A child's gustatory journey begins as an exploration: Food is just one of many enjoyable substances to place in the mouth, on the mouth, around the mouth, around your mouth, etc. Later, after the age of, say, 9, children develop palates as sophisticated as adults'. If they've been properly coached, they will eat and enjoy all manner of foods. They might not sit still for a formal four-course dinner, but they can fully appreciate a subtle range of flavors as well as any gourmand. But between the ages of 1 and 9 years, food takes a distant second place to action. That's what makes the Roller Garden ideal. It's an arena of intoxicating childhood smells: stale popcorn, stinky rental skates, bubble gum. In addition to one of the largest, fastest skating rinks in town, Roller Garden also features an array of video games of both the confusing action-figure variety and the old point-and-shoot style. The menu is limited, and not particularly healthy--pizza, hot dogs, corn dogs, popcorn, chicken nuggets, nachos, and ice cream--but it's appealing nonetheless. And the action is unbeatable. If you're worried about Junior's calorie and fat intake, rest assured that after an afternoon's wild spinning under the disco ball on Roller Garden's magnificent rink, he'll have burned off the equivalent of what he took in.


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