Fun on 4 wheels: 7 pop-up roller rinks you can visit this summer

Jun 17, 2022

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Whether you’ve gotten back into Dungeons & Dragons or taken to accessorizing with tube socks and trucker hats, there’s no denying the fact that “Stranger Things” has inspired a full-on resurgence of all things ’80s.

The hit Netflix show gave fans a dash of next-level nostalgia in a Season 4 episode where the kids go roller-skating at a (fictional) California roller rink called Rink-O-Mania.

While roller rinks may not be as popular as they once were, there are still plenty of places to get your skate on. We found seven pop-up roller rinks across the country where you can show off your fancy footwork (or, you know, just try to stay upright).

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In This Post

TWA Hotel Roll-A-Rama — New York City

Two women roller skating
(Photo courtesy of TWA Hotel)

Now in its second year, the TWA Hotel’s Roll-A-Rama roller rink is just one of many ways the defunct airline is celebrating the golden age of travel. From now through Nov. 1, skaters can “take flight” on the TWA tarmac, located at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s (JFK) Terminal 5.

Related: What it’s like to ice skate at the TWA Hotel Runway Rink

Tickets for 50-minute skate sessions are $20 for adults and $16 for kids under 12. Skate rental is included in the ticket price (though you are welcome to bring your own if you still have them lying around). The rink is open Fridays and Saturdays and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Roller skating rink on TMA tarmac at JFK Airport
(Photo courtesy of TWA Hotel)

While you are there, you can keep the vintage vibes rolling by booking an overnight stay at the TWA Hotel, sipping a cocktail in the 1958 Lockheed Constellation parked on the tarmac that now operates as a bar or perusing the vintage TWA memorabilia on display throughout the hotel.

Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink — Philadelphia

People on outdoor roller rink
(Photo courtesy of BeauMonde Originals for Center City District)

The Rothman Orthopaedics Roller Rink in Dilworth Park occupies a piece of prime downtown real estate, just next door to Philly’s 1894 City Hall (once the world’s tallest habitable building).

Related: 7 easy Philadelphia escapes you can get to in 3 hours or less

The classic black-and-white checkerboard floor is set off by hundreds of colorful beachballs that hang overhead creating a sort of rainbow-hued sky, giving the rink a retro yet energetic feel.

People on outdoor roller rink
(Image courtesy of BeauMonde Originals for Center City District)

The rink is open daily for hourlong skate sessions, which should be booked in advance online. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for kids 10 and younger and skate rental is $5. There is a $5 discount for matinee skating between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays. Locker rental is also available.

The Roller Rink at Summer on Sunset — Los Angeles

Walking along West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip is so last year. Between now and Aug. 27, The Roller Rink at Summer on Sunset is welcoming visitors to skate along the Sunset Strip in an outdoor roller rink.

Related: From downtown to the Westside and beyond: Los Angeles hotels you can book on points

The rink is open daily, though if you visit on Saturdays you’ll be treated to music from live DJs who most certainly have a few early ’80s disco tunes in rotation. The rink also has theme nights planned throughout the summer.

Advance tickets are available online and start at $13.50 for weekday sessions and $18.50 on the weekend.

Frisch’s Roller Rink — Cincinnati

Men roller skating
(Photo courtesy of 3CDC)

Frisch’s Big Boy – a popular Midwest burger chain that originated in Cincinnati – is celebrating its 75th year with a birthday party so big they had to shut down the city streets. The restaurant chain partnered with the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation to bring a roller rink to downtown Cincinnati’s Court Street Plaza.

Frisch’s Roller Rink is open on select weekends between now and Labor Day at Court Street Plaza, though the three-year partnership between Frisch’s and 3CDC could see the rink pop up in other Cincy hot spots in the future.

Admission is only $2 per person and skate rental is $5. Advance reservations are not required.

The DiscOasis in Central Park — New York City

Outdoor disco roller rink
(Image courtesy of David Korins)

When you visit New York City, you may be tempted to go on a carriage ride or see the animals at the Central Park Zoo, but your first stop should be The DiscOasis at Wollman Rink for some summertime roller-skating.

Related: Your guide to the can’t-miss holiday happenings in New York City

You can only move and groove at The DiscOasis through Oct. 1 and, we promise, the Central Park Zoo isn’t going anywhere. The rink is open Wednesday through Sunday for daytime and evening sessions. At night, the rink’s art installations go day-glo and glittering lights shine as you skate.

Related: A grande dame gets a makeover: A review of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park

Ticket prices vary by date and time, but range from about $16 to $65 per session.

Aloha Roller Rink Summer Sunset Skate — San Jose, California

Outdoor roller rink
(Image courtesy of Aloha Roller Rink)

Aloha Roller Rink is a popular skating rink with multiple locations in the San Jose area. Now through Sept. 4 it is taking over the outdoor Roosevelt Park hockey rink for Summer Sunset Skate sessions.

The rink is open Saturday and Sunday evenings, with themed skate parties every Sunday. Admission is $15 per person and skate rentals are $5 for rollerblades or $3 for quad skates. If you prefer to watch, spectator admission is $3.

Flipper’s at the Rink, Rockefeller Center — New York City

(Photo courtesy of Flipper’s at the Rink/Facebook)

When you think of skating at Rockefeller Center, you probably think of the version that involves shiny silver blades, warm coats and a dazzling Christmas tree in the background, but this summer, it’s all about boogying down on four wheels.

Related: Roller skating and a record store: Is Rockefeller Plaza NYC’s new summer hot spot?

Flipper’s at the Rink is open daily at Rockefeller Center between now and October, with themed nights and special events throughout the skating season. Tickets start at $20 for adults and $12 for kids. Skate rental is $10 per person.

Bottom line

You don’t have to be a “Stranger Things” fan to get down with standing up on four wheels. Roller-skating is a pastime as American as apple pie and baseball and we hope it’s here to stay.

Whether you can jam with the best of them or haven’t strapped on a pair of skates in decades, we guarantee you will have a good time and lots of laughs at these pop-up roller rinks.

Featured image courtesy of BeauMonde Originals for Center City District.

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