Group skates and other regular and special events — including some non-Empire events — are listed here. Event information is also available on our calendar. Check it to see what's going on this month.
Recreational and fitness skating are the most popular form of skating among our members, and we organize regular group skates and other recreational events. These activities include a weekly night skate, weekend skate trips in and around NYC and the surrounding tri-state area, and an annual multi-activity skate weekend.
Empire's premier event each year is the Big Apple Roll, a four-day extravaganza of group skates, workshops and clinics, and other events. It usually occurs the first weekend of August. To learn more about "BAR", click here, or check the links at the right side of the page.
Experienced skaters are invited to join the Tuesday Night Skate (TNS), which meets every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. at Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza (Fifth Ave. at East 60th St.), year-round, weather permitting. TNS is a New York skating tradition and has been rolling since the late 1980s.
On most weekends, and sometimes twice per weekend, from spring through autumn, the Empire Skate Club organizes group skates that explore the city. We may also skate in winter when the weather is fine. The pace and distance of our weekend skates vary. Most tours are moderately paced skates of somewhere between 12 and 20 miles, but some are longer and more intense.
Weekend afternoon, half-day, or day skates most often start out from Central Park, typically the Bandshell or Columbus Circle. Terrain is usually suitable for intermediate skaters, but some events may require more advanced skills. Popular city destinations include Battery Park, the Cloisters, Randalls/Wards Island, the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows/Corona Park, Coney Island, and Rockaway. Most routes require that skaters be comfortable skating city streets alongside traffic, but we do organize a few events on roads (temporarily) closed to traffic.
Special Weekend Skates
Each summer and autumn also includes group skates in scenic areas in Westchester and Rockland counties, Long Island, and Connecticut where we strap on our wheels and enjoy a few hours of skating away from city traffic. These destinations are easily accessible via short train ride.
Some Empire Weekend Skates have become traditions. These include the Bronx River Parkway Summer Sunday skates, the Grape Es-Skate on Long Island, and the long-distance Hallowe'en Sleepy Hollow Skate.
Again, please check the calendar to learn what weekend skates are currently scheduled.
The following are not Empire-sponsored group skates, but you're likely to meet some of our members if you attend them.
Wednesday Night Skate
The city's largest regular group skate meets Wednesday nights from the start of April through the end of October at 8:00 p.m., on the south side of Union Square Park, on East 14th St. between Broadway and Park Ave South. This is a less intense skate than Empire's Tuesday Night Skate, travelling perhaps 15 miles over two hours. See the WNS website for additional information, and WNS Facebook page for the latest updates.
Thursday Evening Skate
Members of the Central Park Skate Patrol lead a group skate on the park loop Thursday evenings from May through October. This is a very casual event suitable for skaters who want to avoid skating on city streets or who are relatively new to inline skating. Nevertheless, participants must have learned braking skills and be comfortable skating on the hilly park road amongst other skaters and park users. The TES meets at 7:00 p.m. at the Merchants Gate / Columbus Circle entrance to the park. There's more info on the Skate Patrol website. Updates may also be posted on the Skate Patrol Meetup page.
Group Cycling Events
There are numerous group cycling events around the city, some meeting weekly and some monthly, including such rides as the Central Park and Prospect Park Moonlight Rides, Critical Mass, etc. Fifteen years ago, when inline skating was more popular, inline skaters often participated in these events, but even today skaters may tag along on some of them. For a listing of what these events are, see the listing on the Time's Up! website.
Akin to Empire's Big Apple Roll, other cities on the East Coast organize annual group skate weekends that many of our members attend. These include:
If you are interested in attending one of the events and are looking for someone to share travel or hotel expenses, the Empire Facebook page may be the best place to start.
Members of Empire Speed meet to train together on the Central Park loop from April through skate marathon weekend in late September. The usual weekly meeting is Monday evenings, but skaters may arrange to meet on other evenings or on weekend mornings. In winter, some of the Empire Speed crew do indoor training at the Branch Brook Park Roller Rink in Newark. Contact Empire Speed for current scheduling.
Affiliated skaters who are members of the Brooklyn Speed Team meet Sunday mornings April through skate marathon weekend to train in Prospect Park.
Empire Board Meetings
Our Board meets monthly to plan upcoming skating events and discuss other club business. Want to give us your input? Join us! You provide the ideas, we provide the snacks and beverages. We meet from 8:30 to 10:30 pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month. The location changes occasionally, so please RSVP to email@example.com to confirm.
In those colder months when inline skating is more difficult, Empire may organize group ski/snowboard trips, most likely day trips to near-by places such as Hunter Mountain but sometimes weekend trips to Killington.