Ice skating at the Empire State Plaza

empire state plaza ice skating 2012


The ice skating rink at the ESP re-opened this past Saturday for the first time since 2008. So, of course, we had to take a few turns.

Here are a few details if you decide to go. (And you totally should.)

Hours and rentals

empire state plaza ice skating 2012 skaters lounge signLocation: The rink is on the Capitol end of the plaza, near The Egg. If you're going in the evening or a weekend, you'll probably be able to park right on State Street.

Hours: The rink is open every day from 11 am - 8 pm. (It's closed from 3-4 pm for maintenance.) So, yep, there's definitely time to get some post-work skating in during the week.

Price: It's free to skate.

Rentals: Skates are available for rental, downstairs in the "lounge" (look for the steps near the west corner of the rink). Rentals are $4 for adults, $3 for kids 12 and under.

There's also a snack bar in the "lounge" (actually a somewhat claustrophobic room). And there are lockers for your stuff. But when we we were there most people just piled their coats and shoes on the benches next to the rink.

A few other things

empire state plaza ice skating 2012 state library

+ We were there on Monday, right when it opened. The ice was in reasonably good shape -- but this isn't some perfect indoor surface. There were a few rough spots. But, still, it's a heck of a lot smoother than most frozen ponds.

+ The rink is not huge, so it does get a bit crowded during popular times. If you're concerned about that, go early. Or later. Or when you think a lot of people won't be there.

+ As a wide open space, the ESP does get a bit windy. Layer accordingly.

+ It was great to see a bunch of people out on the plaza, smiling, having fun in a public space.

+ The fun-to-cost ratio here is very high.

+ It is excellent to ice skate outside. You should go, at least once.

Earlier on AOA: Ice skating rink returning to ESP


Also, the glass cafe (Pavilion on the Plaza) at the Plaza level was open this weekend, and they provided a padded walkway so you could get there on your skates. The cafe workers were super-friendly. So was the gentleman running the rink, who last night apologized as he had to close early in order to get the rink back into shape. Very friendly fellow.

I love that the rink is open again and plan to go with my 3 hockey playing grandsons ages 4 and 3. Look out Albany.

Wonderful! Now, where is a good place to get a decent pair of skates?


Kudos Governor Andrew Cuomo and Commissioner RoAnn Destito (sp)! Great place to skate and look at the stars!

My opinion, the best place for a pair of skates is "Play it again sports" on rt 7 in the Peter Harris Plaza. They sell new and used at great prices.

I went around and tried a few different places last year: play it again was cleaned out, Dicks had skates that didn't fit my feet. I finally ended up at LL Bean and got a pair of skates their. They were a little expensive, but they fit great.

If you are a women with feet on the bit larger size, sometimes it is hard to find skates that are the right size in a used store.

I got my skates sharpened though at Troy Quick Shoe Repair for 5 bucks. They also have a skate sharpening discount card.

Is the ice skating open Christmas

Is the skating rink still open? I would like to go tonight

@Dawn: OGS posts updates about whether the rink is open or closed because of weather conditions on the ESP winter website.

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