Rainbow Roller Rink in North Tonawanda may be the best deal in town. I’ve taken my kids to Rainbow Rink many times over the years. It is always fun, clean and high energy. The music is pumping, kids and adults are skating ‘round and ‘round, having a ball.
It’s just a little too busy to bring little ones, though. It’s a bit dark, loud and fast for them. So, I was intrigued when I heard about Rollers and Strollers for preschool age kids and younger. It's held every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon. The cost is $5 per person which includes skate rental. For Rollers and Strollers you can bring anything with wheels into the rink for your kids to ride. Big wheels, bikes - anything. There also are several big bounce houses next to the rink.
We brought a stroller for Ella, 1, and a scooter for Emma, 4. My 19-year-old came along for the ride, too. We pretty much had the entire place to ourselves. It is a bit dark, but the cool disco lights and blaring Disney music fascinated my little ones. They played songs from “The Little Mermaid,” “Frozen,” “Sponge Bob SquarePants” and many others. It was fun to rock and roll.
Emma loved riding around and around on her scooter. We brought our own helmet. The baby wanted nothing to do with her wheels, so she just ran around the rink. Maria and I got skates – and everyone was having a ball just whipping around. Nicole Resweber of Amherst brought her 5-year-old daughter, Bella. They were the only other people there besides one staffer.
“It is not crowded and really that is perfect for Bella. It’s nice not to have to worry about older kids," Resweber said. "She pretty much has the entire floor. It’s perfect. And the fact that she can bring her bike or whatnot is great. The price is amazing, too.”
I agree with everything she said.
Bella and my Emma became fast friends and Emma even gave skating a try. They have the little bars - they look like walkers - that kids use when they are learning to skate. It was a lot of fun and skating is pretty easy to learn when you have the entire floor to yourself. I had fun, too. Skating (they have roller skates and roller blades) is great exercise.
The full snack bar service wasn't available, but we did get a bowl of popcorn and two fountain beverages for $4. The kids played in the bounce houses (there were two set up while we were there). It was clean, they have restrooms and the hours are perfect. It is a tad chilly – probably because they just turned the heat on and I’d imagine it takes a while to warm up a place of that size. There are tables and benches, plus video games.
The hardest part was getting my girls to leave. The price is right. The atmosphere is fun. It gets some of the bottled up energy out of the little squirts. Maybe most importantly, it is something you can do together. I’m sure it is a bit of a different experience if it is busier, but we found it so refreshingly different. We already have plans to go back.
101 Oliver St., North Tonawanda; rainbowrink.com