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30,000 Square Foot Seasonal Roller Rink @ Canalside

As a way to get more people outdoors, and freewheeling and having fun, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and Buffalo Waterfront Management Group (BWMG) have come up with a plan to convert the inland canals at Canalside into a giant roller rink. These are the same canals used for personal watercraft in the summertime, and ice skating and ice biking in the wintertime.

Starting August 20 and operating until October 31, the 30,000 square foot seasonal Roller Rink attraction will host community and school groups, and themed skate nights. The ECHDC and BWMG have partnered with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York to create what is being (easily) considered the largest roller rink in New York State.

“Get ready to lace up and roll at Canalside,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “For those around in the 70s at the height of the roller disco era, you know how much fun a pair of polyurethane wheels and good tunes can be, and roller skating is seeing a resurgence as a fun activity for all ages.  We’re thrilled to bring this new attraction to the community on Buffalo’s waterfront.”

“The Roller Rink at Canalside will be the place to be this fall, and another example of the diverse range of offerings available on Buffalo’s waterfront to the Western New York community and those visiting from afar. With a full line up of programming, the Roller Rink at Canalside is sure to provide plenty of fun for all ages,” said Kevin Parkinson, VP Operations and Finance, BWMG.  “We are thrilled to partner with Highmark BCBS of WNY and with their support provide accessible, healthy activities to our community.”

Hours of Operation

August 20, 2021 – September 6, 2021

  • Mondays-Thursday: Noon to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays: Noon to 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

September 7, 2021 – October 31, 2021

  • Mondays-Tuesdays: Closed (except the holiday on Monday, October 11: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
  • Wednesdays-Thursdays: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Fridays: 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Sundays: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Roller Rink at Canalside is considered a low cost way to enjoy some family-friendly summertime fun along the waterfront. Roller skating in this unique outdoor environment is also a great way to get some exercise, by participating in an active lifestyle environment.

Guests to the roller rink will enjoy a number of programming initiatives, including:

  • Community Skate Program – Buffalo Waterfront Management Group will partner with community programs to bring groups to the roller rink for free skate lessons and free skate.  Tickets to the Roller Rink will also be distributed to the community
  • Canalside Neighbor Program – Roller skating will be free of charge to Explore & More, Buffalo and Erie Naval & Military Park and Buffalo Heritage Carousel guests on Wednesdays
  • Free Play Fridays – Roller skating admission will be free of charge before 5 p.m. on Fridays
  • Themed Skate Nights – Dedicated nights at the roller rink with music, DJs and associated decorations.
  • Vendor Markets – Pop up vendor markets will take place next to the roller rink making the Roller Rink at Canalside a one-stop-shop for fun, food, and shopping

“As the official health plan of Canalside, we are pleased to bring the fun, healthy and exciting experience of outdoor roller skating to the next generation of Western New Yorkers,” said  Julie R. Snyder, Vice President, Community Affairs, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York. “The new Roller Rink will only enhance the Canalside experience for all who visit.”

The water in the canals will be drained on August 9th to make way for this new seasonal Canalside attraction.

Admission is $6 per adult and $2 for children age 13 and younger

Skate time is free before 5 p.m. on Fridays

Roller skate rentals will be $4

To learn more about activities and events on the Buffalo waterfront, visit

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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