Ready to skate? Take a spin at these Kansas City roller rinks | KCUR 89.3
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Roller skating has grown in popularity in 2020, with many people learning (or relearning) to skate during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But for some in Kansas City, roller skating is more than a passing hobby.
At the Winnwood Skate Center, located north of the river, long-time skaters and newcomers alike roll onto the rink most nights of the week. Tuesdays from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., Winnwood hosts an adults-only skating party with music from a rotating roster of local DJs. The skate center gives skating lessons and also organizes family evenings.
Besides being a fun hobby, roller skating can also be a great way to stay active. You can lace up your skates for a great workout instead of following the same exercise routine. And as long as you have the right wheels for your skates, you can do it indoors at the rink or outside when the weather is nice.
If you’re looking to get started with roller skating, here are some tips to get you started.
First, if you’ve never skated before – or can’t remember the last time you did – you might benefit from a few skating lessons.
Winnwood Skating Center holds lessons for new skaters every Saturday at 10:30 am. It offers separate lessons for children and adults to learn basic roller skating skills, such as starting, stopping and recovering from a fall. Lessons are $10 for adults and $5 for children, plus $5 to rent skates if you don’t have your own.
On Wednesday you can head to skate town at Overland Park for group skate lessons. Beginner lessons start at 4:30 p.m. and an intermediate and advanced skating lesson at 5 p.m. All classes are $10 and skate rentals are $3.
Looking for a more do-it-yourself beginner solution? Or maybe you just need a few basic refreshers to get started. dirty skate school on YouTube gives you a crash course in roller skating and inline skating. In a series of 10 videos, longtime instructor and skater Deborah Harry takes you from the absolute basics to backward skating, spinning, crossovers and more.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, the real fun begins with practice. Whatever the day, you can probably find an indoor adult skate session somewhere in the Kansas City area.
Winnwood reserves several sessions for adult skating and recently adopted a policy requiring all skaters under the age of 18 to be accompanied by an adult chaperone after 5 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays are reserved for adult skating from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and feature music from local DJs. On Fridays, you can shine with black light skating. There are open skating sessions on Saturdays and Sundays, the latter being ideal for beginners looking for a more relaxed skating session. Check Winnwood Facebook for a weekly program.
Tuesdays are also adult skate nights at Skate City Shawnee from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Skate City Overland ParkThursdays are reserved for adult sessions from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both venues also offer open weekend skating sessions.
Family and child-friendly skating
If you’re looking for an affordable family activity that doesn’t involve screens and is fun for everyone, skating is an ideal family outing. Most Kansas City-area skate centers host family nights throughout the week, sometimes offering special discounts such as reduced admission fees or free skate rentals.
Winnwood Skate Center offers family nights on Wednesdays from 6-9 p.m. If you’re looking for a bargain, Winnwood’s Family Night Pizza Special includes a large pizza, a pitcher of soda and four entrees with skate rentals for $30. You can also take the family to open session skates on the weekends for $5 admission with a $3 rental fee.
Friday evenings at Skate City Shawnee are reserved for families from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Groups or families of three or more skaters can earn a free large cheese pizza, with a $7 entry fee and $3 rental fee. Skate City Shawnee also hosts all-day skate sessions for kids and families during federal holidays and when school is out of session.
River Roll Skating Center in Riverside, Missouri, offers weekend morning family skate sessions at a reduced cost, as well as family skate nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This rink also hosts discounted skating sessions on federal holidays and even on snow days.
B&D South Skate Center in Independence, Missouri, bills itself as a “family roller rink” offering open skate sessions throughout the week and hosting private parties as well.
Because who doesn’t love a birthday party on a roller rink? All of these skating centers will be happy to host your child’s birthday party or other private event, as long as you call and plan ahead.
Local shops and communities
The world of skating extends far beyond the confines of an indoor rink. If you’re looking for your next adventure, Kansas City has plenty to offer in terms of outdoor skating, roller derby and skating.
But first, if you haven’t purchased them already, you’ll need your own skates. Venturing outside requires special wheels that are softer and specifically designed for outdoor use.
And while falling on an indoor rink can hurt your pride, falling on the sidewalk can lead to some pretty harmful scratches, bruises, and even broken bones. It is worth investing in protective gear including knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet before heading out to any location. outdoor skating rinks in Kansas City.
For all your rollerblades, inline skates and ice skates needs, Heritage skates is the place to go. Located at 2601 Madison Ave. in Kansas City, Legacy Skates offers indoor and outdoor skates that range in price from under $100 to over $300. You can also stock up on protective gear and spare parts here. It’s a great resource for new skaters and those looking to get more involved in the local skating community.
One way to meet local skating fans is to join a roller derby league. A predominantly female sport, roller derby has a strong following in Kansas City and is home to two separate roller derby leagues.
There is the KC Roller WarriorsKansas City’s “first non-profit flat track roller derby league”, which began in 2004 and grew into an organization that today houses several teams of players of varying skill levels.
See the KC Roller Warriors in action in this extract from Startland News. If you want to join or learn the rules of roller derby, you can register for the next warriors in training session or To attend a game.
Kansas City is also home to the Fountain City Roller Derby, formerly known as Dead Girl Derby. Founded in 2009, Fountain City Roller Derby now has over 100 members of all genders and backgrounds, making up four women’s teams and four mixed teams.
If you’re looking to get into roller derby, check out the league recruitment calendar and bootcamp information.
Local skaters have also started creating Facebook groups in an effort to build a strong community of skaters in the Kansas City area. the KC/Lawrence Skate Gang is open to “all skate girls, all genders”, hosting local meetups and sharing skate videos with over 1,000 group members.
It’s just one of the many places you can meet new people on your skating adventures around Kansas City.
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