early or be prepared to wait in line. There's a small cafe on the side, where you can have a cup of hot chocolate while waiting for your turn on the ice. The ice rink can fit 150 persons and is often a mix of experienced and unexperienced people. If you can't skate well, you probably won't enjoy the crowded spaces and may be better off taking a private or group lesson, which last half hour and offered on a daily basis. Lunchtime skating sessions are half-price, so take advantage of that if you're trying to cut corners.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Fifth Avenue and 49th Street
New York, New York 10020
Central Park is one of the best outdoor destinations in the city, no matter what time of the year. In winter, Central Park is often covered by snow, making it an ideal place for cross-country skiing, sledding and ice skating. Monuments, bridges and lakes are accessible year-round, and you can always brave the cold and spend an hour or two exploring the park on foot. If you need a break from the cold, there are numerous events held in Central Park during the winter season, most of which are hosted at either Belvedere Castle on 79th Street or the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at 110th Street. Events include concerts, workshops, holiday activities and exhibits.
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10065
Chelsea Piers is New York City's largest sports center. While Chelsea Piers is open all year, the complex is especially popular in winter, when locals escape the cold water and take their passion for the outdoors inside. Located just against the Hudson river and extending from Pier 59 to Pier 62, this 30-acre complex offers activities for every taste, age and condition. There are five major sections to the club: golf course, ice rink, sports center, bowling and the field house. The field house offers adult programs in gymnastics, soccer, batting cages and basketball, all of which are indoors in heated areas. Chelsea Pier also is home to the city's largest indoor climbing wall and the only place where you can take classes in trampoline jumping and acrobatics.
23rd St & the Hudson River
New York, NY 10011