Lace-up your roller-skates because it’s time to get back on this bandwagon. This nostalgic sport has become the hot new trend again, and it’s easy to see why. You can get outside for some fun solo exercise and or join a group of socially distanced skaters to roll with. There are four roller-skating rinks (three of them are even outdoors), fun roller-skating meet-ups, and many scenic flat, paved pathways to just roll on at your own pace. From deejay discos to family-friendly or solo rides, here’s where to find some of San Diego’s finest rinks and boardwalks to keep the good times rolling.

SAN DIEGO ROLLER SKATING RINKS

San Diego has four roller-skating rinks where you can roll into your groove on eight wheels for some throwback fun. They’ll usually have some good skating tunes and a few of them even offer lessons for beginners or re-beginners.

Good To Know Before You Roll:
Three roller rinks have skate rentals if you’re not quite sure if you want to commit to your own pair yet. Most of them even have toddler and kid sizes, but it’s best to call ahead and confirm before you go.

-You should definitely buy some protective gear. They usually come in a set to protect your knees, wrists, elbows and head. Note, none of these places rent out protection gear, so bring your own.

-All of these rinks require waivers, so if you can fill them out before you go, you’ll save yourself some time so the kiddos can just get out and skate already.

-Plan ahead because most of the rinks require advanced sign-ups, but some allow walk-ins if there’s space available.

Derby United

San Diego’s newest, funnest and funkiest outdoor roller-skating spot cranks out tunes for all ages as you roll around the rink. They opened in early 2020 just before the pandemic as a roller-skating derby training center but quickly changed gears as roller-skating became one of the latest pandemic hobbies. You can sign up for classes of all kinds for beginners, intermediate, advanced, dance skate, kids, kids' tricks & skills and many more. You’ll “skate in a relaxed environment with fun music and guided instruction hosted by experienced skaters.”

HOURS: all ages open skate on Wed 8-10 pm and Friday and Saturdays 5-7 pm, check the calendar online for other skate classes and times

COST: $15 per session for open skate or get a punch card for $12/session; $20 for classes or get a punch card for $17/class

MASKS: not currently required but it’s your choice, recommended for those who are unvaccinated when in close contact with others

BYO SKATES: Yes, but rentals are available at no charge (they even have toddler sizes)

LESSONS: Yes

RSVP: Yes, no walk-ins allowed

WAIVER: Yes, fill it out online before you go

Derby United
6060 Federal Blvd., 92114
610-255-5666
Online: derbyunited.com

SkateWorld

Your classic indoor old-school roller-skating rink is still around and keeping their original 1975 vibes alive. The nostalgia of childhood memories can be found here as you skate around to music under the disco ball and grab an icee and a pretzel when your skating legs need a break. The snack bar is open and serving up the usual pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, soda and more.

HOURS: all ages skating Thursdays-Sundays + Tuesdays, see schedule online for hours and other skating sessions. Skate School is on Saturdays from 9-11 am for a 40-minute lesson followed by a 20-minute practice skate.

COST: $15 per entry includes rentals if needed; $20 for Skate School lessons; $75 Monthly Membership for 30 days of unlimited skating

MASKS: required for unvaccinated guests

BYO SKATES: Yes, but rentals are available

LESSONS: Yes

LOCKERS: Yes, $4 for unlimited access

RSVP: Yes, but you can walk in if space is available

SkateWorld
6907 Linda Vista Rd., Clairemont
858-560-9349
Online: skateworldsandiego.com

Escondido Sports Complex

Escondido Sports Complex offers North County residents a great place to get in on the roller-skating action. It’s one of the many activities offered at this multi-sport complex. Their roller-skating days, times and capacity are limited because the rink is shared with hockey. But it’s the cheapest roller-skating ticket around, so it might be worth making a reservation.

HOURS: Wednesday 8-10 pm; Saturday 2-4 pm and 5-7 pm; Sunday 2-4 pm (check before you go)

COST: $5 per entry

CAPACITY: limit of 24 skaters per session

MASKS: required at all times, even while skating

BYO SKATES: Yes, no rentals are available at this time

RSVP: Yes, but you can walk in if space is available

Escondido Sports Complex
3315 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido
760-839-5426
Online: sportscenter.escondido.org

Viejas Skating Rink

Skate at Southern California’s largest outdoor skating rink in Alpine. It’s at the Viejas Outlet Mall, so you can get in some shopping and let the kiddos play in the splash pad to cool off after a long skate.

HOURS: Thursday – Sunday from 4-9 pm (weather permitting). Roller-skating is seasonal here and the latest season dates announced are from January 8th–September 6th (this rink turns into ice-skating for the holiday months).

COST: $10 per entry, includes rentals if needed; $99 Season Pass

BYO SKATES: Yes, but rentals are available too

Viejas Skating Rink
5000 Willows Rd., Alpine
619-659-2070
Online: https://viejas.com/skating-rink

ROLLER-SKATING MEET-UPS

Doing anything with friends is way more fun and the roller-skating community in San Diego is one of the best. Everyone is welcoming for all ages and levels so just show up, have fun and you might make a few new friends. Oh, and there will likely be some live DJ music and a few skate lines to jump into. Here are a few spots around town with known roller-skating meet-up groups.

These are subject to change and they’re usually announced on their Facebook groups at Balboa Family Rollers and Roller Skate San Diego (among others) so check ahead before you go.

Balboa Park at the new Palisades Plaza in front of the Air & Space Museum
Wednesday and Saturday nights from approx. 6-9 pm, usually with a DJ
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park

Civita Park in Mission Valley
Saturdays from approx. 3-6 pm
7960 Civita Blvd., Mission Valley

East Mission Bay, next to the San Diego Mission Bay Resort Hotel
Sunday evenings from approx. 4-9 pm
1775 E Mission Bay Dr., Mission Bay

Martin Luther King Skatepark in Oceanside
Friday evenings
4300 Mesa Dr., Oceanside

ROLLER-SKATING PATHWAYS

If you have your own skates and are just looking for a good place to roll, there are several to choose from. Below you’ll find a list of local paths around town that are known to be flat and will make for a smooth ride.

COASTAL: Mission Beach, Mission Bay Park, Embarcadero (near Seaport Village), Liberty Station (Point Loma), Shelter Island (Point Loma), Harbor Island and Spanish Landing (across from the airport)

NORTH: Lakeview Park (San Marcos), Martin Luther King Skatepark (Oceanside)

SOUTH: Silver Strand (south of Coronado), Bayshore Bikeway (Imperial Beach), Sunset View Park (Chula Vista)

EAST: Lake Murray (La Mesa), Lake Miramar, Mission Trails on Father Junipero Serra Rd.

—Bonnie Taylor

 

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