D.C.'s best roller skating spots
👋🏻 Hi, it's Chelsea! October is National Roller Skating Month and the D.C. area is full of ways to get going.
Why it matters: Roller skating is part of D.C.’s identity, particularly among Black residents. Many locals have grown up amid a myriad of indoor skating rinks that have since shuttered.
- Part of this vibrant history has been documented by the National African American Roller Skating Archive at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center.
Still, the outdoor Anacostia Skating Pavilion, and pop-up skating events at Hook Hall, The Wharf, and elsewhere can bring fun to veteran and amateur skaters alike.
💭 My thought bubble: I am a very amateur skater (if you saw me wipe out during Open Streets Shaw earlier this year, no you didn’t) but when I’m surrounded by other skaters I’m much more confident in myself. That’s why I love weekends at the Anacostia Skating Pavilion — it’s helpful to learn from more experienced skaters and it’s motivating to skate to great music.
What’s happening: The LinkUp DC hosts beginner-friendly and expert community skate events as well as lessons at the Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion.
- In the past, they’ve been a part of Art All Night and recently held a 2000s skate night last month where they collected school supplies for Southeast D.C. students.
Their last skate event of this season is from 4-8pm on Saturday, Oct. 29 and will feature a costume contest and music.
- Participants are asked to bring new and gently used coats and blankets to donate.
Or, if you just want to get the feel of a skating rink, head to the Anacostia Skating Pavilion in the afternoon during the week and from 9-5pm on weekends.
- Roller skates are free to rent with a valid I.D. so you don’t need to bring your own.
For those with in-line skates (the kind of skates that look like ice skates), the non-profit Washington Area Road Skaters meets up on Fridays and Sundays to skate several miles around D.C. with varying levels of difficulty. On a good day, the group has at least 25 skaters, zooming around the city.
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