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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.

Local Rinks

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.

Atlantic County

Young’s Skating Center: May’s Landing, 609-625-1191

Bergen County

Inline Skating Club of America: North Arlington, 201-998-4722

Burlington County

Holiday Skating & Fun Center: Delanco, 856-461-3770

INT Sports: Mt. Laurel, 856-273-2828

Camden County

Cherry Hill Skating & Fun Center: Cherry Hill, 856-795-1919

INT Sports: Cherry Hill, 856-428-8588

Millennium Skate World: Camden, 856-757-9460

Cumberland County

Skate 2000 Family Fun Center: Upper Deerfield Twp., 856-459-3666

Essex County

Branch Brook Park Roller Skating Center: Newark, 973-482-8900

Gloucester County

Depford Skating Center: Westville, 856-845-7353

Sk8 47: Franklinville, 856-694-0600

Hunterdon County

Frenchtown Roller Rink: Frenchtown, 908-996-6313

Middlesex County

South Amboy Arena: South Amboy, 732-727-1122

Woodbridge Community Center Roller Skating Rink: Woodbridge, 732-596-4000

Monmouth County

Goodsports USA: Wall Twp., 732-681-8898

Highline Arena: Aberdeen, 732-290-0003

Jackson Skating Center Rollermagic: Jackson, 732-363-2222

Morris County

Florham Park Roller Rink: Florham Park, 973-377-0465

Warren County

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.