Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center rolls into spring with a roller rink

Going for a spin around Prospect Park’s new 32,000-square-foot roller rink can quickly become addictive.

That was the goal, noted Eric Landau, vice president of government and external affairs for the Prospect Park Alliance, as he watched skaters take to the concrete for the first time during opening weekend on Saturday, April 12.

“Roller skating is great because everyone can do it,” he explained. “The vision of this entire project was to transform what was an old, four-months-per-year ice skating facility into a destination for the borough.”

Situated on one of two rinks at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, the new roller rink has been converted from a smooth icy surface into a smooth concrete surface, where skaters young and old, new and wheel-worn, are now donning bright green, orange and red skates.

“I haven’t been on roller skates in 30 years, but I haven’t fallen,” exclaimed Mari Cossaboom of Brooklyn Heights. “All the music is from the ‘80s, so it brings me back. It makes me feel like a kid again.”

Brooklyn kids who were getting that feeling themselves for the first time agreed that the prospect of trying something new was exciting.

“I’ve never really gone roller skating, but I like ice skating,” said Charlie Rennert, 12, after taking his first roll around rink. “It’s pretty fun and is a lot harder than I thought. I feel like on roller blades, it’d be easier to turn.”

Quinn Rennert, nine, was all smiles and eager to get out on the concrete for the first time. Her goals for the morning? “To go around without falling,” she grinned.

According to the team of skate guards—like lifeguards, but for skating—the most common questions are about how to keep your balance and how to keep a reasonable constant speed. Some of their basic tips are to: bend your knees, walk like a penguin, and skate side-to-side.

If you do fall, the skate guards will help you get right back up. And to hear some first-time skaters tell it, once you’ve fallen down, it’s easier to keep yourself up afterwards. Either that or it is addictive enough that you just want to keep practicing.

“I think it’s a way to make ourselves go faster than our own feet,” explained Emily Park Smith, who has been skating since she was a child in Minnesota. “You get the feeling of motion, the wind in your face.”

“I haven’t skated much in five years, since moving to New York, but I got fancy skates a year and a half ago and am still making friends with them,” she said. “The hills in the park make me less confident that I can stop, so I’m really excited to have a rink where I can practice. I bought an annual pass the moment it opened.”

Roller skating season runs through mid-October, with weekday (Monday through Thursday) skating hours from 2 to 6 p.m., Friday hours from 2 to 10 p.m., Saturday hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday hours from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

As of Memorial Day on Monday, May 26, the second rink will be opened for water play, featuring 32 water jets and a half-inch deep wading area across the rink for children ages 12 and under.

Admission is $8 on weekdays and $6 on weekends, skate rentals are $6, and helmet rentals are $5. Classes are available for children and adults in roller skating, roller hockey, and roller derby. For more details, visit

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