ALBANY, NY (NEWS 10) – The winter season will officially arrive to the Capitol on December 4.
The opening of the ice rink signals the start of the winter events held at The Plaza, including the SEFCU Tree Lighting on December 6.
The rink will be open from 11-8 p.m. and skating is always free.
Lockers and skate rental are located on the Plaza level adjacent to the rink. Each Friday, including opening day, will feature free skate rentals, courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets. Also, BlueShield of Northeastern New York will sponsor a series of learn-to-skate clinics.
Schedule Highlights of Free Rink Events:
- Friday, December 4, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., ice rink opening day and the first Hannaford free skate rental Friday.
- Saturday, December 5, 9 – 11 a.m., First Learn-To-Skate Clinic sponsored by BlueShield of Northeastern New York. Additional clinics will be offered on January 2, February 6 and March 5. Online pre-registration required at empirestateplaza.org.
- Sunday, December 6, 1 p.m. – 8 p.m., New York State Holiday Tree Lighting presented by SEFCU. This family-fun annual event has something for everyone with a full day of indoor and outdoor activities, including a chance to meet Santa, ice sculpture demonstrations, a holiday arts and crafts fair, and skating demonstrations by the Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club, live music, train rides around the Empire State Plaza concourse, and a holiday rock and skate with Grand Central Station. The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 5:15 and concludes with a fireworks show. The event also coincides with the Taste NY Holiday Expo at the New York State Museum, which has a $5 admission (those 12 and younger get in free) and the Great Train Extravaganza in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, admission $7, kids under 12 free.
- Saturday, December 19, 9 – 11 a.m., First Try Hockey For Free With USA Hockey and Troy Albany Youth Hockey. Additional hockey clinics will be held on January 16, February 20, and March 12. Online preregistration is required.
- Sunday, December 20, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Siena Day. Show off your school pride by wearing green or gold at the Empire Skate plaza and a $2 discount on skate rentals.
- Sunday, February 7, Big Game Sunday. Wear your team’s jersey and come to the rink to skate before the Super Bowl.
- Tuesday, February 9, Mardi Gras. The Spirit of New Orleans comes alive. Free beads with every skate rental. While supplies last.
- Sunday, February 14, Valentine’s Day. Come to the Plaza for a romantic skate with your sweetheart or even to propose marriage.
- Saturday, March 5, 11th Annual Hannaford Kidz Expo featuring the Berenstain Bears.
- Sunday, March 13, last day of skating for the season.
General Rink Information
- Hours: Every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather dependent. The rink will be closed daily from 3 to 4 p.m. for maintenance.
- Cost to Skate: Free
- Skate Rental: $3 for children 12 and under and $4 for adults. A photo ID is required to rent skates. Every Friday is free skate rental Friday courtesy of Hannaford Supermarkets.
- Amenities: A full-service snack bar open Friday nights and weekends and a skate lounge with lockers for personal items are located on the Plaza level.
Paid visitor parking is available in the V-lot under the Empire State Plaza. Free parking in the East Garage on Philip Street off Madison Avenue is available after 5 p.m.