Citi Pond 01 2Manhattan’s Citi Pond at Bryant Park opens for its seventh season on October 28, inviting guests to “Take a Snow Day” on New York City’s only free outdoor skating rink.

In addition to the rink, visitors can browse The Holiday Shops, where more than 125 vendors will sell their unique crafts, artisanal foods, and seasonal goods; and enjoy comfort food and beverages at Celsius restaurant, lounge, and event space.

The 2011-12 season offers new programming and events, in addition to Citi Passport rewards program offering Citi cardmembers savings and exclusive access at The Holiday Shops, Celsius, and select neighborhood retail destinations. This season also marks the completion of the permanent power facility project in Bryant Park, inaugurating a major green energy initiative for Citi Pond, Bryant Park and the surrounding neighborhood.

Events taking place through November include:

  • Fall Fest (Oct. 29)
  • New York Cares Coat Drive (beginning Nov. 1)
  • City Harvest (Nov. 5)
  • Veteran’s & Military Appreciation Day (Nov. 11)
  • Family Day (Nov. 12)
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony (Nov. 29)

(View the full calendar of events here.)

“In addition to our anticipated season events and programming, we’re delighted to launch for the first time all of Citi Pond’s elements simultaneously, with the opening of the ice skating rink, The Holiday Shops, and Celsius on the same day,” said Itai Shoffman, executive producer of Upsilon Ventures, the firm that develops Citi Pond at Bryant Park. “We are equally thrilled to provide our community with yet another season of free ice skating thanks to the unwavering commitment and dedication of our long term partner, Citi.”
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“Citi is excited to welcome everyone to another fun-filled season of Citi Pond,” said Cece Stewart, head of U.S. Consumer and Commercial Banking at Citibank. “Citi Pond has quickly become an iconic New York City tradition and must-see winter destination. New programs such as the Citi Passport rewards will add to the guest experience in a family-friendly atmosphere. We are proud to kick off the holidays and bring a winter wonderland right in the heart of Manhattan as we welcome everyone to ‘Take a Snow Day’ with us.”

Citi Pond at Bryant Park is located at W. 40th and W. 42nd Streets between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and is open Sunday–Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday–Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight. For more information or for advance and group reservations and not-for-profit and school visits, call 212-661-6640 or visit www.CitiPondatBryantPark.com.

Photo credit: Citi Pond at Bryant Park

Teresa J. Shaw is editor of the Free in 50 States section and also writes about Southeast Michigan for Traveling Mom. Visit her blog and follow her on Twitter at @TeresaShaw.