An air-conditioned indoor roller or ice skating rink comes in handy when wanting to take a break from the hot summer sun.

"It's a way to escape the heat. Weather can be unpredictable," said Lance Rosenberg, general manager of the Flyers Skate Zone at Atlantic City. "It's great exercise and something to do in a family atmosphere. It's a year-round activity."

The idea pops into parents' heads to take their children to a movie theater to escape the heat, but an ice skating rink combines cool temperatures with physically demanding exercise - meaning an afternoon skating leaves you with happy, and tired, kids. At an ice rink, the surface stays at 28 degrees, to keep the ice from melting, and there's no humidity, said Eddie Hawkins, sales and programs manager of Canlan Ice Sports Vineland.

Whether ice skating or roller skating, calories fall while shifting weight from side to side and propelling oneself.

Skaters can burn between 300 and 600 calories per hour roller skating by using hundreds of muscles without realizing it as they socialize and move to the music, said Jim Link, who co-owns Young's Skating Center in Mays Landing with his wife, Judy Young Link. Those, who know how to roller skate, can keep doing it for the rest of their lives, Young Link said.

The Links have owned Young's since 1995 and have seen the roller-skating tradition pass from mothers to daughters.

Sandy Schutz, 43, of the Laureldale section of Hamilton Township, skated with her two daughters, Rae Anna, 8, and Shayna, 5, along with Dee Gerstle, 38, of Buena, and her two daughters, Taylor, 9, and Cassidy, 6, on a Sunday afternoon at Young's.

They usually visit a roller rink for a child's birthday party. Gerstle held Cassidy's fifth birthday party at Young's.

"My children enjoy roller skating. It's something we can all do together," said Schutz, who remembers attending 4-H parties at roller rinks when she was a child.

Roller or ice rinks are big draws for birthday party celebrations.

During one weekend, 16 birthday parties took place during Saturday and Sunday, and five parties took place at the same time at Canlan Ice Sports Vineland.

Contact Vincent Jackson:

609-272-7202; VJackson@pressofac.com

Where to go skating

Atlantic County

Young's Skating Center

13th Avenue and Park Roads, or 763 Park Road, Mays Landing

Facility: full-service snack bar, eating area, party promenade for birthday parties, enclosed room for private parties; private lessons, inline skating

Activities: (Wednesdays) 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Skatercise, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Zumba, 3:30 to 5 p.m. kinderskate, 7:30 to 10 p.m. adult skate; (Thursdays) 6:30 to 9 p.m. family night; (Fridays) 7:30 to 11 p.m. evening session; (Saturdays) 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. morning session, 1:30 to 4 p.m. afternoon session, 7 to 9:30 p.m. evening session. Starts on June 16.

Cost: $5.50, Thursday family night; $6.75, Friday evening session; $5, Saturday morning session; $5.25, Saturday afternoon session; $5.75, Saturday evening session; $5, Skatercise, Zumba or kinderskate; $6, adult skate; $7.50, Skatercise/Zumba combo

Skate Rental: $2.25, regular skates; $2.50, speed skates; $3, inline skates; $4, inline speed skates

Info: 609-625-1191; http://www.youngskatingcenter.com/" target= "_blank">www.youngskatingcenter.com

Rollway Roller Rink

131 S. Second Road, Hammonton

Facility: birthday, school and church parties

Activities: The rink is closed this month and will reopen in mid-September. Call for more details.

Cost: $8, Friday; $6 for children and free for parents, Saturday.

Skate Rental: $1.

Info: 609-561-8061

Cumberland County

Skate 2000 Family Fun Center

1748 Burlington Road, Bridgeton

Facility: concession stand with food and drink, private parties and fundraising events held Saturday and Sunday evenings.

Hours: 10 a.m. to noon, adult skating lessons and senior skating (Mondays); 7 to 9 p.m., family skating (Thursdays); 7:30 to 10 p.m., all-you-can-eat pizza night (Fridays); 9 to 10 a.m., children's lessons ( Saturdays); 10 a.m. to noon, young people's skate (Saturdays); noon to 4:30 p.m., open skate (Saturdays and Sundays)

Cost: $4, family night; $8.50 per person, pizza night (includes skate rental); $6, children's lessons (includes skate rental); $4, young people's skate; $5, open skate.

Skate Rental: $3

Info: 856-459-3666; http://www.sk82000.com/" target= "_blank">www.sk82000.com

Ice skating

Atlantic County

Flyers Skate Zone at Atlantic City

501 North Albany Ave., Atlantic City

Facility: full National Hockey League-style ice rink, public skating, birthday parties, lessons programs, youth hockey leagues, Atlantic City Sharks Youth Hockey Club, adult hockey leagues, hockey camps and clinics, hockey tournaments, open hockey, figure skating, a Gear Zone pro shop, snack zones, private rentals.

Hours: 1 to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 8 to 10 p.m., Fridays. Times subject to change due to camps.

Cost: $7, public sessions

Skate rental: $3

Cumberland County

Canlan Ice Sports Vineland

2111 Industrial Way, Vineland

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (times subject to change); 8 to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays; 2 to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays; 1 to 5 p.m., Bounce mania, Saturdays and Sundays

Cost: $12, weekends (includes skate rental); $10, weekdays (includes skate rental); $8, Bounce mania

Info: 856-691-2222; http://www.icesports.com/" target= "_blank">www.icesports.com