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The Ultimate LA Family Guide ™
Skateland and Roller Skating in Los Angeles
An institution since 1958, Skateland in Northridge, is your first bet for finding out about roller skating. The address for Skateland is 18140 Parthenia St. I have happy memories from when I was young, skating there with my friends and family back in the 80s and I think 1 if not 2 of my birthday parties were at Skateland. They still have the cool lights of the roller rinks of the past and it definitely brings back memories for parents no matter where they used to skate.
I went with more than a little trepidation because Madison and Logan have never roller skated before and they are still young. I was also worried that they would only be renting rollerblades and not the traditional 4-wheels that I think are much easier to learn on and skate with. In fact, I only saw 4 wheelers there and if they even rent 2 wheelers then I didn’t see any out on the rink.
The motivation for going skating was a birthday party given by a student in Madison’s classroom. There were two parties being given at the same time and lots of kids were already skating when we got there. At the far end of the rink, an area had been roped off and there was a big bounce house with kids jumping in it. This seemed to be a great birthday party idea given that it gives yet another activity for children to do who are not skating at a particular moment or who might not be inclined to skate.
Logan picked up skating right away and while he pretty much stuck to just shuffling along, balance was not an issue and he was fairly self-confident and enjoyed the challenge. Madison however was not a happy camper and she was in the same situation as many of the other kids. The rink does loan out these PVC walkers with wheels on them but my recommendation is to avoid those because they kind of give a false sense of security and make the kids lean way down and over to be able to push them along. I was happy that Madison’s good friend showed up and wanted to skate with her because otherwise she would have been happy to take the skates off and join many of her other classmates in the bounce house.
While the birthday girl obviously enjoyed skating and had fun going around with some other girls, many kids were falling and crying continuously which to me was a little disturbing but for the most part they got up and kept on going. After all like learning how to ride a bike, at first you might take a few falls but then you learn how to ride and enjoy riding for life. I should tell you that there was at at least one employee on skates clearly visible at all times ready to come to anyone assistance and to enforce proper skating etiquette. They also had a few games planned for the children on the rink that I thought seemed very fun.
After the games, it was time to move into the party room for pizza and cake. The room is very big with lots of seating. Skateland does offer private parties but they are a lot pricier. A party that is shared with other groups will run you $11.50-18 per person depending on the day and time, but you buy 10 skaters and get ten for free.
There are a lot of deals around town for Skateland including an option to buy skates at Skateland and get vouchers for future skating that equal the cost of the new skates.
Their website at http://www.skateland.net/coupons.htm also offers several coupons ranging from a dollar off to 2 for 1 depending on the time and day of entrance.
My opinion here is that first grade is just too young for a roller skating party because many of the kids will have never tried skating before and falling down over and over is quite painful! Kids a little bit older between 9-13 would probably be a little better bet.
If you have a budding skater at your house and you’re looking for places to go skating beyond Skateland, you should check out World on Wheels on Venice Blvd. or perhaps Skate Depot in Cerritos.
Another skating MUST and also an outdoor experience is the Strand in Venice. There is a 22 mile path that runs next to the shops and restaurants in Venice through Santa Monica and the people watching here is so much fun. If you find yourself in the area without skates, check out Boardwalk Skate and Surf on Ocean Front Walk in Venice which has roller blades for rent staring at $7.00.
Logan and my husband have done the path with their bikes and stopped for pizza along the way. They had a lot of fun and the scenery can’t be beat.
Balboa Park in the valley is another place where bikes and skate coexist along this park smack dab in the middle of the San Fernando Valley. This location has several interesting places to stop along the trail including the lake, the model airplanes in the nearby field and the updated outdoor play equipment around the park.
Our recommendation at Lawithkids.com is to check out Skateland a few times, buy your own skates and to also try skating in your neighborhood and other outdoor locations. Skating is a great form of exercise and it will be a lot of fun for your kids once they master the art of not falling down!