Ice-skating is a winter ritual in New York, romantic for couples or fun-packed for families and friends. Picturesque rinks include those at Central Park and Rockefeller Centre, but, for Midtown magic, smart sorts should make for Bryant Park Winter Village.
A 17,000-sq-ft rink, food vendors and over 125 shopping kiosks – offering everything from bangles and decorative objects to beauty prod and local gourmet goodies – transform this pretty park into one of the city’s most epic Christmas events.
Skating is free with your own skates, or nab an Express Skate pass online before you arrive – this will let you skip any queues and includes skate hire. Lessons or polar bear-shaped balance aids, plus helmets and lockers are also yours for a fee.
Once you’re off the ice, don’t miss fine-casual eatery Public Fare at the north-east corner, run by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group with design store Crate and Barrel. It serves seasonal pastries, sandwiches and snacks, then morphs into a wine and cocktail bar come evening.
There’s also the Snackbar in the Skating Pavilion for warming hot chocs, Bryant Park’s kiosk with Belgian waffles and fair-trade coffee, or nip over to nearby Bryant Park Grill for whisky and more hearty dining options.
Inspired by European open-air markets, the Holiday Shops are housed in ‘jewel box’ kiosks, along the park’s alleys and terraces. Look out for Bryant Park Shop, which sells park-themed apparel for adults and kids, as well as graphic totes and cute books.
Holiday Shops until 2 Jan; The Rink and Public Fare until 5 Mar, 2017.
Bryant Park Winter Village / Bryant Park / Between Fifth and Sixth Ave, 40th and 42nd St / Manhattan / +1 917 438 5166 / wintervillage.org
The Rink and Public Fare / 8am-10pm / until 5 Mar, 2017
Holiday Shops / 11am-8pm Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm Sat-Sun / until 2 Jan, 2017