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. Please note Covid-19 protocols at each venue.
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 mid-November and lasts until mid-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: Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Open Nov. 19, 2021–March 16, 2022 (weather permitting).
Cost: $10 adults, $9 children/age 50+/students, $4 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 11:30 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Open Nov. 12, 2021–March 13, 2022.
Cost: $10 adults, $9 children/seniors/military, $6 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 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: The Wharf’s ice rink will open on Nov. 24, 2021 and remain open through Feb. 2022, weather permitting. Located just four blocks from the National Mall, The Wharf is accessible by Metro, a free shuttle bus and even water taxi.
Wednesday-Friday: 4-10 p.m.
Saturday: 12-10 p.m.
Sunday: 12-8 p.m.
Special Holiday Hours
Dec. 23: 12-10 p.m.
Dec. 24: 12-7 p.m.
Dec. 25: 12-8 p.m.
Dec. 26-30: 12-10 p.m.
Dec. 31: 12-8 p.m.
Jan. 17: 12-5 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
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