For parents who grew up in the era of roller skating birthday parties to the rhythm of Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson, it’s a roll down memory lane to bring the family roller skating now. What might feel different, though, is how the Hudson Valley roller skating scene has grown into family fun centers that specialize in live action gaming. You can still host a child’s birthday party at them, but there’s also so much more.
Several of my own childhood birthday parties happened at Wood’n Wheel in Port Ewen, which celebrates its 43rd year of business this October. Adding to the maple wood rink, DJ, arcade, and snack bar, they now offer indoor laser tag, a rock wall, a gyroscope, and bumper cars, so your kids can put those couch cushions down and get their winter energy out somewhere else. On most Saturday mornings, there’s a special Tyke Time where kids ages six and under get free reign to navigate the skating floor on their own terms. Wood N Wheel has the traditional four-wheel skates, as well as inline skates. And they offer rolling frames to help new skaters get their footing without falling flat. Outdoor attractions are also available seasonally and weather permitting, so it’s a fun center that families can enjoy year-round.
Wood’n Wheel Family Fun Center at 365 Route 9W in Ulster Park: roller skating is $9.50-11 per person per session, not including skate rental, and less for other attractions; open weekends. For more info, visit their website.
Downstate in Orange County, the Castle Fun Center is a 10,000 square foot roller skating rink with light and sound shows. They incorporate raffles, games, and prizes into skating sessions, and guests are welcome to bring their own skates or rent quads and roller blades. New skaters can sign up for Beginners Skate Lessons on Thursday nights and Saturdays, which are free with paid skate session. Also in the park is a restaurant and pub, laser maze, and the Ballocity arena where all ages can blast floor canons and balance balls on jets of air. The Castle also hosts the Empire State Roller Derby for practices and games.
The Castle Fun Center at 109 Brookside Avenue in Chester: roller skating is $6-9 per person per session with $3.50-4.50 rentals, and varying prices for attractions; pre-load a Castle Card, which is good for all attractions and entertainment and never expires; Thursday Skate Sessions are just $1, and all activities are half-price on Wednesdays; open seven days a week. Visit their website for details.
Like that? Check out Hyde Park Roller Magic and Skate Time 209, too.