If you’re getting stir crazy sitting inside on a snow day, get up off the couch and get moving. There’s plenty to enjoy in D.C. during the wintertime, from ice skating to sledding. Here are the top five cures for cabin fever this winter.
78 Country Club Trail
Fairfield, PA 17320
Phone: (717) 642-8282
Hours: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily; View varying snow tubing and skiing times; View lift ticket rates
Price: See lessons and ski packages
D.C. is only about an hour’s drive from area ski slopes. Most slopes have many options available for snow-loving families who like to ski, snowboard or snow tube or sled. If you or the kids are new to skiing but willing to learn, Ski Liberty in Carroll Valley, Penn. offers lessons for first timers. If you don’t have your own gear, you can find helmet, ski and snowboard rentals available for a decent rate. Ski Liberty is also a great option for those looking for a weekend getaway—it’s home to great lodging and excellent dining.
The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 216-9397
Hours: Monday –Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sun: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Ice skating is a winter activity staple, and the ice rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture is the perfect place to glide in style. The gallery’s rink is open from mid-November through mid-March, so there are plenty of days left in winter to get and enjoy some time on the ice. Because the rink is located at the gallery, skaters have the added pleasure of viewing sculptures and listening to music as they move.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 633-4888
Hours: November–March 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; April– October 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Don’t let the cold deter you from enjoying all the zoo has to offer. The National Zoo has thousands of animals, and highlights include the giant panda and ape exhibits and animal feedings. Admission to the zoo is free and they are open daily, except when closed to host special events. Members enjoy free parking, Smithsonian Zoogoer calendars, in-park discounts and discounts at other zoos. Kids ages 4-14 can attend children’s classes and workshops to learn about different animals and their environments.
For those looking to get out of the house but not quite ready to brave the bitter cold, heading to the movie theater to catch a flick is a great way to pass the time in warmth. Eat buttery popcorn, nibble on some candy and enjoy the latest blockbusters—all while staying nice and warm. If you’re watching your budget, plan on going during the matinee times to save money.
1529 14th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Hours: Sun: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Mon-Tues: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Wed-Thurs: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Whether you’ve worked up a chill from enjoying outdoor winter activities all day or simply from walking from the movie theater to the parking lot, nothing helps warm us up like a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Voted by the Washington Post as having some of the best hot cocoa in D.C., Artfully Chocolate has the right stuff to heat you up. With countless varieties of hot cocoa concocted from semi-sweet, dark and white chocolate and topped with Oreo cookies, coconut flakes and whipped cream, a cup from here will have you ready to brave the arctic temperatures in no time.
Carly Mannava is a freelance writer living in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.