Roller Skating! It’s Healthy and Fun

As a young girl growing up in the suburbs of San Jose, I spent a lot of my free time playing outdoors with friends, playing jacks on the sidewalk, bicycling down the street, or roller skating. My mother thought roller skating was so important that when my parents were looking for a new home to buy, my mom told my dad that we had to buy a house in the suburbs, and not the foothills where he wanted to live, because we needed to have a sidewalk so that I could roller skate. Sure enough, one of my favorite past-times did become roller skating.

Our house was built on a small “hill,” which made our driveway one of the popular places to skate or do other rolling activities because you could go down it really fast. I also spent a lot of time roller skating up and down the sidewalks, trying not to trip over the cracks and picking myself up off the sidewalk when I did. Roller skating at the local rink was also a popular activity when I was young and is still a popular activity today.

All Photos: Bestsy Erickson, Essence Photography,

The North State is fortunate to have two roller rinks to choose from, Redding’s Viking Skate Country and Cal Skate Chico. For older teens and adults, Mt. Shasta, Redding and Chico each have women’s roller derby teams (see resources section for info).

Not only does roller skating promote exercise, it also gets children away from their electronic devices, and is a safe place where kids can be with their friends and enjoy music. “Skating is a fun way for a child to get out from behind a screen and get moving,” says Marianne Johannessen, owner of Viking Skate Country in Redding. “Another great benefit is that anyone can do it. You don’t have to have great skills to have fun,” she adds.

November starts Viking Skate’s special events season; they are open on November 12, Veterans Day, and during Thanksgiving break – they even offer “Skate Your Turkey Off” sessions on Thanksgiving Day. On Saturday nights, Viking Skate Country offers “Skate and Dance” events featuring a two-hour skate session followed by a two-hour dance session.

You can also rent the entire rink for special occasions; options include a DJ and party hostess.

Children love celebrating their birthday at skating rinks. Viking offers three birthday party rooms and two different party options; the most popular plan includes cake, soda, admission for 10, a party hostess and a clean-up crew.

“When School is out, Cal Skate Chico is in,” states Scott Andrews, general manager of Cal Skate Chico and Fun Land. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, it’s a great place for children and families to spend school vacation time.

Cal Skate is open all week during Thanksgiving vacation, and like Viking, they offer “Skate Your Turkey Off” sessions on Thanksgiving Day. They are also open during the two-week winter break. Cal Skate also hosts birthday parties, with packages that include Round Table pizza and Baskin Robbins ice cream. It’s easy to book the party online. Andrews notes that it’s a healthy way to spend your birthday.

Some other programs offered by the rink are roller hockey (for youth and adults) and artistic skating clubs with members ages 4 to 74. The club participates in events and tournaments at state and national levels. You can join the club to compete, or just participate for recreational or personal benefit. For preschool age kids, the rink has two special programs: Pre-school Skate and Roo’s Zoo.

Roller derby was first made popular back in the 1970s and continues to be an exciting sport to participate in. The teams welcome new members year-round, and train players of all levels. Players typically must be 18 to join, but just watching the fast-paced skating can be an entertaining activity for the whole family. Most of the teams give back to the community by playing special fundraising events throughout the year.

Skating is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy at any age. I have a friend who fondly remembers my grandmother putting on skates at the age of 70 and skating down the driveway of my house. It’s a sport that both children and adults can share together, and is a safe, healthy and pleasurable way for everyone to get some exercise!

[sws_green_box box_size=”590″] INDOOR ROLLER SKATING RINKS

Cal Skate Chico
2465 Carmichael Dr.
(530) 343-1601

Viking Skate Country in Redding
735 Auditorium Dr.


Mt. Shasta Mighty Rollers:
Nor Cal Roller Girls:
Redding Rollergirls:
Shasta Roller Derby: [/sws_green_box]

Darla Greb Mazariegos
About Darla Mazariegos

Writer Darla Greb Mazariegos is a mother of three and part of the North State Parent staff.

Comment Policy: All viewpoints are welcome, but comments should remain relevant. Personal attacks, profanity, and aggressive behavior are not allowed. No spam, advertising, or promoting of products/services. Please, only use your real name and limit the amount of links submitted in your comment.

Leave a Reply