Ice Skating | Ice Hockey |Indoor and Outdoor Rinks
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in the Hudson River ValleyVisit this up-to-date list of ice skating rinks in the Hudson Valley . Ice skating offers one of the best things to do on a cold day. Both kids and adults find ice skating in the open air invigorating and great exercise. Go to your local indoor or outdoor ice skating rink for family fun during cold winter days. For a great first date or fun family day during the cold days of winter - go ice skating in the park and enjoy a traditional cold weather activity thatís still at the top of the list of Best things to do in winter .
Click to enlarge photo of Ice Skating on park pond.
One of the best things to do on a cold day in winter is to go ice skating or play ice hockey in the open air. Many parks offer evening skating, so bring a thermos of hot chocolate, your skates, and bundle up for winter fun on the ice.
Hudson Valley Outdoor Ice Skating
Ice skating and ice hockey are available at many town parks in the ten counties of the Hudson Valley. Ice Skating outdoors is invigorating and a wonderful experience with some outdoor rinks offering skate rentals, public skating, figure skating, freestyle skating, skating lessons, ice hockey, open hockey, stick time, and birthday parties on the ice.
Both indoor and outdoor skating provide great exercise. Outdoor ice skating offers a wonderful way to enjoy a brisk cold winter day. Before going to your outdoor skating rink in the park, call ahead to be sure the rink is open as outdoor skating rink schedules may change based on weather conditions. You may also want to check if skate rentals, food, drinks, and a warming shelter are available.
Free Winter Things to Do
Visit your local park offering ice skating in cold weather. If you have your own skates, ice skating at your local park is an affordable day out and fun for the kids and family. Many local parks do not charge for skating on their frozen lakes and ponds. Check that signs are posted by the town park indicating that it is safe for ice skating; bring a thermos of hot drinks, a few healthy snacks (nuts and seeds are healthy and hold up in all kinds of weather) and have a great time!
To visit an ice skating rink in the Hudson Valley, select by county in the list below. A page if places in the count is displayed; you can select the ice skating rink by location or name. Before skating, be sure your ice skating experience is safe by reading Important Ice Skating Safety Guidelines offering safety tips for kids and adults.
Select a county from the following list, for a page of outdoor and indoor ice skating rinks in the Hudson Valley.
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Columbia
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Dutchess
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Greene
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Orange
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Putnam
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Rensselaer
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Rockland
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Ulster
Ice Skating and Ice Hockey in Westchester
Enjoy a longer ice skating and ice hockey season at indoor skating rinks available in the -lower, -mid, and upper-Hudson Valley. In addition to times for figure and free style skating, indoor rinks usually offer times for additional activities on the ice. Public sessions and skating camps are often available. For hockey players, both young and adult, many indoor ice skating rinks offer ice hockey sessions, youth hockey camp, and lessons for beginners of all ages.
First Date Ideas
Ice skating is a great idea for a first date. Ice skating is relaxing and fun, gives you a chance to talk over a warm drink of hot chocolate, romantic in outdoor venues in the park, and a good way to break the ice (sorry).
Winter Birthday Party Ideas
If you're looking for kids birthday party ideas in the winter, plan an ice skating party. Everyone loves outdoor skating surrounded by trees, nature, with a thermos of hot drinks close by. Indoor rinks are also a good way to enjoy a winter birthday party. Many indoor rinks offer special birthday party packages.
Ice Skating Safety Tips include:
Learn more about Ice Skating Safety at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
History of Ice Skating in New YorkIce Skating in the Parks began before specially designed ice skating rinks were built in the 20th century, at a time when skaters used ponds and lakes in parks for recreation.
The Lake in Central Park was the most notable case of this use. Before Central Park was completed in the 1870s, this section was opened to ice skaters and quickly became a top attraction. In order to ensure proper skating conditions, the Lake was drained to a level that eased the freezing of ice each year. The Lake, then and now, is connected to the City's water system.
Meanwhile, other bodies of water were used for ice skating throughout the park system. In Brooklyn, skating sites existed at McCarren Park, Prospect Park, Sunset Park, and Commodore Barry Park. In fact, ice skating was so popular in the 19th century that a tradition of "raising the red ball" on Brooklyn streetcars was created to indicate favorable skating conditions at Prospect Park.
Building a Manmade Rink in Queens
The first facility devoted to ice skating was the New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, originally constructed for the 1939-40 World's Fair. The rink was used for ice shows during the Fair, and afterward was converted to an ice and roller skating rink that operated from 1941 to 1946.
Although the New York City Building was temporarily used as a site for the fledgling United Nations, October 1946 to 1950, the Building once again became an ice and roller skating rink in 1952. The New York City Building became a major World's Fair site again during the 1964-65 event when Olympic figure skating champion Dick Button organized "Ice-Travaganza" performances within the facility. After the Fair ended, the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park rink became the first year-round skating facility in the park system.
The Ice Skating Rink in Central Park
In 1949, philanthropist Kate Wollman donated funds for a new kind of "artificial rink" to be built in Central Park. Ms. Wollman gave $600,000 toward the construction of Wollman Rink as a memorial to her parents, Mr. J. Wollman and Mrs. Bettie Wollman, and her four brothers.
The Wollman Rink opened in 1950 and is located in the southern part of Central Park. Its creation ushered in a new era of ice skating unbound by fickle weather conditions. As the Parks Department publicity materials boasted, the new rink guaranteed access to safe skating for New Yorkers "who have been deprived of the pleasure of regular, uninterrupted outdoor ice skating throughout the winter half year because of vagaries of our climate."
With midtown Manhattan as its dramatic backdrop, Wollman Rink was a success from the day it opened; over 300,000 skaters glided across the ice in its first year of operation. The facility features three-quarters of an acre (28,000 square feet) of ice and 16 miles of 1 1/4 " wrought iron pipe.
Wollman Funds Additional Rinks
Another rink funded by Kate Wollman, Lasker Rink and Pool on Central Park's northern end, serves as a pool in the summer months. Wollman also contributed major financial help towards a similar outdoor ice skating rink in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. This Rink was constructed in 1961 on the site formerly known as Music Island, where concerts were performed in the 19th century.
Ice Skating Continues to Grow
Once ice skating proved useful in attracting people into the parks in the winter months, other rinks opened throughout City boroughs.