The Roll-A-Rama Rink is the latest addition to the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.
The Roll-A-Rama Rink is the latest addition to the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport.

Hit the Roll-A-Rama Rink at the TWA Hotel for Retro Fun

The opening of the TWA Hotel has made JFK more than an airport—it's now a destination in its own right. There's the rooftop pool, swanky hotel rooms, trendy restaurants, museums, cool design and architecture, and now, a seasonal outdoor roller skating rink smack in the middle of the tarmac. Riding the roller skating craze that's taken over New York of late, the TWA's new Roll-A-Rama Runway Rink is the perfect way to stretch your legs before getting on your flight or following a long ride on the A train. Read on for the details on this retro-inspired destination. If you're not up for a trip to JFK, we've got the details on more roller skating rinks in the city and nearby 'burbs, too.

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The TWA's Roll-A-Rama is open only on the weekends and, since it's outdoors, subject to weather conditions. Compared to other roller rinks in the city, it's on the small side—44-by-56-feet, which makes it perfect for young kids and beginners. There's retro, disco music playing in the background, and the vibe is relaxed and fun. My kids and I really enjoyed the novelty of skating on a tarmac, with JFK as the backdrop.

Parked right next to the rink is the "Connie," a retired 1958 Lockheed Constellation propeller airplane that has been turned into a museum/cocktail lounge.

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Connie at the TWA Hotel's Roll-A-Rama
Take a tour of "Connie," a retired 1958 Lockheed Constellation propeller airplane.

It's the ideal place to grab a drink after a few turns around the rink. In addition to cocktails, the bartender can whip up kid-friendly drinks, like Shirley Temples. The retro-outfitted flight attendant even allowed my girls in the cockpit to look at the control panel and take pictures.

If you've worked up an appetite, you can grab a bite at the Food Hall, the Sunken Lounge, or, for a more formal affair, eat at the historic Paris Cafe where famed chef Jean Georges serves his specialties (reservations are recommended). Don't forget to check out the Twister Room, where the walls, floors, and ceiling are covered in multi-colored dots for a life-sized game of limb-bending. There's a spinner on the wall to take turns.

The Runway Rink is located outside Terminal 5 of JFK, and the hotel provides valet parking for $20 for up to four hours. While a bit pricey, you can get parking validated if you dine at the Sunken Lounge, the Connie, or the Paris Cafe. Unlike the rooftop pool, you don't have to be a hotel guest to skate.

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girls posing on giant twister board
Plenty of fun awaits at the TWA Hotel when you're done skating.

Know Before You Go

  • Hours are Fridays from 4-8pm, and Saturdays and Sundays, 12-8pm.
  • Capacity is limited, and it's first come, first served; you can't get tickets in advance.
  • Sessions are 50 minutes.
  • Adults are $20 and $16 for kids under 12. Rentals are included in the price of admission and a limited number of helmets are available.
  • Check the website for a list of closures before heading out, as private events can be held at the rink.

Photos by the author

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