This story is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County.
Roller blades were all the rage when I was a kid, and I love watching them make a comeback! What I wasn’t prepared for (physically or emotionally) was the rebirth of roller skating. This is a real thing happening, and I didn’t know about it! When my family (minus the youngest) recently visited Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand in Fox Lake, we had loads of fun and laughed harder than we have in a long time!
From the friendly staff to the clean facilities, the experience was more than I could have expected. Gone are the days of dark, musty skating rinks. Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand was purchased a year and a half ago by the owners of Bella’s Bouncies to enjoy with their growing children. New paint and a fresh skate floor makes the inside sparkle, bright colors make the lowly lit rink cheerful. And they will be getting new carpeting shortly to really spruce things up!
The rink is located on Route 59 in Fox Lake and it is best to check their website or Facebook for hours, as it changes monthly. Prices vary by day, entry ranges between $2-7, depending on the day. Skates are always $2 a pair; speed skates and inline skates are $4. You can also bring your own regular or inline skates, but staff will check the wheels to be sure the floor won’t be damaged.
With an arcade, prize counter and concessions, kids can spend a lot of time here without going through a ton of money. We noticed many parents dropping their children off to skate and enjoy time with friends. The crowd was friendly and polite. There is bench seating around the skate counter and locker area and the cafeteria area is large with plenty of seating.
My group at Bella’s included myself and my husband. We haven’t skated in roughly 20 years, and our two oldest children, ages six and four have only skated with children’s velcro skates. The kids were thrilled with the new experience. I also appreciated the music–popular tunes with no foul language. So what do parents need to know about Bellas Bouncies Skate on Grand?
Know before you go:
- Skate Mates (skating trainers) are available for rent for $5, you can see my daughter trying one in the picture below and truly learning how to skate with it. Just remind your kids to hold it far out on the sides or they’ll tip the center! (see video below!)
- Before you head to the big rink, there is a small rink in the far back that you can use to get yourself and kids acquainted before you head out to the big rink!
- Parents can help their children in the rink while wearing skates or socks. It was so fantastic to help my kids without worrying about my own balance!
- Strollers and wheelchairs are welcome on the rink, making this a true family-friendly affair (Again, rink staff will check the wheels so the rink is not damaged.)
- “Old-school” rules apply, but we didn’t encounter any referees or whistles. The center of the rink is reserved for beginners while the faster and more advanced skaters will be whipping around the outer ring. Remember the days of the “penalty box” in the corner? That’s where the kids hang out nowadays.
- Drop-offs are allowed if your child is mature and responsible enough to be left alone and has a way to contact you for pick up.
Here is a 2-minute tour of the facility, it was set up for Bubble Soccer but you get the point.
Bella’s went the extra mile by creating a charging station, and although they aren’t responsible if someone steals your phone, it is pretty cool to see a place that has an area for their customers to charge their devices for free. That reminds me, there is no texting and skating on this rink. Bella’s asks that you use caution and leave your phone in a locker (which costs only 25 cents to rent).
The staff is also helpful when kids buy food and don’t finish it in one sitting. Kids can label their snacks and Bella’s will hold it for them. No food is allowed past the arcade to avoid spills on the rink, and the managers here understand that kids don’t always finish their snacks in one sitting.
Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand has everything your family needs for a fun night out, whether you’re new to skating or old pros, and coming here won’t break the bank. Tell them Little Lake County sent you and enjoy a nostalgic night out!
Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand
720 East Grand Avenue (Route 59), Fox Lake | 847-546-7000
Disclosure: The author and her family received complimentary admisstion to Bella’s Bouncies Skate on Grand in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are the author’s own.