Central Park’s Wollman Rink opens soon for ice skating with new dining options and free days

Temperatures may still be in the 60s, but Central Park’s iconic Wollman Rink is ready for its transformation into a winter wonderland. The rink will open for the season on Sunday, October 23 with a free skate day featuring marching band music, synchronized skating performance, skating clinics and ice sculptures.

Since its opening in the 1950s, the skating rink at the south end of Central Park has delighted locals and visitors who enjoy skating under the stars against the backdrop of the city skyline. For fun, general admission tickets range from $15 to $35 for adults, depending on date of entry; tickets for children and seniors are $10 all season. You can rent skates for $10. Tickets are on sale now.

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Here’s what to expect at the rink this year.

A grand opening party

Opening day, which will take place on Sunday, October 23, will be free for all (including skate rentals) with eight hours of programming. Here’s how to get tickets.

Activities include:

  • Music by the award-winning Cardinal Spellman High School Marching Band of the Bronx
  • Ice performances by Figure Skating in Harlem; Camden Pulkinen, current member of the American team; Jake Mao, nationally ranked competitor of the Skating Club of New York; the Skyliners synchronized skating team; and New York’s Ice Theater.
  • A demonstration of skating elements by the choreographers and skating instructors behind Broadway’s cast Kimberly Akimbo
  • A skate soundtrack by DJ Rob Dinero
  • Free clinics for those learning to skate or wanting to learn a new skating skill
  • Demonstrations from a rising New York chef
  • Live Ice Sculpture by Ice Miracles
  • Cambodian Khmer cooking demonstrations by Brooklyn-based Chef Chinchakriya Un
  • The unveiling of the space’s new decor by students from the Art Students League of New York and the High School of Art and Design

After all that, there’s a Sound Bath Skating event (this one costs $40/person), offering a meditative experience of ice skating with guided breathing and movement, along with the sounds of singing bowls, gongs, and chimes. .

New food options

There are two on-site dining options: The Café, located in the clubhouse and operated by Great Performances, and Chef Melba Wilson’s independent restaurant, Melba’s, located on The Overlook above the ice rink and open until in February.

A build-your-own chili bar is coming to the Café this season, along with Melba’s Chicken Sandwich.

As the temperature drops, heated igloos for rent will adorn the Overlook in the “Melba’s Igloo Village”, offering seasonal accommodation to dine on classic food and drink, including a “Taste of Melba’s” offer. .

Warm up at the Hot Toddy tent at the edge of the rink with drinks such as pumpkin spiced hot chocolate (Tito’s vodka topped with whipped cream and cinnamon) and Irish apple cider (Jameson Black Barrel topped with an orange and cranberry wheel).

Emphasis on accessibility with free admission

Accessibility is a top priority for rink management this year.

For the first time this year, the rink is partnering with Culture Pass, a system run by the New York Library to reserve free admission to dozens of New York cultural institutions.

In partnership with Culture Pass, they’re expanding their Wollman Rink Access Program (WRAP), which helps provide access to New Yorkers who haven’t always been able to afford a visit to the rink. WRAP will make monthly batches of free admission skating tickets available online beginning November 1 and throughout the season, with 60% reserved for those living in underserved New York City zip codes.

Skaters can also present a New York City Library or idNYC card at the box office during public skating hours to obtain an on-site WRAP pass on a first-come, first-served basis. These in-person tickets offer discounted admission, skates and hot chocolate for $14.

In addition, there is a series of public skating days for members of specialty groups and their families, including veterans (November 11), teachers (January 16), public sector employees (February 20) and first responders and essential workers (March 11).

“Central Park is one of New York’s most democratic spaces; ice skating is a must-do winter activity here, so in our second ice skating season, we’re deepening our programs and partnerships to make sure we reach more New Yorkers than ever before, including the addition of Culture Pass to make free tickets more accessible,” said Stefanie Tomlin, Wollman Rink’s general manager and vice president of Wollman Park Partners, in A press release. “Every New Yorker deserves to experience the joy of being on the ice below the Central Park skyline, and we can’t wait to show New Yorkers and visitors what’s in store for us this season.”

This is the second year the rink has been managed by Wollman Park Partners, a joint venture between Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, related companies and Equinox.

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