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  • Michelle Peterson

Ice Skating in Central Park

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

In 1858, Central Park was at the early stages of construction; the Sawkill Creek and the marsh that flowed through were being turned into what we know today as The Lake. And from the very first winter and for decades to follow, The Lake was where New Yorkers went to ice skate. There were no tall buildings surrounding the park, no cars, and no electricity, but at night, Drummond lights lit up The Lake like moonbeams as visitors enjoyed the magic of ice skating in Central Park.

We can no longer skate on The Lake, but at Wollman rink, plenty of ice skating magic still exists. And with the rink open at night you can even skate below the twinkling lights of NYC skyline.

Wollman Rink is located on the east side of Central Park, very close to the Central Park Zoo. There is so much to do in the area around Wollman Rink. If you are coming in through Penn Station, take the 1 train to 59th Street and enter the park just across from the subway exit. On your way stop by Heckscher Playground, one of NYC kids' favorite playgrounds, Wollman Rink is a short walk from there. If you are still up for fun after skating, visit the Central Park Zoo; it's an extra special place in the winter. After the zoo, if you are not up for the walk back to the subway, pick up a pedicab near the 59th & 5th park exit. Ask pedicab driver to take you to the 59th and CPW exit of the park. If you go for that option they will take you up the east side of the park (because they can not go against flow of traffic) but that isn't a bad thing. Going along the east side of the park will take you past the The Dairy, The Sheep Meadow and then Bethesda Fountain as you head back west. If it's getting close to dinner, have them drop you at Tavern on the Green instead of the park exit- Tavern on the Green has been recently renovated- it looks great and the food is awesome.


If you have skaters at home, tap into their interests with these experiential learning activities:

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History: Spot the Differences
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Earn your Science Exploration Badge at the American Museum of Natural History with these printable PDF activity guides.


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