Even in the dead of winter you might hear the phrase, "meet me at the pool!" McCarren pool has been keeping families cool during Brooklyn summers since way back in 1936, but for the first time in its 77-year history it will welcome visitors year-round. This holiday season, the recently rehabilitated pool deck will become the McCarren Rink, a transformation that has the press abuzz, including The New York Times. The rink will also include gourmet eats provided by Hanson Bros.–which was featured in a recent article on Grub Street– and an on-site skate shop, and is scheduled to remain open through January or longer, depending on public demand and weather predictions from local groundhogs.
The cool blades of skates have cut grooves into the ice at Hommocks Park Ice Rink since 1975. Skaters flock to the indoor rink during public-skate times curving into figure-8s, flying through the air doing axels, and laying down to imitate the most popular hockey mascot, a friendly boulder. Aspiring skaters aged 4 and older brush up on skills during group lessons. Meanwhile, when skaters need time on less slick surfaces, they can refuel with snacks and treats at the Slap Shot Café, which brims with the aromas of pizzas, chicken wings, and nachos.
City Ice Pavilion's NHL-sized rooftop rink is open to ice-capaders year-round. That's thanks, in part, to the large weatherproof dome that curves over the the interior and gives it a cavernous feel, much like the ancient ice skating rinks found in pyramids. Aspiring skaters can take lessons, then try out their new skills during public skate sessions or adult or youth hockey leagues. Besides classes and open skating times, the Ice Pavilion also hosts a wide range of skating-themed events, including a regular morning coffee club for experienced adult skaters.
Relaxing and working out don't usually go hand-in-hand, but things aren't usual at The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. As soon as visitors set foot in the Mind Body Studio, they're set at ease by a modern lounge area, which boasts sleek bamboo floors, exposed brick walls, and sprigs of verdant plants. Inside the workout space, classes such as yoga and the barre method emphasize the mind-body connection. The Nalini Method classes also push students toward inner harmony with a combination of Pilates, aerobics, barre work, and yoga, helping students de-stress while toning limbs and burning calories without ever tossing any cheesecakes into open flames.
Steeplechase caters to serious skaters and blade bush leaguers alike with a variety of semiprivate lessons. Helmed by instructors belonging to the U.S. Figure Skating Association, classes span an array of styles, including figure skating, dance, freestyle, and hockey. Students will learn how to impress skeptical sidekicks with fundamental skating techniques, specialized ice skills, and the basic moves required for killer reenactments of Citizen Kane on ice. Enrollees are encouraged bring their own skates and gloves (rental is $4.50), and admission to the rink ($8) is not included.