In the wake of the Great Depression and into the 1960s, America found itself with a new pastime: roller skating. At the height of The Golden Age of Roller Skating in 1950, this pastime had climbed to become the number one participatory sport in America with nearly 5,000 roller rinks and 18 million skaters—and Chicago was the epicenter of it all. Take a nostalgic trip to the glory days of roller skating to learn about the "rink rats"—the regulars at the popular skating venues that sprang up across the country. This new exhibit shares the story of legendary area rinks like The Elm, North Avenue, Riverview, Savoy, Arcadia, Lombard Roller Rink, and more through photos, video, and an array of eclectic artifacts. View roller skates from the era, skating jackets and gear, competition patches and medals, posters, rink memorabilia, and much more. Inspired by the book by author Tom Russo, Chicago Rink Rats recalls a time when the wheels were wooden, the latest music set the pace—and roller skating was hip.
Location: Elmhurst History Museum, 1st Floor Gallery
Hours: Sun, Tues-Fri 1-5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.