Rockefeller Center skating rink opens Saturday for 84th season

Larry McShane, New York Daily News
·1 min read

Ignore the spring-like temperatures: The iconic Rockefeller Center skating rink will open for business Saturday.

The icy attraction sitting in the center’s sunken plaza welcomes the holiday season’s first skaters at 2 p.m., extending a tradition dating back to Christmas Day 1936. The opening comes on a sunny day with temperatures climbing into the 60s.

While the rink typically draws 250,000 annual visitors, the COVID-19 pandemic will change things this year.

The number of skaters on the ice at any time will be limited and tickets are available through appointment-only. The daily operating hours will run from 9 a.m. to midnight.

According to legend, the concept of the rink came from a a Depression-era skate salesman who skated on the frozen water of the Midtown tourist attraction’s fountain.

Initially created as a temporary seasonal event, the rink soon became an annual treat in its spot beneath the Rockefeller Center tree — a 72-foot tall Norway spruce this year.


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