Lace up your skates and triple axel 'round the District at these ice skating rinks.
DC’s year-round temps are pretty moderate, but during the winter – when cold Canadian winds whistle down the Potomac and Anacostia rivers – Washingtonians bundle up for a day (or a night) on the ice. Public ice skating rinks can be found in multiple neighborhoods in DC proper, so check out the best places to hit the ice in the nation's capital.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
Imagine this: Ice skating amid magnificent works of art and towering sculptures in a lush garden. The ice rink at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden is a quintessential winter experience in Washington, DC. It opens up in late November and lasts until early March, and it’s a scenic atmosphere is firmly planted on the National Mall.
The Scene: This rink has a romantic vibe. Maybe it’s the art. Maybe it’s the smaller, cozier rink. Maybe it’s the starry sky above. Maybe it’s the single string of lights surrounding the rink like glowing candles. It rates an A+ for creative date ideas. You’ll also see plenty of families across generations too, due to its easy-to-reach location.
Insider Info: Tickets are sold in 45-minute sessions beginning on the hour. If you aren't prepared to begin skating at the top of the hour, you could end up waiting a while to skate. This is especially true during crowded weekends. 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.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Returns in Nov. 2023 (stay tuned for exact dates)
Cost: $12 adults and children 13+, $9 children 12 and under/age 60+/students/military servicemembers, $6 rentals
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
Washington Harbour Ice Rink
Most of the year, Washington Harbour in Georgetown greets visitors with spectacular waterworks: a dancing fountain surrounded by half a dozen restaurants. But when the cool temps settle in, the fountain transforms into prime ice skating real estate. After dark is when it’s most magical, with dozens of twinkling white snowflakes lighting up the rink.
The Scene: Since it’s open from mid-November until March, the ice rink is a bit of a novelty, attracting lots of people every single day, even Christmas Day. With classes offered for kids ages 3 and older, as well as for adults, you’ll see families with children. But it’s also a date night winner since it’s so easy to grab a drink or bite to eat at one of the surrounding restaurants.
Hours: Sunday–Thursday 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Friday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
Returns in Nov. 2023 (stay tuned for exact dates)
Cost: $10 adults, $9 children/seniors/military, $7 rentals
Washington Harbour Ice Rink, 3050 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
The Wharf Ice Rink
Southwest is the place to be this winter – specifically the skating rink on The Wharf's Transit Pier. Yes, with so many things to see and do at The Wharf you could spend a week here, but gliding across this riverfront ice rink underneath the evening glow of Edison bulbs is a can’t-miss winter experience. The rink also frequently offers seasonal events.
The Scene: Foodies, families and friends. The Wharf has transformed the nation’s longest continually operating open-air fish market into a year-round destination for visitors of all ages. With 20-plus restaurants and bars, shops from local artisans and global brands on board, the destination remains fresh and inspired. The best thing to pair your ice-skating experience with is a concert at any of the three music venues!
Insider Info: Located just four blocks from the National Mall, The Wharf is accessible by Metro, a free shuttle bus and even water taxi.
Hours: Reopens for the season on Nov. 22, 2023. Monday-Tuesday: Closed; Wednesday-Friday: 4-10 p.m.; Saturday: 12-10 p.m.; Sunday: 12-8 p.m.
Cost: Adult: $12; Youth (12 & Under): $9; Skate Rental: $6; Group Rate (10 or more) includes skate rental: $14
The Wharf Ice Rink on Transit Pier, 960 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Canal Park Ice Rink
The Capitol Riverfront neighborhood thrives in warmer months with waterfront activities, vibrant parks and a booming restaurant scene, but there's plenty to do in the colder temps as the ice rink opens for the season.
The Scene: The figure eight rink sits in the middle of the three-acre neighborhood park, with two-hour sessions and a 30-minute break in between. Satiate your appetite with Wiseguy Pizza, Altani Gelato & Coffee and Khin’s Sushi conveniently located within the park.
Insider Info: Discounts and packages are available, including the ‘Ice and Slice’ online offer which includes admission, skate rental and a slice of ‘za on Wednesdays. The rink also offers skating lessons and season passes.
Hours: Stay tuned for 2023 dates. Sunday-Thursday, 12–9:30 p.m.; Friday 12-10:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.–10:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 adults and children 13+, $12 children 12 and under/age 60+/students/military servicemembers, $5 rentals Discounts available for online pre-registration.
Canal Park, 200 M Street SE Washington, DC 20003
More About DC