High Line Roller Rink
Riverbank Skating Rink
Dance Skaters Skate Circle
We couldn't be more excited that roller-skating is having a resurgence in the city. Kids get to discover there's another reason to lace up besides ice-skating, while parents can wax nostalgic for the glory days of all-skate.
Cosponsored by Japanese clothing chain Uniqlo, which has a pop-up shop nearby, the 8,000-square-foot roller rink is situated under the former freight train tracks on the West Side. Kids can learn skating basics with family and friends or, if they're already pros, roll on to the head of the pack. Afterward, take a stroll on the High Line; we suggest making a pit stop at one of the many vendors along the way—People's Pops, La Newyorkina, L'Arte del Gelato and more Through Sept 26. The Lot, Tenth Ave at 30th St. $12, children under 13 $10. Prices include skate rental.
Riverbank State Park
Before converting to an ice-skating venue in late October or early November, the covered rink at the 28-acre green space hosts in-line and quad skaters of all ages. The uptown park—rising 69 feet above the Hudson River—also offers a sweet view of the Little Red Lighthouse, plus rides on the charming Totally Kid Carousel ($1 per ride), whose offbeat animals were designed by local children. Riverbank State Park, Riverside Dr at 145th St (212-694-3600, nysparks.state.ny.us). Rink admission: $1.50; skate rental: $6.
Roller Jam USA
This Staten Island rink hosts several open skate and family skate sessions throughout the week (Friday nights even include free pizza). On Sundays, the space turns into one big bounce house—for $10 per child, little ones can climb and slide in various inflatable bouncers. 236 Richmond Valley Rd between Arthur Kill Rd and Page Ave, Staten Island (718-605-6600, rollerjamusa.com). Rink admission: $6.50--$9.50; skate rental: $4.50.
With its rigorous hills and packed lanes, the Central Park Loop is perfect for experienced skaters. Kids who are taking a spin for the first time can head to Cherry Hill—the flat, paved area around the fountain is ideal for practicing new moves. Midpark at 72nd St, west of Bethesda Terrace (centralparknyc.org)
Dance Skaters Skate Circle
Can't help getting down when you're lacing up? Hit the pavement at Central Park's Skate Circle, where children can boogie on weekend afternoons while they skate to DJ-spun tunes. Enter at E 72nd or W 72nd St and follow the road across the park. The circle is just west of the bandshell, east of Strawberry Fields and Sheep Meadow. Most weekends 2:45--6:45pm. See cpdsa.org for schedule.
Hudson River Park
Kids can skate the smooth path that flanks Manhattan's West Side, gliding past dog runs, sports fields and kayaking spots. Beginners can grab fences and poles for stability or catch their breath on one of the park's many benches. Battery Park to 59th St (hudsonriverpark.org)
Jacob Riis Park
The park's concrete boardwalk, which runs along the ocean, offers skaters picturesque views. Those with more stamina can continue on to Marine Parkway Bridge on the four-mile greenway path that offers smooth sailing. Rockaway Beach Blvd at Channel Dr, The Rockaways, Queens (nyharborparks.org/visit/jari.html)
Newbies can stick to the quiet area of Center Drive near the top of Lookout Hill, while confident skaters will appreciate the wide lanes of the park's 3.3-mile loop (it's closed to motor vehicles every day through November). Enter park at Prospect Park South and 16th St (prospectpark.org).