All city dwellers seem to go crazy for ice skating season, but once the ice thaws and spring is upon us, where's a skater to go? It's time to introduce the kids to the old-school art of roller skating at one of these rinks within city limits and just beyond.
In addition to retro skating fun, many of these spots offer extras, including arcade games, bounce houses, and party packages. So lace up your skates and get moving at these rinks!
Roller Rinks in NYC
Beginners, novices, and experts are welcome at Prospect Park's LeFrak Center rink. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
LeFrak Center at Lakeside – Prospect Park
We raved about this skating spot when it debuted. One of its two rinks is converted into a 16,000-square-foot roller rink during warmer months, while the other hosts a seasonal splash pad. Although the rink is covered, the floor is cement instead of traditional wood and stands up better to the elements. In addition to public skating hours, lessons are available. For some grown-up fun, visit on summer Friday nights when the rink transforms into Dreamland Roller Disco, a 21-plus themed skating dance party with nostalgic fun and prizes.
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Learn to skate at the Pier 2 rink in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Association
Pier 2 Roller Rink – Brooklyn Heights
Friday April 6–October
This rink, in the heart of amenity-filled Brooklyn Bridge Park, offers regular FREE admission hours. The rink is 180 feet by 75 feet and has a poured epoxy skate-friendly surface that's reportedly softer than concrete (good if you're a faller). Pier 2 has become quite the summer destination with bocce, shuffleboard, handball, and basketball courts, picnic tables, a half-acre of play turf, and a popular pop-up pool, which is expected to be entering its final season in 2018.
Riverbank State Park Roller Rink – Harlem
Riverbank State Park's roller rink—the only one in Manhattan—was recently remodeled to feature a new concrete floor, white dasher boards, acrylic glass sides, and other cosmetic upgrades. When you're done skating, there's plenty of other fun to be had at this uptown spot.
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It's throwback indoor fun at RollerJam in Staten Island. Photo courtesy of RollerJam.
RollerJam USA – Staten Island
Open year round
This Staten Island party spot offers more than just roller skating—there are bounce houses and arcade games, too. The rink looks as if it came straight out of the Saturday Night Fever era with disco lights synchronized to music and a smoke machine. On Friday nights, patrons also get FREE all-you-can-eat pizza. The rink offers additional hours during school breaks, so check the website for schedule updates.
Outdoor NYC Roller Skating Options
Central Park Dance Skaters Association – Central Park
You don't have to merely watch these skaters, you can join them at their public events in Central Park's Skate Circle, which include a DJ but no skate rental.
An East Coast version of a California skate park sits on the edge of the Hudson River in Chelsea. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
Pier 62 Skate Park – Chelsea
This Hudson River Park skate park also encourages roller blades and roller skates, along with boards. There are no rentals, of course, so it's completely DIY and frills-free, but for those looking for dedicated skating spot free of bikes and walkers, this 15,000-square park with gentle slopes and hills might just do the trick. Find more skate park options here, or read through the NYC Department of Parks' listings of skate parks that allow skating.
New York City Inline Skating Guide – Citywide
For a rundown of public paths and parks where skaters are welcome, this site has it all—citywide and beyond. It also highlights rules you need to know before you put on your gear, as well as information on local skate shops and meeting times for group skates.
Roller Rinks Beyond City Limits
E.J. Murray Memorial Skating Center – Yonkers, Westchester County
Though this skating center is covered in ice for most of the year, it does offer a limited roller skating season during summer. Public skating session times will be announced closer to the season opening date.
Hot Skates – Lynbrook, Nassau County
Open year round
This Long Island rink has been around for more than three decades, giving it a decidedly old-school feel. Public skating hours are limited so check the schedule for details before heading out. Take the LIRR to the Lynbrook or Rockville Centre stations and grab a cab to the rink for a car-free day trip. Be prepared: it's cash only.
United Skates of America – Seaford, Nassau County
Open year round
United Skates is the perfect answer to your desire for throwback fun. You'll be welcomed by the carpeted countertops and mini-lockers of your youth. In addition to a roller rink large enough for 500 skaters, there is an on-site snack bar and arcade. Open-skate times are held for youths, teens, and adults.
Also check out our roundup of New Jersey roller rinks, including one in nearby Newark, or head north to these Connecticut spots.
Top photo of the Brooklyn Bridge Park rink courtesy of NYC Parks
This post, originally published in April 2012, has since been updated.