With its combination of friction-free motion and wholesome fun, roller skating quickly replaced ditch-digging and dancing frenetically to "Shipoopi" as America's favorite first-date activity. Rediscover the appeal of the wheels with today's Groupon: for $5, you get a skate rental (a $5 value) and skate pass (up to a $6.50 value) for Rollerdome in the Metrodome. Zip around the roughly half-mile loop of the Metrodome’s clear, smooth concourses, and stay sheltered from the elements under a newly mended pressurized roof adjacent to the Minnesota Vikings’ play space. Despite last December’s blizzard-induced roof collapse, Rollerdome’s 2011 schedule is on-track, ensuring safety and fun for all its wheel-heeled guests. Speed skaters and Mario Andretti have free reign of the upper level, whereas kids and training-wheeled adults can stick to the slower-moving lower concourse. With less wind chill and more health benefits than free-range yeti hunting, Rollerdome serves as a fun family or group outing. The skate schedule runs through the end of March, providing a healthy activity for winter-bound bodies until April Fool’s Day renders all muscular function obsolete.
For most of the year, the outer concourses of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome fill with the aromas of hot dogs and grilled onions to feed hungry fans during Vikings and Twins games. But from November through April, the smooth concrete floors of those same concourses become the skating surface for the Rollerblade RollerDome. Skaters have taken over the Metrodome every winter for decades, including in 1993, when Jonathan Seutter set a Guinness World Record there by skating 271 miles in 24 hours. The half-mile concrete loops provide the ideal conditions for speed skaters and beginners alike. On the upper level, experienced skaters get a cardio workout with separate alleys for speed skating and leisurely coasting. On the lower level, kids and novices can take their time while skating along to music spun by onsite DJs and really hip spiders.