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Places to Ice Skate

DC’s year-round temps are pretty moderate but during winter, Washingtonians bundle up for a day (or a night) on the ice. Three neighborhoods have public ice skating rinks where you can lace up your own (or rented) skates & practice that triple axel.



Not only is this the largest ice skating rink in Washington, DC, it’s even larger than New York City’s Rockefeller Center rink.

Most of the year, Washington Harbour in Georgetown greets visitors with a beautiful fountain surrounded by half a dozen restaurants. But during one special time of year, this fountain magically transforms into an ice skating rink. It’s most amazing after dark when dozens of twinkling white snowflakes light up and the rink is bathed in glorious light. Since it’s only open from November thru March, this ice rink is a bit of a novelty, attracting lots of people every single day - including Christmas Day.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden transforms into an ice skating rink full of holiday cheer from mid-November through mid-February every year (weather permitting).


National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden ice rink is a quintessential winter experience in Washington, DC like no other.

Located in the center of the gallery’s outdoor Sculpture Garden, just steps from the National Mall, this ice skating rink is perfect as both a creative date night or as a place to bring the whole family during the holidays. Since it can get very busy during this season, tickets are sold in two-hour sessions beginning on the hour.  To make the most of your time, buy your ticket first and if time permits, take the opportunity to visit the works of art in the surrounding Sculpture Garden or grab a hot chocolate in the Pavilion Café. The rink opens Nov. 14 and is available for practicing your axel jumps until March 15. 


Canal Park is one of the newest neighborhood attractions in Southeast Washington, DC.

In the summer, this is a community gathering place featuring interactive water fountains. In the winter, it transforms into a 10,000-square-foot ice skating path. Located only one block from Navy Yard Metro, the rink is easy to find, but because it is so new, it remains one of DC’s best hidden gems. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, this is the place to go. And while you’re at it, stop in at one of the neighborhood’s newest breweries (both serve food too) like Bluejacket or Gordon Biersch. Like many neighborhoods in DC, this one is in the midst of major redevelopment and is only getting better and better. The ice cold fun begins Nov. 8.