Downtown Manhattan is teeming with families who will surely be delighted by the arrival of Seaport Ice, a huge new skating rink at Pier 17. The Mid-December opening includes a special nod to locals. “Our main goal is to engage the residents,” says Lincoln Palsgrove, senior marketing director for South Street Seaport. “There’s a huge influx of people living in lower Manhattan. For them it’s hard; there’s still a pioneering spirit to living down here. It’s quiet on weekends. You still have to leave sometimes to go shopping or for entertainment. The idea is to make it more of a hub for lower Manhattan year-round.” The 8,000-square-foot rink’s setting is unique: out on the water, near the Brooklyn Bridge, under the masts of the Seaport’s tall ships, and next to a large indoor warm-up space (a.k.a. the pier building). An antique-wagon beverage kiosk serves hot cider, hot chocolate, and even caramel apples. The ice accommodates 300 to 325 people, and the powers that be are working on assigning time slots for different age groups so your 4-year-old tyro won’t be body-checked by a 12-year-old hockey fan. On opening night, expect a tree lighting, caroling, and a marching band. And look out for a strolling Santa Claus. Getting there is easy, says Palsgrove. “We have a taxi stand right on Water and Fulton Streets, and all but one or two subways stop right here at Fulton. Our future plans work against this pervasive feeling that the Seaport is an appendage to New York.” Brooklynites have the water taxi; Battery Parkers the free downtown-connection shuttle bus. Sure beats schlepping to overcrowded midtown.
Mid-December to 2/28, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Pier 17, South St. at Fulton St. (thenewseaport.com/icerink); $5 admission (discounted in January and February for people with lower-Manhattan Zip Codes); $7 skate rental; free lockers, BYO or purchase lock.