During public skate sessions at SJCH Ice Center of Bakersfield, a SMG managed facility, staffers give experienced skaters a wide berth, but stay on hand to assist novices with the basics, including lacing up their skates and getting back up after taking a tumble on the ice.
Instruction continues at the skating school, where students of all levels and ages can enhance their skating skills during private lessons or 12-person classes with 12 free public skating sessions and progress reports after their first month. The climate-controlled center—always kept at below 60 degrees—also hosts 14-week youth hockey seasons and three divisions of adult hockey league, which accommodate recreational to top-tier players.
Along with action on the rink, SJCH Ice Center of Bakersfield keeps its pro shop stocked with figure skating and hockey apparel. The in-house technicians can spruce up skates with repair and sharpening services. After hockey games or skating practice, guests can reenergize with pizza, popcorn, and hot chocolate from the Slap Shot snack bar, which entertains visitors with video games such as Super Mario Goes Ice Fishing.
For more than 50 years, wheels have rolled across the hardwood rink at the original Rollerama on 34th Street. People who learned how to skate there as children—or shared a first kiss at the rink's edge—can now bring their own children to make new memories. The sport itself seems as popular as ever, given the crowds that routinely show up to glide around on rented skates and leisurely practice their triple axels. Both of Rollerama's current locations offer plenty of open skate times, along with classic food options such as pizza and hot dogs.
Skateland Inc.'s smooth surfaces create the perfect venue for roller-skating and inline skating during birthday parties or public skate sessions. For those who want to take their skills to the next level, Skateland Inc. also hosts a roller-derby team and an artistic club, whose members can practice for skating shows and team dances.
It's quite possible that many of the parents who bring their kids to RollerLand Skate Center spent their own childhoods at the rink. The Trevena family has run RollerLand for more than 30 years, long before America elected its first roller-skating president. In that time, the entertainment center has hosted countless parties, charity fundraisers, and regular skate sessions.
Today, RollerLand carries its past into the present. DJs play Top 40 hits as skaters roll across the 12,000 sq. ft. skating floor during open skates or Teen Nights on Fridays. Away from the rink, guests can find staple amenities, such as a concession stand that serves nachos and corndogs, arcade games that spew out redemption tickets, and colorful tubes that snake throughout a three-story play structure. One thing stands out, however¬—a large vault door that looks like something out of a heist movie. Inside waits the Laser Maze, an ever-changing game that challenges its participants to stretch and bend around bright green beams of light.