Best Ways To Take Advantage Of The Last Of Winter In Washington DC

March 2, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Winter may not have reared its ugly head this year (Snowmaggedon, anyone?) but it sure has covered the DC area with gloomy, cloudy days and freezing temps. With spring just around the corner, take advantage of the last few days of winter and check out one of these best ways to enjoy winter while you still can.

Verizon Center
601 F St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 628-3200

Before you pack away your sweaters and hats for good, make your way to the Verizon Center where you will find the Washington Capitals take the ice. Cheer on Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Semin and other members of the Caps as they pursue the Stanley Cup. Last year was a high point in the team’s history, as they made it all the way to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoff series only to lose in the seventh game against the New York Rangers. Although half the season was lost due to a labor dispute between players and owners, the Capitals are scheduled to play at the Verizon Center until the end of April.

Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 895-6070

Crowded gym got you down? Head towards Rock Creek Park where you will find a variety of hiking, bicycling and fitness trails plus plenty of things to do like bridle trails and golf. The park also features 15 soft-surface and 10 hard-surface tennis courts, playgrounds and open fields. Visit the Rock Creek Park Nature Center and Planetarium to learn more about the park’s history, participate in hands-on exhibits, sign up for a nature walk or simply enjoy the magnificent views. The planetarium identifies major constellations as well as portrays the night sky exactly as it looks from the DC area. Rock Creek Park also offers ranger-led and kid-friendly programs and cell phone tours as well.Related: Best Places To Go Ice Skating In The DC Area

1000 Jefferson Dr. SW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 633-1000

Warmer temperatures usually mean students, tourists and massive crowds take over at all museums, monuments and government buildings in downtown DC. If you’re not a fan of large crowds, wintertime is a great time to check out well-known Smithsonian institutions including the Air and Space, American Art and African American History and Culture museums. Each venue offers a variety of hands-on exhibits, fantastic shows and displays, intriguing lectures and other interactive events. Admission to the museums, and the National Zoo, are free. The kids will love the butterfly pavilion at the National Museum of Natural History while the art lover in your life will enjoy the Freer Gallery of Art. Bonus: many of the museums are located within walking distance of a Metro station.

Pentagon Row Ice Skating
1201 S. Joyce St.
Arlington, VA 22202
(703) 418-6666

Breathe in the last of the crisp winter air as you skate around the ice rink at Pentagon Row. Located in the center of a vibrant shopping center, the outdoor ice skating rink features charming city lights, nightly snow falls and a Skate Shack where you will find plenty of seating and lockers to store your belongings. Afterwards, warm up with a cup of coffee or simply stroll around the shopping center where you will find discounts and sales on clothes, shoes and beauty products plus happy hour specials, trivia nights and other fun events at nearby restaurants and bars. Pentagon Row also features more than 500 apartment homes.

Related: Best Bars With Heated Patios In DC

Liberty Mountain
78 Country Club Trail
Carroll Valley, PA 17320
(717) 642-8282

What better way to say goodbye to winter than to spend the day flying down snow-covered hills on an inner tube? Liberty Mountain offers the best snow tubing experience plus other fun winter-related activities like skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks and hiking trails. The ski resort features two on-site dining options plus a nightclub and tavern, a food court, sports shop and a hotel. Enjoy special events and discounts like “College Days and Nights,” where students can ride the lifts and shred snow for just $35 (price includes rental equipment if desired), as well as live entertainment and the popular Springfest, where guests participate in pond skimming among over exciting activities and events.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at