While it may be cold outside this month, instead of fighting the chill, try embracing it! New York is a winter wonderland in January, with a wealth of ways to channel your inner Jack Frost both indoors and out. Whether you want to watch some action on ice or participate yourself, there are prime places all over town for strapping on skates (or watching others do so with a warm beverage in hand!). Here, three of our favorite cool cold weather activities will keep you engaged.
Rivalry on Ice: Harvard vs. Quinnipiac at MSG
It’s no surprise that college hockey is serious business here in the northern United States, and this year, a pair of conference rivals will take to the ice at the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden: Massachusetts’ Harvard Crimson versus Connecticut’s Quinnipiac Bobcats. The last and only time that Quinnipiac played at MSG was back in 2003 vs. UCONN, so expect Connecticut fans to emerge en masse to root, root, root for their home team as they take on Harvard’s stable of NHL prospects, a favorite to make it to the Frozen Four for the first time since 1994. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 9, with tickets available online that range from nosebleed to rink-side seats. Can’t get enough? The game is actually a double-header, so stick around to see a patriotic exhibition game between Army and Navy following the conference action. (rivalryonice.com)
The Rink at Brookfield Place
On the banks of the Hudson River, beneath the sweeping shadow of One World Trade Center, The Rink at Brookfield Place is a New Yorker’s ice skating rink, a nice alternative to the immensely popular destinations like Rockefeller Center or Central Park. Expect shorter lines and more time on the ice, plus views that rival anywhere in the world of the lower Manhattan skyline and the river. Want to refine your technique? Olympians Melissa Gregory and Denis Petkhov offer skating lessons for kids and adults. And when you’re done practicing your figure-eights and pirouettes, warm up at the food court inside, home to a diverse range of some of the city’s finest food stands. We like to start with a hot chocolate, of course, from Financier Patisserie; if it’s a full meal you’re after, you can’t beat the hearty barbecue at Mighty Quinn’s or a gooey grilled cheese from Little Muenster. (250 Vesey St.)
Celsius at Bryant Park
When a rink alone won’t do, there’s the winter paradise that is Celsius at Bryant Park, a pop-up playground featuring a bi-level cocktail bar, a holiday shopping village loaded with local artisans, and yes – an ice rink, one of the city’s most affordable, surrounded by the towering trees and even taller skyscrapers that make Bryant Park one of New York’s most iconic open spaces. The rink hosts frequent performances, as well as open skates, so if hitting the ice isn’t your thing, slip into Parka, the on-site cocktail lounge, and warm up with a libation or two, then wander the shops and stock up on gifts to bring home (or for yourself!). Fancy a good read? Bryant Park is adjacent to the New York Public Library, a great place to curl up with a book and warm up after your outdoor adventure. (40 W. 42nd St.)