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Star City Skate & Play….skate, play, eat, and be a kid again

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By Christina Ruotolo
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My first job when I was fifteen was at a roller-skating rink. I worked the concession stand and made pizza, nachos, sweet treats, and was surrounded by upbeat music and skaters weaving around a wooden rink. The energy was palpable. It was so much fun and so many times I wish I could be that kid again, young & carefree, skating through life with no worries. This dream is closer than you think, just a short drive from Greenville to Rocky Mount across from the Goldeneast Mall.

Star City Skate & Play offers skating, fun, and tasty concession foods the whole family will enjoy. Located at 1131 Wesleyan Blvd. in Rocky Mount, Star City is a bright, shiny star filled with the pomp and circumstance of your younger self. Add in some tasty food, skating, games, lights and fantastic music, and you will forget how old you really are. Owner, Richard Damilowski has been rolling around this rink as owner/operator since 2001 and loves watching the smiles on the kids’ faces. “The whole family can get involved from young kids, to teens to adults. Everyone can have a good time at Star City,” Damilowski says.

First, grab a bunch of your best friends, or your entire family, leave your worries behind, and head out to the rink. Enter into the brightly lit family-fun center where carpets are donned with bright, colorful stars and head over to the skate rental. Turn in your ticket and lace up for a blast from the past. Get your bearings, and step onto the shiny all wooden rink. Before you eat, you must skate. Take a few laps around basking in the black lights, bright décor, feeling the music fill you up and get that heart rate going. Skating is fantastic exercise and studies show that a skater’s heartbeat increases to 140-160 beats per minute, and skating can provide a complete aerobic workout with all of the body’s muscles working including the glutes, quads, abs, calves, and arms. Best of all, it causes fifty percent less stress on joints than running.

Now that I have your heart rate up, take a few laps to slow your roll, and cruise on over to the spacious concession stand for some nostalgic eats that will require my favorite muscle, the tongue. So, let’s get to eating! The concession stands at roller rinks have come a long way from the past and provide a complete meal from start finish. It’s like going to a fair, but it's inside. You can have all the treats you would expect from candy, nachos, chicken nuggets, buttery, delicious popcorn, or mozzarella sticks just to name a few. It’s a skating feast for your taste buds and, since you are exercising, you will burn the calories, so let’s get some pizza. Not just any pizza, a crispy thin crusted sixteen-inch beauty topped with cheese, sausage and pepperoni. You had me at pepperoni. This was super flavorful and had eight plentiful slices to enjoy, so no family member or friend will go hungry with this one. On Thursday nights enjoy Family Night from 5:30-8:30pm. Bring your family of five and for only $20.00, get 5 regular skate admissions, 5 slices of that divine cheese pizza, and 5 small drinks.

They also serve a smaller pizza pretzel that is a pretzel topped with pepperoni and cheese. This melty little dream boat is super yummy too. Star City Skate & Play not only sells a ton pf pizza and nachos, they also serve up old fashioned hotdogs with all the fixings and crispy little crinkle fries, because y'all know how much I love some fries. End with either a jumbo dill pickle or a frozen Pickle Sickle, which is a pickle juice popsicle that was surprisingly sour and addictive. Now that we’ve sampled some savories, let’s eats sweets because after all, we are going back to our childhood. Grab your ice-cold Pepsi, and let’s eat a funnel cake. A good ol’ fried funnel cake dusted with a dual layer of powdered sugar. This one was state fair quality good eating, every crispy nostalgic bite. If you don’t fancy funnel cake, you must try some fresh, hand-spun cotton candy, because no roller-skating adventure is complete without sampling either the light as air cotton candy that melts in your mouth, a Ring Pop, a hand full of Laffy Taffy, and of course, a Sno Kone or cup of hot chocolate.

Star City has dozens of other specials you and your family and friends can take advantage of. Tuesday is Christian Night. Get your fellowship of friends together for skate and cafe specials from 5:30-8:30pm. On Wacky Wednesday, get wacky and enjoy special admission fees and a free item from 3-6 p.m. Thursday is that family pizza special I told you about earlier, Friday nights they change their theme each week from free hotdogs with admission, a pickle eating contest night, or free pizza with admission.

Friday night from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., you can leave the kids with the babysitter and enjoy adult night for ages nineteen and up and enjoy reduced admission costs. On Saturdays there is a morning skate for kids under ten from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Disney-themed music, an afternoon skate from 1-6 p.m., or an evening Hip Hop night from 7-11 p.m. and enjoy a live DJ. Slow it down on Sundays for a Super Fun event from 2-5 p.m.

They also offer a kidsskatefree.com offer. Register your child for two free skate passes per week. Star City is a great after-school alternative for older children. It’s the perfect place to take the family when it’s raining and you need a place for them to get out all of their energy.

Now that your belly is full with all the concession stand food, let’s wait a bit, let our food digest and play some arcade games. Grab some quarters (no tokens needed here) and play some ice hockey, a grab-machine, Skee-Ball, shoot some hoops, play a game of pool, or my favorite - laser tag. They offer laser tag for all ages, so buy a $3.00 ticket, grab a laser gun, and enter at your own risk into a dark room lit with black lights. Watch as the room comes alive with aliens and point your laser and attack. If you have a smaller, toddler-aged child who is too young to skate or play laser tag, Star City has one of the largest soft play areas in the state for young children. It’s a soft and safe space where they can let their energy out while you skate yours away. Let the kids climb and explore or maybe jump in one of their bouncy houses. Fun for the whole family all in one place.

Star City has weeknight Tuesday or Thursday Birthday party packages for your kids or adults who act like kids and it includes everything you need to throw a great party with cupcakes, food, skating and loads of fun. Reservations and non-refundable deposits are required. Don’t have a birthday to celebrate? Take the whole staff to an office party night on Sundays, Mondays, or Wednesday and help them get out those mid-week jitters and boost their productivity. Even better, host a corporate retreat, bachelorette party, or 80’s, 90’s or disco-themed blast-from-the-past party and invite all your friends. The facility is large enough to hold up to a thousand people, so just call and give them a one-month notice. The sound system has been updated with quality edited tasteful music. You can also host a fundraiser for your school, church, or business. They donate a portion of the proceeds back to the school and/or organization. Events can be booked during or after school hours.

Now get back out there, roll around that rink, put your hands in the air, do the hokey pokey, turn yourself around, and repeat. I had a blast at Star City Skate & Play and you will too. For more information, visit their website, www.starcityskate.com , download their monthly calendar of events, or call (252) 407-8322.

Tid Bits: Monday, Oct.29, from 4-10 p.m., Greenville’s Texas Roadhouse and 28 other locations across the Carolinas and Georgia, will donate 10 percent of food sales to the Foundation for the Carolinas Hurricane Florence Response Fund to help communities impacted by Hurricane Florence.

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