At Winter Garden Ice Arena, families slice ice during public skate sessions or slap pucks into goals during adult or youth hockey leagues. There are also figure-skating programs, and the center’s icy confines and private party room make ideal meeting grounds for children’s birthday parties.
A quartet of regulation-size NHL ice rinks live inside Ice House. There, attentive zambonies smooth things over for hockey players, figure skaters, and recreational skaters. Youngsters, high schoolers, and adults can each sign up for amateur hockey leagues, and anyone can learn to turn, stop, and avoid flying flower bouquets in U.S. Figure Skating Association-sanctioned programs. If they stick with it, students may be able to follow in the blade-steps of Olympic gold medalists Tara Lipinski, Oksana Baiul, and Sarah Hughes?each of whom used the Ice House as their primary training facility.
As part of the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex, located at the historic Chelsea Piers, the Golf Club perches over the same port that once welcomed ships into New York City. Now, golfers tee up in the driving range's 52 heated and weather-protected stalls, which overlook the glinting waters of the Hudson River. Automatic tee-up systems position balls for launch across the 200-yard, net-enclosed fairway. A putting green allows patrons to improve their short game, and two Full Swing simulators encourage them to take hacks in virtual environs, transporting them to famous courses across the country or fifth-grade birthday parties where they missed the pi?ata.
Children and adults alike can enlist in Golf Club at Chelsea Piers? classes, which stratify students by experience level. The 12-member coaching staff includes PGA and LPGA professionals, and sessions take place in a 2,000-square-foot teaching facility.
As a state-of-the-art indoor pond, Floyd Hall Arena provides ice so smooth and true that even the Zamboni drivers can't help but purposefully get their tongues stuck to it. After strapping on their skates, all ages and skill levels can practice figural flow, hone their hockey stopping, and improve their foot-cursive penmanship. For the especially graceful, the facility also rents Olympic-quality walkers ($3, not included in this Groupon) that turn any avalanching ice princess into an upright frozen duchess. Since opening in 1998, the arena has hosted more than a dozen NHL teams and countless quantities of avid skaters young and old.
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.
From November until early March, it becomes impossible to walk across Bryant Park. You have to skate across. The grounds' 170'x100' ice rink acts as the swirling hub of the Bank of America Winter Village. There's no admission fee to glide over the ice—though guests do pay for rental skates if they don't bring or grow their own—and entertainment such as skating shows and lessons keep the rink bustling. Between twirls, visitors can glide by the Ice Bites shop for cups of hot chocolate and snacks.
The rink may be the Winter Village's largest attraction, but there's plenty more to the holiday-themed wonderland. More than 125 gift shops line the park's terraces with jewelry, decor, food, and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Within sight of the holiday tree and its nests of newly-hatched flying reindeer, the two-story Celsius restaurant serves upscale sandwiches and other warming eats. A variety of other events pack the calendar, including holiday movies on the park's Southwest Porch and gift-wrapping services at a special kiosk.