For me, winter means hot cocoa and ice skating. You would think that it would be outside of a broke-ass budget, but you’d be wrong.
I’ve been trolling the eBay listings for a pair of used skates. Many of them cost less than the shipping & handling! I’m going to have to factor in sharpening though. “Vintage” definitely equals “dull with a bit of rust”. Still, it’ll come out way better price-wise than new. Some of them are full leather, so a bit of polish and elbow grease should go a long way.
Having your own skates makes skating within reach at even the most expensive of rinks. But when in comes to the NYC Parks Department Rinks, it also makes it a totally free proposition.
Most of the Park’s rinks around the city run $10 or less. The most expensive being Wollman Rink in Central Park at $19 on Fri – Sun & holidays. They even have a $5 “Spectator” fee. Sheesh. Isn’t the over priced hot chocolate already the price of admission???
But then there’s Bryant Park… 100% free admission and free people watching until March 4th. Bypassing the steep $20 skate rental and bringing your own lock enables you to have a place to store your shoes and thermos of mulled cider, and skate until your ankles give out.
Bryant Park also hosts a nearly concurrent Winter Village (from Oct. 28 – Jan. 2). This year Sid Gold’s Request Room had a free karaoke booth set up! Sadly, I was too broke to even tip so I refrained… regrets. I’ll be there next year come hell or high-water, so please do it again, Sid! ::starts saving pennies::
Bomb Cyclones aside, there’s no reason to hibernate inside all winter long. There’s always something free or low cost to do in NYC all times of the year.