As recreational pursuits change over time, brands come and go. We’ve seen Atari give way to PlayStation, then Nintendo. Hacky sacks preceded Pokémon. Cabbage Patch Kids morphed into Reborn Baby Dolls.
Even roller skates have tweaked their charm, transforming from four wheels on each foot arranged in a square, to disks in a row along a blade. But no matter what the configuration, Big Wheel Roller Skating Center has extended lasting amusement to generations of gliders.
“We’ve been able to appeal to families for so many years because the business is family-owned. We know how to offer a user-friendly experience,” declares Linda Weiss, who’s been sailing along with the company for twenty years, primarily in the role of Session Manager. “Young and old alike are kept bustling and involved. That’s what makes us a unique Pocono attraction.”
Children and their parents can spend hours spinning their wheels here, but in a good way. Skate parties, roller hockey, and birthday celebrations are some of the activities that etch out an afternoon or evening of free-flowing vibes. The East Stroudsburg-based rink, which opened in 1977, is an ideal spot for families seeking fun without sensory overload. “We stop at Big Wheel during every vacation. The place is always well-maintained, with a nice arcade and snack bar. There’s a great variety of music, and they take requests,” says Treena Jackson, of Dover, DE.
Those requests actually serve to benefit area residents. According to Weiss, the dollar-per-song fee has another use, apart from keeping the playlist current. “We also raise money for the community and our neighborhood friends that are in need, whether it be for someone battling to pay a medical bill, a person fighting for a cure, our local American Red Cross, as well as many other charitable events,” Weiss states. “Over the years, we have found this to be an effective way to give back, to show that our region can come together and help support.”
For Wendy Harmon, it’s the attention to detail that keeps her husband, son, and daughter coming back for more. “We’re usually at Big Wheel while a party or skate camp is going on. Even so, there’s always plenty of space for us. They rent quad and inline skates, all in nice shape, with laces that don’t break. When patrons fall, staff members rush right over, with ice and assistance. The personnel are definitely having a ball, too, and do a terrific job controlling kids without being overbearing,” the Blakeslee resident observes. “It’s always somehow better now than the skating memories of my youth.”
Whether it’s inlines or quads, you can coast to your feet’s content while partaking in a monthly membership, fueling a worthy cause, or rejuvenating that inner adolescence with today’s tykes.
By: Tom Eccleston
3226 North Fifth Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301