Looking for family friendly winter fun in the Hudson Valley? Head to one of these ice skating rinks and take a few turns! You’ll have a good time and burn off some cocoa calories too.
Ice skating is a fun activity, perfect for Saturday afternoon family time. And you’ll burn a couple of calories too! Shape Magazine estimates that you can burn 460 calories per hour. That’ll help keep winter weight gain in check!
Read More: How to Keep Fit this Winter
The Hudson Valley has a number of indoor and outdoor rinks for ice skating. The number one thing to keep in mind, before heading out, is that hockey is a REALLY popular sport in the Hudson Valley. So, many ice skating rinks are booked by local hockey teams for practices and games. Always check with the rink to find the dates and times for public skating sessions.
Here are the top ice skating rinks in the Hudson Valley:
1. Mohonk Mountain House
You don’t have to be a hotel guest to skate in the outdoor pavilion at the Mohonk Mountain House. Day guests are welcome, although fees are pricey. Trust me. It’s worth it. The rink is large and there are massive fireplaces where you can warm up if things get too cold. You can also snowshoe or cross country ski at Mohonk. Or, if leisure’s more your thing, book a massage at the resort’s acclaimed spa, après-skate.
Check the Mohonk Mountain House Day Guest site for information about the pavilion hours or call (845) 256-2775.
2. Bear Mountain
Bear Mountain State Park is one of the prettiest ice skating rinks and one of the closest to New York City. It sits at the base of…wait for it…Bear Mountain. There are plenty of Hudson River views too. Families can make a day of it: enjoy a public skating session, take a ride on the enclosed carousel and hike around Hessian Lake. Then head into the Bear Mountain Lodge to sip a mug of cocoa by the giant fireplace.
Check out Bear Mountain State Park Skating Rink for public session dates and times plus fees for skating and rentals.
3. Conway Ice Rink
The indoor Conway Ice Rink at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy offers very inexpensive public skating sessions and skate rentals. This is a no-frills skating adventure. Snacks are available from vending machines and the hours are limited: noon – 2 during the week and 4 – 6:15 on the weekends. But you can’t beat the cheapo price and you can bring your own food and a thermos of hot chocolate.
Additional information about the Conway Ice Rink, including large party discounts, is available on their website.
4. Empire State Plaza
It may not be Rockefeller Center, but the Empire State Plaza is as close as you’ll get to a heart of the city skating experience in the Hudson Valley. Head to the State capital in Albany, lace up your skates and circle the outdoor rink at the Empire State Plaza. The best part? Skating is FREE! Rentals are also free on Saturdays, thanks to a partnership with the Hannaford supermarket chain.
Skating availability at outdoor rinks is weather dependent. Check the Empire State Plaza Skating website for the latest information.
5. Palisades Center Ice Rink
The Palisades Center is the 12th largest mall in the US and home to a large public ice skating arena. Located on the 4th floor, the rink offers a number of sessions throughout the week. If your child is interested in figure skating or hockey, the rink offers lessons for both. You can combine your skating trip to the Palisades Center with a visit to one or more of the mall’s other family-friendly venues including Billy Beez and Lucky Strike bowling.
Location, hours and fee information is available on the Palisades Center Ice Rink website.
6. Mid-Hudson Civic Center
The Mid-Hudson Civic Center operates two ice skating facilities. The McCann Ice Arena is located in Dutchess County in Poughkeepsie. And the Icetime Sports Complex is across the Hudson in Newburgh. Both indoor rinks are open for public sessions throughout the week and also feature DJ-hosted skate nights. McCann Ice Arena offers the chance to try speed skating too!
You’ll want to check the MHCC website for special event info including hockey games and figure skating exhibitions.
7. Hommocks Park Ice Rink
Kids have learned to skate at Hommocks Park Ice Rink since 1975. Located in and operated by the Town of Mamaroneck, this enclosed ice arena is a popular spot for winter birthday parties and special events. Young hockey players can drop in for open stick and puck sessions.
Discounts are available on the Hommocks Park Ice Rink site and through Groupon.
8. Kiwanis Ice Arena
The Kiwanis Ice Arena in Saugerties is another traditional indoor ice skating arena. The draw is its location in Ulster County’s Catskill Mountains. Pair a skating session with another fun winter activity like skiing, tubing or snowmobiling.
Read More: Tips for Taking the Kids Snow Tubing
Once you’ve checked out the Kiwanis Ice Arena in winter, return to Saugerties in the fall for the annual Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.
Skate at Your Own Risk in the Great Outdoors
There’s a small pond at the base of my street in Philipstown. It’s not much to look at in the summer when it’s choked with algae. But in the winter, it freezes and the local kids (with the help of their parents) clear the snow with shovels, set up nets and play hockey.
It’s a very charming throwback to pre-cellphone days.
There are a number of ponds and lakes in the Hudson Valley where ice skating is permitted. These locations are extremely weather dependent. Before it’s safe to skate, the temp will have to be below freezing for a number of days to harden the ice. Plus, you’ll need to bring your own skates.
Conditions are monitored regularly at Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County. Not only do they permit ice skating, you can try ice fishing too.
Ice Skating for Non-Skiers
I like to keep my skating skills sharp (pardon the pun) because my skiing days are behind me. I took a massive spill recently and decided it’s not worth blowing out my knees. But I love being outdoors, especially when visiting winter wonderful destinations. Ski resort towns often have beautiful ice skating rinks, like these in Vail, Colorado. I don’t feel nearly as nervous about falling on the ice as I do on the slopes because I keep up my skating game.