UPDATED 12/30/18: This post was written in 2016. As of December 2018, I have not seen Tiny Tot Skate & Bounce on the schedule for a few weeks. The rink still offers open skate and skating lessons for all ages. Check their schedule for times.
I am totally a child of the 80’s and I grew up rollerskating. I remember my mom taking my sisters and I to the skating rink on Friday nights. I’d strap on my Fisher Price Grow With Me Skates, that clicked as I moved, and I’d skate my little heart out to some Tiffany.
Well, roller skating may sadly be a dying trend for some; but a little piece of me has a hard time letting go. I am super uncoordinated and couldn’t skate now if my life depended on it, but I am still making sure my boy learns what skating is.
Last year, I found out that Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink in Vernon had a special Toddler Time skating hour, called “Tiny Tot Skate & Bounce”, and I just had to check it out. They run the event every Thursday morning, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. It’s basically an open play with skating for toddlers and preschoolers. The admission for the event is just $6.25 and it includes skate rental.
We went for the first time last fall, just a month after my poor child learned to walk! I’m awful, I know. Naturally, he was NOT feeling the roller skating love.
So, I waited another year, but then we tried again!
Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink is located right near I-84 in Vernon, Connecticut. It’s right off the exit and pretty easy to find.
The skating rink has a pretty good size parking lot, and both times we visited, we had no issues with parking.
I brought our stroller in with us, just because a 35 lb child is a lot to carry. And I have a runner. It was a little challenging getting through the doors, but we made due. They have a couple signs right at their entrance regarding the rules: no smoking, no food or drinks, and no chewing gum. Can you imagine getting your skate stuck in gum? Yuck.
When you first enter, there is a small foyer with some offices, as well as flyers with information about special events and skating lessons. There are also additional rules for you to read before entering, and again, a reminder of no chewing gum!
The admission desk is right through the doors from the foyer. The cost for the Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink’s Tiny Tot Skate & Bounce is $6.25 for your child. This includes admission, skate rental, use of all the play equipment and bounce house, a drink and a snack! That is one heck of deal!! You, the parent, are free. However, if you want to skate, you do have to pay for your skate rental. Also, they are CASH ONLY, so come prepared.
Right when you walk in you’ll see that they have lockers available.
There are also a few arcade games right near the entrance. We skipped those, even though I do love a good arcade!
We decided to start right with skating since that is why we came!
The whole rink is open to the little tots. It is a huge area – and your child is free to run and skate and play throughout the whole thing. It’s like a toddler’s dream come true. Plus, as a parent you’ll appreciate this: it’s almost fully enclosed. So they can run, but not escape. As a mom with a runner, I really, really appreciate things like this!
The rink is set up with a ton of activities: they can skate, use the bounce house, or play with the assortment of toys (balls, hula hoops, little push cars and other things on wheels). On the day we visited, there were several kids there but it was not overcrowded at all. So, there is plenty of toys for everyone, and there is a lot of room for skating as well.
The skate rentals for Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink are located right across from the front desk. They had several skates already laid out this time, but the last time we went, someone was back there and handed us the skates.
And as luck would have it, they had a pair of the grow with me skates! Just like when I was little! I love these since they fit right over his shoes. If you do choose to get a regular pair of skates, make sure you either bring your socks or wear some there!
Skates are on!
He was a little unsure at first, but he actually did a lot better this time! I barely had to hold his hand. He was pretty much just shuffling but the few times he lost his balance, he actually managed to stay standing. I was impressed! He may just be a natural!
Don’t get me wrong… we had our share of falls!
He stayed in his skates for about 10 minutes, which, in toddler minutes, is a long time! Since he had the special skates on, it was easy to just pop them off so he could go play!
He had to get his hands on one of those gigantic bouncy balls! And of course, we tried the hula hoop! What fun!
He liked the scooters!
I really want one of these!
This, he wasn’t too sure off. It was pedal based so he couldn’t quite figure it out either.
The rules are standard: no shoes of course.
Normally, my boy doesn’t go into bounce houses yet, but after checking it out for a few minutes, he surprised me when he climbed in! He literally went in and came out, but that was the first time he’d ever done that! I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not… does that mean I have to start renting one of these for his birthday parties??
We spent a good hour skating and then playing with all the different toys they had set up.
Also included with your child’s admission is a snack and a drink! I think that is just awesome! After plenty of time playing, we headed over to grab something to eat. The snack bar itself isn’t open during the toddler time, instead they have the snacks set up on a table. These include little wrapped muffins and donuts. Oh, and they have coffee for us parents too! Thank you very much!
There is a lot of seating over by the snack bar.
He was enjoying that muffin!!
Right near the food court, I noticed there are party rooms available for rent in case you want to recreate the 1980’s and have a totally rad skate party! Check out Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink’s website for more information on holding a party at the skating rink!
Before we left, we checked out the bathroom. There are women’s and men’s rooms. There is no changing table though.
We had a good time in those 2 hours. Ron-A-Roll Skating Rink really has created a great event for the toddlers! But wow, I was tired! (Two year olds do that to you). This has become one of those outings that I think we will try to do often. It’s a bit of a drive for us, BUT it’s so cheap, it’s easy entertainment and it’s safe. Plus, it’s fun! If you haven’t tried this yet, it is something to absolutely add to your to-do list. The event is held year round – so when you are feeling cooped up in the winter, take a drive out here! Or if it’s a hot summer, this is a great place to go to get cool! I mean really, is there ever a bad time to go roller skating?
This about sums it up…
Ron-A-Roll Skating Center – 85 South Frontage Road, Vernon CT
Tiny Tot Skate & Bounce is held on Thursday mornings at
9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (updated 2017)
See their up to date schedulefor any changes.
$6.25 $6.75 (updated 2017) which includes skate rental
Parents are free – however, if you wish to rent skates, that will cost extra
- Skating Rink is open for use – toys are available for play
- Bounce House
- Strollers allowed in skating rink and on the rink itself
- Skates are available for use for kids
- Dress code is enforced- no hats or any head coverings (helmets are allowed)
- Parking is available for free
- Bathrooms available, no changing tables
- Party rooms available for rent
- Food and drinks are not allowed inside- also no chewing gum!
A few additional tips:
- Wear comfortable clothes and bring socks!