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by Judy Antell

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Last year, Manhattan had a new free place to skate, The Pond at Bryant Park. This year, this midtown skating rink returns, bigger and better.

The Pond, which opened October 30, and will be open through January 15, 2007, is one-third larger this year. It offers free skating, Sundays–Thursdays, 8am–10pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 8am–midnight.


Kyoko Ina & John Zimmerman of the synchronized skating team, the Haydenettes, try out the Pond

Since young kids are notoriously fickle in their desires, it is great to be able to take them skating for a short time and not feel that you’ve wasted a lot of money. Of course, you can spend some dough here; skate rental is $8.75, and while there are free lockers, bag check is $6.

And if you really want to spend money, the rink is surrounded by over 100 holiday shops. And you can eat. You can warm up in the heated indoor and outdoor café, Celsius: A Canadian Lounge, which has sandwiches and hot drinks. There is also a snack bar, with hot dogs, chili, and more hot chocolate. And there is also a private party room, great for kids’ birthday parties.

This year, as with last, Broadway stars will sing and skate on Saturdays from 10am till noon. The “Broadway Moves” were very popular last year, so expect a crowd. There is a skating school, with reasonably priced classes for kids and adults. Really young kids can take the Mommy/Daddy & Me classes; there is also a Hockey Skating Skills Class, presented by the New York Rangers.

The Pond, presented by Citi, is located behind the New York Public Library, 42nd Street at Fifth Avenues. For more information, go to www.fetesdenoel.com, or call (866) 221-5157.

Where else to skate
Queens
—Queens World's Fair Ice Skating Rink, New York City Building, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, (718) 271-1996

Brooklyn
—Abe Stark Rink, Coney Island Boardwalk & Broadway at West 19th St., (718) 946-6536
Kate Wollman Rink, Prospect Park, East Drive near Parkside and Ocean Ave. entrance, (718) 287-6431

Manhattan

Lasker Rink, Central Park at 107th St., (917) 492-3856
Wollman Rink, Central Park at 63rd St., (212) 439-6900
Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street and the Hudson River, (212) 336-6100
The Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink, Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, (212) 332-7654

Westchester
—Ebersole Ice Rink (outdoor). Delfino Park, Lake St., White Plains,
(914) 422-1348. www.skateny.com/ebersole

—New Roc Ice at New Roc City, 33 Le Count Place, New Rochelle,
(914) 637-7575. www.newroccity.com

—Playland Park Ice Casino, Playland Pkwy., Rye, (914) 813-7010
www.ryeplayland.org/IceCasino/default.htm

—Westchester Skating Academy, 91 Fairview Park Dr., Elmsford,
(914) 347-8232 (public skating times can be viewed at www.skatesa.com)


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