Holiday season is here! Bryant Park opens annual Winter Village


ClyneKP | Wikimedia Commons

Kayla Aaron

Those looking to visit a magical winter wonderland here in New York City are in luck. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park opened on Oct. 28 and will continue through March 5.

The Winter Village is best known for its ice-skating rink and fun holiday-themed shops. The open-air holiday market opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends. The shops close on Jan.  2, while the rink and lodge will be open until March 5.

The shops are made up of 170 vendors and four small businesses, those that make less than $1 million annually, will be chosen to win a free booth to sell their products.

The ice-skating rink is open to the public, free of charge, and skate rentals are available. Rentals range from $15-50 depending on the reservation time. Bank of America card holders can enjoy benefits such as 10% off skate rentals. Reservations must be made in advance.

In a win for accessibility, ramps and assistants are available to help people enter shops that have steps or other obstacles. For the ice rink, both manual and motorized wheelchairs are allowed and adaptive sleds are available free of charge, according to the Bryant Park website.

There are private cozy igloos available for rent and additional services are available such as equipment rentals, bag storage and group passes.

For those who are 21 and older the lodge bar is open with festive drinks and food from local NYC restaurants.

The Bryant Park ice rink staff do ask that no impromptu proposals take place in the name of safety. However, if a person sends them an email, they will help facilitate the engagement.

On Monday, Oct. 31, stars from Broadway musical “Beetlejuice” took the stage in the Winter Village in a performance of “Say My Name” and “Dead Mom.” There was also trick-or-treating for kids at the shops and other events such as face painting, arts and crafts and magic tricks.

Bryant Park was designated as public land in 1686 and has served the public in several iterations since. The park has been a potter’s field, reservoir, observatory, encampment for Union troops during the civil war and home to the New York Public Library.