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 No need for time machine thanks to roller rink

Disco balls hang from the ceiling at Hot Wheels. Photos by Melissa Lowrie


  Melissa Lowrie

Canoe Kids
By Melissa Lowrie

Seems like yesterday I was writing about my inability to get out of my neighborhood because of snow. Well, like it or not, summer is here and parents ... we’ve got three months to fill.

Aside from camps, bible school, vacation and visits to grandma’s house, we’ll need some day trips. I’d like to start this summer with a trip down Memory Lane.

Skate World, Skateland, Skate Corral ... whatever the local skating rink was called in your town growing up, I’m sure it holds many fond memories of youth.

Roller skating is back; or did it ever leave? Maybe there was a lull between the 80s and now, but judging by the crowds at Hot Wheels Skate Center in Woodstock, it’s as popular as ever.

The look of the roller rink really didn’t veer too far off my memory. Bright lights, bright colors, arcade, loud music, snack bar and all levels of skaters. There’s more Katy Perry than Journey coming from the speakers, but music changes with the times I suppose.

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Pearl Fitts and puppy had a fun time at the rink.   Addy Fitts (left), a regular at Hot Wheels, along with Miranda Lowrie enjoy a Saturday skate.

One new development is the rampant use of triangles. Someone (brighter than I) put pieces of PVC pipe together, added wheels to the bottom and introduced them to beginner skaters. It’s essentially a walker with wheels to lean on for support. They come in all sizes and can be rented along with skates at the rink. I hope that idea was trademarked and someone cashed in.

  The triangles are put to good use.

In any event, the triangles are great for kids that are new to skating.

We visited on a Saturday and the place was packed. There were plenty of parties going on as well as general admission skaters. The group of 6th-grade girls I was with had a ball. There were all levels of skaters in the group, but all looked relatively steady by the end of the session. (Triangles may have been used, but I won’t mention that.)

Beginning June 1, the summer hours will be 10 a.m to 3 p.m. and the $6.50 admission fee will include lunch (a pizza slice, chips and a drink). Rental skates are $3. Evening hours and family skate nights are planned as well. For coupons and a current schedule visit

The Stuff Shop trades tickets for prizes.

Just off of Highway 92 at I-575, Hot Wheels Skate Center is easy to find and it isn’t far, maybe 45 minutes from Big Canoe. Skating is a fun way to spend an afternoon or evening and the whole family can enjoy the outing. And don’t worry moms and dads—you’ll remember—it’s just like riding a bike.

Add Hot Wheels to your list of things to do this summer when you need a break from the pool or the heat. If you don’t make it to Hot Wheels, try another outing with your Canoe Kids. Wherever you end up, have a great time. And Happy Summer!

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