If you’ve never been to one of USA Today’s top ten roller rinks in America, prepare to lace up and let loose with today’s deal: $9 for three all-access passes to United Skates of America (up to a $21 value). Each pass covers one person’s rink entry and skate rental (if needed); the three passes on one Groupon can only be used for one person. Bring your own blades or pick up a pair of old-school four-bangers at the rink; rocket skates are strictly forbidden (for now). Your passes are only good during public skate hours, which are Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 8:30 pm.
First discovered in 1974, roller-skating is a great way to spend an entire Saturday or Sunday. Get two Groupons and ask that special someone on a skate date, then impress them with your gnarly ability to cruise backward. Form rolling alliances with friends and strangers, and casually ask that attractive person you don't know who's standing nervously on the sidelines if he or she needs a hand to hold in the rink.
At United Skates, the soundtrack to your sweet skate-moves pumps throughout the arena’s electrifying speaker system. Your children and inner-child will appreciate the bonus Radio Disney cuts mixed in on Saturday’s playlist. Awkward walkers become graceful swans gliding across freshly polished floors on greased axels.
The venue is famous for “jam skating,” which “combines elements of skating, dancing and gymnastic moves set to music,” according to Budd Eversman of the Roller Skating Association International. Designated “jam skate” time is after public skate hours, but that doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in some practice. No pressure to put on the moves—this is roller-skating after all. You may decide in a fit of passion to become a wheeler and swear off walking forever. But if you do need a short breather, there is also a full concession stand and arcade to provide flat-footed entertainment.
- This popular skating center is known as one of the top "jam skating" venues in the country. – Tim Smight, USA Today
- We had the best time at United Skates in Tampa last weekend. The kids love to rollerskate and I thought the staff was excellent. – Chris M., Insider Pages
- This skating ring has been around since I was a teenager. I take my kids twice a month. They play a variety of music and games and always have themed skate nights. If you are looking for family fun, check them out. – Juanita “Nita” S., Insider Pages
Coincidentally, the futuristic world known as the United Skates of America shares its name with the dystopic setting for the popular 1970s speculative-fiction film Rollerdeath: 3040. Starring a young Jan Thomas Prince (Jaws V: Halloween at Sea, Boston Legal), Rollerdeath is the story of a far-flung Future America, where all war, water-management rights, and corporate vendettas are settled by a roller-skating-based death sport known as Rollerdeath. In this harsh world, no rollerdeather is more feared than the New Washington Atoms’ star goalslinger, Trace Zero (Prince).
When Zero’s secret relationship with his coach's daughter (Yvonne Craig, TV's Batgirl), ends in murder, only a shadowy Video-Phreaker known as The Recorder (voice of Jeff Conaway) can give Trace the data-cassette that proves his innocence—if only he can get to it before the Hoverpolice do.
Frank Sinatra cameos as the holographic entity known only as The Globe-head.
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United Skates of America, Inc. Roller Skating
A member of a previously undiscovered species known as skateasaurus stakes its territory, tracing figure eights along the rink's hardwood floor. Dressed in blue-and-white shorts and a red trucker hat, the plush, green-and-yellow dinosaur—otherwise known as Skato—eschews eating children, and instead prompts them to shake it all about in rounds of Hokey Pokey. This fun ambiance extends to the rest of United Skates of America's roller rink, surrounded by lime-green walls and manned by a smiling staff.
5121 N Armenia Ave
Tampa, Florida 33603Get Directions