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5 Reasons We Love Bryant Park (Especially During the Fall & Winter)

5 Reasons We Love Bryant Park (Especially During the Fall & Winter)

We took our kids ice skating in Bryant Park’s Winter Village, and while I explored the park with our littlest one, my wife ventured out onto the ice with our two older children. Between the rink and everything else that Bryant Park offers throughout the fall and winter seasons, it’s easy to spend a fun-filled afternoon there and is worth the trip, even from the ‘burbs.

Here are five reasons to love Bryant Park this time of year:

1) Ice Skating: It’s amazing to see what had been the vast green lawn become an ice rink. It’s a beautiful setting in which to skate. Skates, locks for lockers, and even helmets are available for rental in the suddenly-it’s-there temporary building (entrance from the south side of the park). My daughter even reported skating by an on-ice marriage proposal in progress!

2) Penguins! Or, more specifically, Penguin Skate Aids. For children just starting out on skates, these are about as tall as they are (and, be forewarned, about as heavy). Available to rent by the half hour or hour, kids use them to maintain balance as they navigate the ice pushing their penguin.

Bryant Park Ice Skating

3) Restaurants and Shops: The “winter village” the sprouts up in Bryant Park has many options for meals and snacks, including healthy fare and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Adults can enjoy a drink, and

4) Le Carrousel: One of the year-round joys of Bryant Park remains in action, and for those who aren’t skating—or for those who need a break from it—the carousel is a fun find in the middle of midtown.

5) Accessibility: An easy walk from Grand Central Terminal or Times Square, the park is centrally located and getting there on Metro North was its own adventure for the kids, and added to the fun of the day.

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Winter Village is up through March 6, and the rink is open 8am-10pm. Admission is free, so if you have your own skates, add it to the list of amazing NYC activities for which you don’t pay a dime! Check the website for rental fees.

One word of warning: They carefully regulate how many people enter the skate-rental building and have access to the ice at one time. That can mean a wait just to get in, so be prepared to distract the kids if that happens. And if you split up, as we did, with one adult skating and one not, plan your rendezvous carefully, because the non-skater will need to wait in line to get back into the building even if he or she is not planning to skate.  

That said, it was only a minor hindrance. The day was filled with joy, even with the requisite spills on the ice, and I hope they're still skating in Bryant Park when our 2-year-old is old enough to hit the ice also.

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