Where to Skate: Roller Rinks
There were few year-round indoor rollerskating rinks in the city to begin with, and unfortunately, due to a variety of factors — but often involving real estate values — almost all closed during the 2005-07 period.
For info about the one remaining rink in the city and some others nearby, the New York Times had an article in January 2011 that you might want to read. More recent is an interesting May 2016 article in the Daily News.
There are, however, at least three covered but seasonal rinks in parks within the city limits. Also, some neighborhood organizations my arrange regular skating sessions at gymnasiums during the colder months.
Inline skaters should note that roller rinks that have wooden and other non-concrete surfaces may have a restriction on skates that might damage the floor. Often this is in regards to exposed bolts in the frames, but there might be issues with glass fragments or other crud that might become embedded in your wheels when skating outdoors.
Chelsea Piers Roller Rinks
Pier 62, 22nd St. at West Side Hwy.
Rink no longer exists. After about ten years of use, the rink and skatepark on Pier 62 were ripped out in 2006. When the pier re-opened as part of the Hudson River Park facilties, it included a new skatepark but no rink.
Riverbank State Park
679 Riverside Drive at 145th St., Hamilton Heights
There is a smooth concrete rink in this public park overlooking the Hudson River, just northeast of the football/soccer field. It doubles as an ice and roller rink, with open rollerskating during the summer. Although the rink is partially open to the elements (there is a roof and a clear, Plexiglass fence about six feet high), sound doesn't seem to disperse much and it can get pretty noisy.
At times, the rink can be crowded with many folks from Harlem, Hamilton Heights and Washington Heights, the neighborhoods across Riverside Dr. The atmosphere is very much that of a local rink. Riverbank has also hosted rollerhockey sessions, but this may vary year to year.
Riverbank was completely renovated in 2014, with new skating surface, dasher boards, etc. The admission fee is cheap; skate rental may also be available.
The famed dance/roller club on West 18th St. closed in spring 2007. It re-opened very briefly as "Club 515" but not long later closed permanently.
Wollman Memorial Rink
Central Park Loop (east side) at approx. 63rd St.
Famous for ice skating during the winter, this rink used to be converted to roller use spring through autumn. As of 2015, it had been been at least ten years since Wollman offered any sort of summer skating program. Instead they turn the rink into a mini-amusement park during the warm weather months.
BK Express / BKLYN-Skates
Neighborhood group that organizes regular evening indoor skating sessions late fall to spring at the Salvation Army gym at 110 Kosciuszko St. in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The Nostrand Ave. stop of the G train is about two blocks away. Although the major goal is to serve the local community, the sessions also attract skaters from elsewhere about town, especially dance skaters for the Wednesday session.
For further info, contact BK Express at the numbers/addresses on their website, and not the Salvation Army.
Empire Roller Skating Center
The property was sold and the famed Crown Heights rink — allegedly the site where roller disco originated — closed permanently in April 2007.
Prospect Park (east side near Lincoln Rd. entrance)
Formerly the site of Kate Wollman Rink, Prospect's "LeFrak Center at Lakeside" complex includes two rink areas, one of which is open for roller skating in spring, summer, and fall while the other is ice year-round. The complex is recently (2013) rebuilt and renovated. The large skating area although open to the outdoors is covered.
Pier 2 Roller Rink
Brooklyn Bridge Park, 150 Furman St.
Indoor but seasonal rink — open April through October — that first opened in summer 2014. This is a full size rink located on one of the rebuilt park piers. The easiest way to get to the rink is to enter the park at Pier 1 — i.e., at Old Fulton St., below the Brooklyn Bridge — and go south about four blocks on the park paths.
236 Richmond Valley Road, Tottenville
Rink opened in July 2007 and renovated in early 2013. And unless we've lost track of things, RollerJam has been the only indoor, year-round roller rink in the city almost since it first opened.
Reported to be a bit small and has a non-wood floor, but has plenty of leather couches for relaxing when off your skates. It relatively quickly seemed to become fairly popular and draw good crowds.
The Skate Key
The Key was a rink in the Mott Haven neighborhood. It was closed permanently in March 2006 due to public nuisance problems (e.g., under-age drinking and gang-related activity).
E.J. Murray Memorial Rink
348 Tuckahoe Rd, Yonkers
Large covered facility that alternates between ice and roller/inline depending on the season. Roller/inline sessions are June through September. There is a big inline hockey program.
Broadway and Sheridan Ave., Hewlett
Open-air seasonal outdoor rink in southwest Nassau County. The park is about a mile down Broadway from the Lynbrook station of the LIRR, and the rink is in the far south end of the park, alongside Grant Pond.
14 Merrick Road, Lynbrook
Rink located at the corner of Merrick Rd. and Rocklyn Ave., close to Ocean Ave. It's about halfway between the Lynbrook and Rockville Center stations on the Long Island Rail Road, about three quarters of a mile from each. Merrick Road is very busy and the rink located on a curve, so trying to skate to the rink from the train station is probably a bad idea. Consider cabbing it if you have taken the LIRR.
Alternatively, the Nassau InterCounty N4 bus travels along Merrick Rd. and stops by the rink. You can catch the bus where it and the MTA subway E, J and Z trains all terminate at Jamaica Center.
United Skates of America
1276 Hicksville Rd. (Route 107), Seaford
Rink located about a mile and a half north of the Massapequa LIRR station.
Branch Brook Park
Seventh Ave and Clifton Ave, Newark
Indoor rink at the south end of Branch Brook Park, close to the intersection of I-280 and Clifton Ave. The rink is about a half mile from NJ Transit's Newark Broad St. Station. The speed group from the Empire Skate Club train here during the colder months.
Florham Park Roller Rink
192 Ridgedale Ave, Florham Park
Frenchtown Roller Rink
2995 State Highway 29, Frenchtown
Inline Skating Club of America
170 Schuyler Ave, North Arlington