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89th And Broke

I'm a young professional living in Astoria (formerly of Williamsburg, the UES and Murray Hill - I move a lot!). I'm always looking for something fun to do or the best place to grab a drink and dinner at an affordable price around the city. Have a suggestion? Email me at Laura AT 89thandbroke DOT com.

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Natural History Museum “Ice” Skating

The boyfriend and I attempted to enjoy the winter weather and go ice skating this weekend.  Being on the UES, it made the most sense to avoid the tourists and midtown and head over to the UWS to the new ice rink at the Natural History Museum which opened on Saturday.  From our brief ice skating research, it seemed that this might be our best bet since it was affordable at $10 a person with ice skate rentals.  As we purchased tickets, we noticed signs that this ice was “synthetic” ice and that a refrigerator mechanism was not necessary to keep the ice cool.  Not knowing or caring what this meant, we purchased 2 tickets for $20, grabbed our skates and hit the ice.

Apparently, synthetic ice is not ice.  The flooring instead, was plastic and we could barely glide across the plastic in uncomfortable skates.  This plastic ice was put together in puzzle pieces and the crap from the plastic would stick to your clothes and coat when you we fell – and yes, you will fall.  Adults around us were walking on the ice, because god forbid you tried to skate, you would end up on the ground.  At one point, the “ice” looked like a sea of dead children, with little bodies laying all over the ground.  I honestly feel terrible for any kid who had his first ice skating experience on this rink.  I’m also sure by now you are laughing at the accompanying photo for this post – but this is how miserable the Natural History Museum “ice” skating experience was.

We stayed for about 5 minutes, and made one lap around the ice.  While we didn’t fight for our money back – after all, they warned us about the synthetic ice – we warned every person who came near the rink to turn around and leave.

The rest of the afternoon we attempted to go ice skating somewhere else.  While Wollman Rink in Central Park seems nice, it was extremely pricey – 20 bucks a person with skate rental, we’d have to rent a locker for $10.25 (get 6 back) since we couldn’t bring bags on the ice and they only take cash.  There seems to be though a few rinks around the city so we’ll definitely be trying to hit the affordable rinks up over the next few weeks. Any tips on what rink is best would be appreciated.

The Basics
Name:  Polar Rink at the American Natural History Museum
Location: 79 Street and Central Park West
Who to take:  No one because you aren’t going
Price:  Typical NYC.  $$
Overall:  Do Not Go

5 comments to Natural History Museum “Ice” Skating

  • [...] Natural History Museum “Ice” Skating | 89th and BrokeThe boyfriend and I attempted to enjoy the winter weather and go ice skating this weekend. Being on the UES, it made the most sense to avoid the tourists and. [...]

  • Dory

    The Pond at Bryant Park is freeee….skate rentals are 12 bucks each though. Please invite me on your next skating date!!

  • I love your happy picture!!!! In Michigan we don’t have syn. ice so that is hilarious! of course no one in Michigan could afford syn ice anyway:)Skate on Yamigucci

  • Cassandra

    Oh man Laura, thanks so much for going, now I don’t have to.

    I’ll check out Bryant Park rink, (I think it’s free) Canadian food samplings Wednesday nights :)

    Daily Candy let me in on this one…

    “All the more reason not to miss an enjoyable out-of-towner: Canada at The Pond at Bryant Park, where New Yorkers can drink and dine at Celsius, a two-story Canadian lounge overlooking the rink and 51-foot holiday tree from Québec.

    Every Wednesday from Nov 26th through Dec 17th start out your nights with a taste of Canada from 6 -8pm at Celsius Lounge: next Wednesday, enjoy chef demonstrations and Canadian food and drink treats.

    And like good company, the Canadians come bearing gifts: prizes, gift bags, and travel offers, plus a camera booth for photo ops with the Mounties.”

  • [...] to go ice skating again.  After a disappointing time at the Natural History Museum’s ice rink, we were determined to find the perfect ice skating rink in NYC.  Since we were in the Bryant Park [...]

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