As the temperature continues to drop and ice begins to coat the District, head outside for winter activities at local ice rinks.
Whether you want to avoid the cold or embrace it, the DMV area has ice skating rinks to fit all your needs with both indoor and outdoor options. Choose from large rinks where you can show off your skills or a more intimate, scenic rink where you can slow down the place.
Lace up your skates and take off around one of these rinks this winter:
Skate in the sky: Top of the Gate
Just in time for the holiday season, The Watergate Hotel transformed their rooftop bar into a posh 70 by 20 foot ice skating rink complete with 360-degree views of the Kennedy Center, the Potomac River and the rest of the District skyline. You can take in the aerial view and snap some winter photos, but don’t expect to be practicing your speed skating or triple axel spin at this small rink. A skate-up bar in the rink adds to the upscale atmosphere, allowing visitors to sip on seasonal cocktails like hot bourbon-spiked cider and boozy Swiss hot chocolate with Jameson whiskey for about $16 each. The ice rink is surrounded by fire pits with dozens of couches around them to rest between laps around the rink. If you want the VIP treatment, you can upgrade your lounging at one of the hotel’s private igloo lounges on the patio below for $200 for three hours.
You can get a deluxe ice skating experience at the Top of the Gate rink for just $20 an hour for skating and a rental of skates, so you won’t completely blow your holiday shopping budget.
Wednesday through Friday 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 10 p.m.
Classic outdoor skating experience: The Washington Harbour Ice Rink
Located in Georgetown, Washington Harbour attracts thousands of skaters every day to their 11,800-square-foot rink. At the large outdoor rink, skilled skaters have plenty of room to jump and twirl, while beginners can cling to the walls or take skating lessons with professional coaches. An added bonus is that the rink is surrounded by dozens of restaurants, providing various cuisines and the close proximity to M Street means your options for a post-skating snack are vast.
The Washington Harbour rink is $10 an hour and $6 for a skate rental, but they do offer discounted days. Head to the ice on Tuesdays, when you can get two tickets for the price of one, or on Thursday nights, when students skate for just $8.
Monday and Tuesday noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday noon to 9 p.m., Friday noon to 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A scenic skate: National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
Skate surrounded by art, sculptures and twinkling lights at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden’s rink. Visitors can skate under the shadows of the National Mall’s monuments and stroll around the sculptures made by Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein and other contemporary artists after their skate. The Pavilion Café near the rink has indoor and outdoor self-service dining areas, offering the perfect place to grab a hot chocolate, hot apple cider or a pastry snack for about $4 to warm up after braving the cold out on the ice.
The ice rink offers two 45-minute sessions beginning on the hour, for the lowest price of all the rinks – just $9 for adults with a $3.50 skate rental.
Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Skate like a pro: Kettler Capitals Iceplex
If you prefer skating indoors and want to glide on the same ice as professionals, head to Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va. Located on the top of the Ballston Common Mall parking garage and easily accessible by the Metro orange line five stops away, the Iceplex is the official home for the Washington Capitals practice facility and the GW Club Hockey team. As one of the only indoor skating rinks in the DMV, you’ll be glad you took the extra travel time to ensure you don’t freeze on extra cold winter nights. After skating in the iceplex, you can also shop in the Pro Shop or Team Store to buy your own ice skating equipment or Capitals fan gear.
Adults can skate for just $9 with rentals during the various public skate times throughout the week.
The Kettler Capitals Iceplex offers public skating almost every day, but hours vary by day.