The latest update for this article is written by Lindsay Podolak.
You don’t need Olympic-level skills to enjoy lacing up some skates and hitting the ice. And, of course, the best way to enjoy a day of winter ice skating is to skate outside — either via an outdoor rink or by visiting one of New Jersey’s natural ponds. Whether you hug the railing as you wobble your way around the rink on rented skates, or gracefully zip into the middle of the pond to show off your impressive double axel, one thing remains true: the ice is quite nice, and ready for some visitors.
NJ’s Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
Address: 95 River Drive South, Jersey City
Price: $7 for admission, $6 for skate rental
Details: Come out and enjoy an urban outdoor skating experience. Surrounded by shops and restaurants (it’s right near Newport Centre), Newport Skates is the perfect place to ice skate. The best part? You can take the ice in the gorgeous shadow of the New York City skyline.
Why I like it: Newport residents get half-price admission with proof of Residential I.D. Card.
More info: www.newportrentalsnj.com or call 201-626-7465
WinterFest Ice Skating at Cooper River
Address: 5300 North Park Drive, Pennsauken
Price: $6 for adults, $4 for kids aged 5-12 years old and $4 to rent skates
Details: Enjoy a fun and affordable day with the family! WinterFest Ice Skating is open daily from December through February and only closes on Christmas Day. Special holiday hours are scheduled for Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. What better way to ring in 2019 than on the ice?
Why I like it: Skate Buddies, skating assistance devices for those of us who are a little unsteady on the ice, are available free of charge.
More info: www.camdencounty.com.com or call 856-216-2117
Roosevelt Park Family Ice Skating Rink
Address: 151 Parsonage Road, Edison
Price: $6 for adults, $5 for children, $5 skate rental
Details: Spend a day ice skating in Roosevelt Park with beautiful views of the lake. Take lessons, throw a birthday party or even rent the entire rink for your family and friends to have a private skating session.
Why I like it: A Daily Weather Hot Line will let you know if the skating rink is open for your visit, just call 732-745-4484 to get the scoop.
More info: www.co.middlesex.nj.us or call 732-494-3785
John T. Wright Arena at Mackay Park
Address: 130 West Englewood Avenue, Englewood
Price: On weekends, it’s $8 for the general public, $6 for Englewood residents and skate rental is $4. Prices for weekday and adult-only sessions vary.
Details: John T. Wright is a bit different from the other rinks on the list as it’s open year-round and is slightly enclosed — but it’s still an open-air arena. For more than 35 years, kids have learned to skate, local hockey teams have played here and skaters have enjoyed gliding around in the fresh air. Now, it’s your turn to join in the fun!
Why I like it: Englewood students with school I.D. skate free every Monday during the 3:30 to 5:00 pm public skate session.
More info: www.mackayicerink.com or call 201-568-3133
Mercer County Ice Skating Center
Address: Paxson Avenue, West Windsor Township
Price: $8 for adults, $6 for children, $4 skate rental
Details: The Mercer County Ice Skating Center was built to give skaters the opportunity to skate outdoors no matter what the weather around them may be. Hence, the slightly enclosed structure. Head here for general public skating sessions, private sessions and birthday parties during the open season.
Why I like it: Skating sessions for senior citizens only are offered every Monday and Wednesday morning, plus some Friday mornings.
More info: www.mercercountyparks.org or call 609-371-1766
Ice at the Pier
Address: 50 Chelsea Avenue, Long Branch
Price: $14 for adults (ages 12+), $10 for children, $4 skate rental
Details: Ice at the Pier brings outdoor skating to Long Branch’s picturesque Pier Village. Listen to the sound of waves crashing in the ocean as you glide around the rink with your friends. It’s breathtaking! There are also plenty of events planned to make this season Ice at the Pier’s first very best. Stop by today for this incredible NJ skating experience!
Why I like it: Ice skating works up an appetite, and luckily you’re just steps away from fabulous Pier Village restaurants like Simply Greek, Luke’s Lobster and McLoone’s Pier House.
More info: www.iceatthepier.com or call 732-479-0390
Pond Ice Skating
Holmdel Park Pond
Address: 44 Longstreet Road, Holmdel
Details: Holmdel Park Pond is open to all for ice skating once the ice freezes to more than five inches thick. In addition to skating on the pond, Holmdel Park is a great place to take the kids sledding!
Why I like it: Evening hours until 9:00 pm on the weekends mean you get to skate under the stars.
More info: www.monmouthcountyparks.com or call 732-946-9562
Address: South Road and Doby Road, Randolph
Details: Heistein Park is located in woodsy Randolph, giving skaters a chance to skate in a peaceful, natural environment. Be sure to abide by the flags posted on the park signs; green means go!
Why I like it: A large picnic pavilion, restrooms, a refreshment stand and bike trails to explore make this spot an all-day outing for the family.
More info: www.randolphnj.org or call 973-989-7100
Address: Lombardo Park, Mount Hope Street, Rockaway Township
Details: Parks Lake is a beautiful (and big) body of water with a pretty little gazebo right on the outskirts. It’s a picturesque place to spend the day, and can make you feel like you’re skating through an old movie. Use caution here, as it’s larger than some of the other spots and might take a bit longer to freeze. The green flag will go up when the ice is good to go.
Why I like it: What’s not to like about a free ice skating session in the middle of the woods?
More info: www.rockawaytownship.org or call 973-983-2841
Summit Avenue Park
Address: 150 High Street, Newton
Details: Summit Avenue Park is a sweet little park in Newton. The pond is the major draw here, and as soon as it gets cold enough, locals grab their skates and spend the day gliding around. It’s the perfect way to spend a quiet afternoon.
More info: www.newtontownhall.com or call 973-383-3521