With cold weather having descended upon D.C. for good, a bevy of winter attractions are now available for locals and tourists to enjoy. While many of the options are familiar to residents, two new venues have both opened up this year, both within the city limits, that allow you to partake in one of everyone’s favorite outdoor, cold-weather activity.
Outdoor ice skating can be everyone’s favorite way to spend a winter weekday evening or chilly weekend afternoon. There’s nothing like sashaying about on a sheet of frozen water while the cold wind whips at your face. Inside Washington, D.C., there used to be only one location to go to, a small oval in the middle of the Sculpture Gardens
But this winter, two new, large spots have opened up for the frigid season, where you can spend hours cutting across the ice.
In Georgetown, at Washington Harbour, right along the Potomac River, a rink opened up in mid-November. Visitors to the waterfront, who have yet to see it, are in for a surprise. Where there once was a large fountain is now a large ice rink, with skaters gliding about. The ice sheet is almost 12,000 square feet in size, which makes it larger than one of the most famous urban skating centers, the Rockefeller Center skating rink, in downtown Manhattan.
The ice rink is open seven days a week. From Monday to Thursday from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., meaning you could sneak down on your lunch break if you choose. On Friday, the rink stays open until 10:00 pm, while Saturday, the ice is available for a full 12 hours, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. On Sunday, the rink opens at the same time, but closes down around 7:00 p.m.
Even though it’s in Georgetown, it’s relatively cheap to skate about. Adults can hop on the surface for $9, while children get in for $7. Skate rentals cost $5. The rink will stay open until mid-March, and is going to be open every winter from now on.
While the rink at Georgetown is a typical winter season one, on on the other side of town a spot opened with a bit more flair. At the Navy Yards, in Southeast, D.C. sits Canal Park, one of Washington’s newest open-air parks. And just a month ago opened this area’s longest outdoor skating rink.
The space is designed to mimic the canals of Northern Europe. There in the winter, when the water freezes over, kids and adults hop on and stake along the thoroughfare. The rink at Canal Park has a similar design. It’s over 250 feet long, and is shaped like an elongated figure eight, with long stretches for skaters to cruise down and build up speed. At either end, people loop around little gardens, with trees sticking up in the middle of the rink.
Just like in Georgetown, the rink is open seven days a week. From 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, then 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. Prices are almost identical to the ice sheet on the other side of town, with adult passes costing $8, kids and seniors $7 and skate rentals just $3.
This winter, instead of heading down to the Sculpture Gardens, visit two of Washington, D.C.’s newest, and coolest, outdoor skating parks.
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