What better way to get out of the house, hang out with friends and family and burn some major calories than spending the day (or night) ice skating? There are a variety of places that offer ice skating throughout the DC area. For the best ice skating experience, check out one of these DC-area indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks today.
National Gallery of Art
6th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20565
Located in the heart of downtown DC, the National Gallery of Art ice skating rink offers beautiful views of monuments, museums and modern art. Open mid-November until mid-March, the open-air ice skating rink also features music courtesy of a state-of-the-art sound system, skate and locker rental services and group and private ice skating lessons. Take a break and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or a warm snack at the Pavilion Cafe or wander around works of art in the Sculpture Garden. Admission for the rink is set at two-hour sessions beginning on the hour. The rink is closed New Year’s Day.
1100 New Jersey Ave. S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Go for a spin around the ice at Canal Park found in the thriving Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Open seven days a week, the ice skating rink offers skating lessons for children and adults as well as special discounts and packages for birthday parties and special events. The picturesque park also features interactive art sculptures, a park tavern and plenty of space to host a variety of events and celebrations throughout the year including concerts, festivals, farmers’ markets, movies and educational programs. Canal Park is a candidate for Sustainable Sites Initiative certification as well as Gold level certification under the LEED rating system.
Fort Dupont Ice Arena
3779 Ely Place
Washington, DC 20019
Escape from Old Man Winter and skate indoors at Fort Dupont Ice Rink, the only indoor public ice skating rink in DC. Sign up the kids for ice skating lessons or enroll them in Camp Skate for Fitness during the summer months. The ice skating rink also offers free figure skating, hockey and speed skating lessons to economically disadvantaged children. Enjoy a snack from the concession stand or take a break and rest among the bleachers. The Fort Dupont Ice Rink can also be reserved for school and community groups as well as hockey teams. Public skating is available Friday and Saturday afternoon.
Kettler Capitals Iceplex
627 N Glebe Road, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22207
Known as the practice location for the Washington Capitals, the Kettler Capitals Iceplex is also open to the public. Located atop Ballston Commons Mall, the state-of-the-art facility features two indoor NHL-sized rinks, a full-service pro shop, a Capitals Team store and a snack bar. The facility also features figure skating and hockey programs for adults and kids. Recreational activities include Recess at the Rink, perfect for kids between the ages of two and eight, as well as Broomball, where kids run around on the ice with sneakers on. Public skating hours are subject to change. Visitors are encouraged to check the daily schedule prior to arriving at the rink.
The Gardens Ice House
13800 Old Gunpowder Road
Laurel, MD 20707
Home to the Mid-Atlantic Skating School, the Gardens Figure Skating Club and the Potomac Curling Club, the Gardens Ice House is a great destination for ice skating fun. The 150,000-square-foot facility features three ice rinks—one Olympic size and two NHL regulation size—as well as a full-service pro sport shop, a fitness center, a full-service restaurant and an outdoor mini ice skating rink. The Gardens Ice House hosts numerous adult and kid hockey leagues, camps and clinics as well as figure skating holiday shows and performances, special discounts for birthday parties and a variety of skating schools and programs.
Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.