Remember the ’80s? When kids were somehow born knowing how to roller skate, and your mom sent you out with your skates, your friends and a warning to be back by dinner? Those days are over, but there’s no reason to put your Xanadu record away just yet (well, there is, but it’s got nothing to do with roller skating). Your kids might be newbies to skating, but it’s never too late to learn. Most roller rinks in NJ offer lessons, but if you spent your childhood on wheels under a disco ball, odds are you can teach them a thing or two yourself.
Roller Skating Basics
Alissa Easlick, lesson program director of the Arenas at Woodbridge, offers these tips when going skating for the first time:
- Stand next to or in front of your child. If you hold hands, encourage your child to put their weight on their feet, not your hands.
- Ask them to “march,” instead of walk or skate.
- Encourage them to hold their arms out for balance.
- Tell them to “freeze” if they feel like they’re losing their balance.
- Wait to take your child until they’re at least 4 years old.
When the weather’s nice, skating the streets of your neighborhood or paths at a local park is a great way to get fresh air, exercise, and quality time together. You can also check out one of these indoor rinks, all of which offer quad skating (four wheels), rentals and public sessions. Keep in mind that all of them also offer rink time packages for birthday parties.
Young’s Skating Center: May’s Landing, 609-625-1191
Inline Skating Club of America: North Arlington, 201-998-4722
Holiday Skating & Fun Center: Delanco, 856-461-3770
INT Sports: Mt. Laurel, 856-273-2828
Cherry Hill Skating & Fun Center: Cherry Hill, 856-795-1919
INT Sports: Cherry Hill, 856-428-8588
Millennium Skate World: Camden, 856-757-9460
Skate 2000 Family Fun Center: Upper Deerfield Twp., 856-459-3666
Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center: Newark, 973-482-8900
Depford Skating Center: Westville, 856-845-7353
Sk8 47: Franklinville, 856-694-0600
Frenchtown Roller Rink: Frenchtown, 908-996-6313
South Amboy Arena: South Amboy, 732-727-1122
Woodbridge Community Center Roller Skating Rink: Woodbridge, 732-596-4000
Goodsports USA: Wall Twp., 732-681-8898
Highline Arena: Aberdeen, 732-290-0003
Jackson Skating Center Rollermagic: Jackson, 732-363-2222
Florham Park Roller Rink: Florham Park, 973-377-0465
Villa Roller Rink: Stewartsville, 908-689-6155
—Renée Sagiv Riebling is a freelance writer from central New Jersey. She, her husband and their two children are always on the lookout for new adventures.