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Enjoy Outdoor Ice Skating Throughout Upstate New York

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2022-01-08 20:24:00

As the holiday season gives way to an Upstate New York winter, getting out of the house is on the minds of many. Whether or not the snow is cooperating for activities like skiing and snowshoeing, there’s one favorite winter activity that’s already underway throughout much of the state: ice skating. (Click to find locations !!)

Both indoor and outdoor ice rinks can be found in many of the cities, towns and villages throughout every region of Upstate New York. Ranging from large outdoor arenas to smaller indoor rinks, there are plenty of places to get out on the ice, no matter where in New York you happen to be.

Upstate New York’s larger cities are well known for their dedicated public ice rinks, many of which are outdoors for a unique seasonal experience (weather permitting, of course). In the Capital Region, downtown Albany’s Empire State Plaza Ice Rink is the place to be; this rink is a reflecting pool during the warmer months, but is frozen and opened up for public skating as the snow flies. The surrounding skyline of downtown Albany makes for pretty views, and proximity to the New York State Museum and other Albany attractions provide an opportunity to keep the fun going off the ice as well.

Syracuse is home to the outdoor Clinton Square Ice Rink, which is also situated in the heart of the city’s downtown area and surrounded by historic architecture. It’s a popular spot for people from all over Central New York to enjoy some outdoor skating, and its Clinton Square location means it’s close to plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs to explore of warm up after an afternoon on the ice.

In Western New York, the cities of Rochester and Buffalo are both home to excellent outdoor skating opportunities. The ice rink at downtown Rochester’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at Manhattan Square is beloved by locals and visitors alike, with a warming hut and fireplace in addition to the ice rink, which was enlarged in recent years. It’s also right next door to the Strong National Museum of Play, making it an ideal part of a kid-friendly day in downtown Rochester. Meanwhile, in downtown Buffalo, visit the Buffalo Waterfront and lace up your skates at Ice at Canalside for outdoor public ice skating throughout the winter; you can even rent your own personal igloo to warm up in after!

The big cities aren’t the only places with ice skating available. Many of the smaller towns of the Adirondacks have their own ice skating facilities, some of them right out in the great outdoors. One of the most famous, of course, has to be Lake Placid’s James C. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval, one of the sites that hosted competitors at the 1980 Winter Olympics. The newly-renovated outdoor oval is now open for public skating at select times throughout the week, along with other indoor and outdoor rinks at the Olympic Center. However, there are other outdoor rinks inside the blue line as well: the Adirondack towns of Old Forge and Wilmington (near Whiteface Mountain) are both maintain their own small, outdoor community rinks, and the town of Long Lake is home to the Geiger Arena and Mt. Sabbatis Sledding Hill, with both indoor and skating, sledding, and a warming hut where snacks and drinks are available for purchase.

Of course, this is only a short list—and there are plenty of indoor ice skating arenas, too. Wherever you go, make sure to check with the ice rink ahead of time to find out hours and schedules, rates, safety regulations, or whether you need to reserve a spot to skate. And of course, never skate on a frozen pond unless the ice is thick enough to be safe! With those few tips in mind, you’ll be ready to lace up your skates and glide right through the rest of the winter months.

Empire State Plaza ice rink photo credit Empire State Plaza Events
Clinton Square ice rink photo credit Gavin Schaefer
Rochester ice skating photo credit Roc Holiday Village
Buffalo ice rink photo credit Buffalo Waterfront
Speed skating oval photo credit Lake Placid Legacy Sites

posted at: 2022-01-08 20:24:00, last updated: 2022-02-03 16:34:25

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