My two figure skating daughters just went roller skating for the first time at the Laurel Roller Skating Center and are now converts to the sport. This facility, near the Laurel Racetrack and Historic Laurel, has been around for around thirty years.
I was a little nervous when we arrived since so many young men were loitering on the outskirts of the parking lot. Once inside, I felt more comfortable. The no frills facility has little atmosphere but completely serves its purpose. It reminded me of most bowling alleys. There’s a carpeted area for putting on skates (no food allowed here) and an uncarpeted area with a refreshment stand, gumball machines, and arcade games.
First, buy your admission and skate rental tickets at the ticket counter. You’re welcome to bring your own skates but they have to be inspected so that they don’t harm the wood floor. The brakes on my inline skates were taped up to protect the floor. Wear long pants and socks. If you forget socks, you can buy them for $2.12. My girls were the only people in the arena with helmets but it’s not a bad idea for protection. Fifty cent (two quarter) lockers are available to store your valuables. If you don’t have change, there’s a change machine. Put your shoes in the cubbies and jackets and coats on the hooks.
We went to the special 1-4 p.m. summer session held Tuesdays through Fridays. For a complete schedule of sessions, check the website. Almost all the skaters were day campers. I expected a chaotic crowd of wild ice hockey-type skaters but the campers were very well behaved and it wasn’t too crowded. The air conditioner was working great and created a gentle breeze. A skating guard was on the rink the entire time and skated over immediately whenever anyone fell. Be careful getting on and off the rink, the slight slope of the carpet makes it the easiest place to take a spill.
The music, a mix of hip hop, top 40, and r & b, seems blaring at first but once you’re on the rink, it’s energizing. In mid-session, the lights dimmed and they played the “Charlie Brown”line dance, which no one knew how to do. A disco ball is in the center of the rink for evening sessions.
No gum, outside food, or drinks are allowed inside. Kids cannot be carried on the rink. I would recommend this activity for ages four and up.
The Skating Center offers lessons for the very reasonable price of $20 for a month of lessons, two days a week. Birthday parties include admission and skate rental for the birthday child and ten guests, soda, and ice cream cups, all for $100. Pizza is available for an extra charge. You can bring your own birthday cake.
Roller skating is a fun and different activity and provides a real workout. It reminded me of how much I used to enjoy roller skating as a kid and into my twenties. My ten year-old loved roller skating and said repeatedly “when can we go again.” My younger one loved it almost as much.
Admission & Food
Admission is $6 and the skate rental is $3. Restrooms do not have changing tables. There’s a water fountain near the refreshment stand. Pizza is $2.10, pretzels, $2, popcorn and candy, $1.55, Coca-Cola fountain drinks, $1.75-2.25, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream $1.75.
Getting There and Parking
The Skating Center is located off of Route 1. For directions, see the website. There is ample parking in front.