As a former New Yorker, whenever I thought about a skating rink, I pictured Rockefeller Center. But you don't need to make a trip up to NYC to get your ice fix, as skating rinks are popping up all over the DMV. And many are in some of the most iconic Washington spots: in Georgetown where the picturesque fountain was, in the midst of the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, on a roof overlooking the Potomac and on the Wharf.
The Washington Harbour Ice Rink
Hours: Monday/Tuesday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday/Thursday 12 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 12 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Cost: $10 adults, $9 children/ seniors/military, $6 rentals
Did you know this is not only the largest ice skating rink in D.C., but it is even bigger than New York City’s Rockefeller Center?! And just in case you want to show off your new found knowledge, Rockefeller Center’s rink is 7,000 square feet and Washington Harbour’s Rink is almost 12,000 square feet. As you’re spinning around the ice, take in the Potomac River views, and with all the restaurants there, it’s a perfect date night or a family outing.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. (10-11 a.m. open for Learn-to-Skate USA lessons only); Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Cost: $9 adults, $8 children under 12/seniors 50+/students with valid ID, $4 rentals
Where else in Washington can you skate by spectacular sculptures from artists like Alexander Calder, Roxy Paine and Louise Bourgeois? Now, add a single row of twinkling lights that glow like candles, and you've got pure magic. Whether you're out for date night or enjoying a family night, your party will be wowed. Warm up après-skate with freshly made soups, flatbread and other seasonal items (plus wine, beer, hot chocolate, hot cider, mulled wine and lattes with flavored whipped cream) at the Pavilion Café.
The Wharf Ice Rink
Hours: Monday/Tuesday 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday/Thursday 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Cost: $12 adults ($2 discount for active military and seniors 65+), $8 children, $6 rentals
Since the Wharf opened in 2017 with its concert venues, restaurants and hotels, it has become a popular place for Washingtonians to hang out. It completely redefined Southwest, the smallest quadrant of D.C. But one of the biggest attractions only appears in the colder months. Take a spin waterside as boats pass by, and then indulge in some s’mores, popcorn and hot cider at the District Square Firepit, or spring for a full meal at any of the 20+ bars and restaurants at the Wharf.
The Watergate Hotel’s Top of the Skate
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday/Sunday 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Rentals: $20 adults, $10 children under 12
It may be small, but the views are unbeatable at Top of the Skate. If the 360-degree city views aren’t enough to wow you, there is a skate-up bar with boozy hot chocolate, bourbon-spiked hot cider and a la carte options such as s’mores or stromboli. You can reserve tables with fire pits in the middle, surrounded by couches, or there are also smaller tables and seats available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Canal Park Ice Rink
Hours: Monday - Thursday 12 pm – 10 pm; Friday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Cost: $9 adults, $8 children, $5 rentals
Over the years, this area has undergone quite the transformation. With its interactive fountains and grassy areas, it’s a place to hang out and play in the spring, summer and fall. The fun continues in the winter with its ice skating rink. But this rink is a little different -- it’s on a track. During the holidays you can skate around lit up trees and see giant ornaments. To refuel, stop by Wise Guy pizza where you don’t even need to take off your skates. In addition there are plenty of restaurants and a Starbucks for warming up.
Pentagon Row Ice Rink
Hours: Monday – Thursday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
The largest rink in Northern Virginia, the Pentagon Row Ice Rink has a dual-sided stone fireplace for lounging, plenty of places to eat and Starbucks for hot chocolate and coffee. Plus, if you haven't finished your holiday shopping, you can pop into the mall after a quick skate sesh!
Pavilion at Reston Town Center
Hours: Sunday – Tuesday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Wednesday/Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Cost: $10 adults, $9 kids under 12, 55+ and military, $6 rentals
With over 500 pairs of skates ranging from toddler size 8 through men’s size 13, Reston is inclusive of all levels of skaters, and offers their rentals in both figure and hockey styles. The rink is in the heart of Reston Town Center, with a slew of restaurants nearby where you can stop and take a break.
Rockville Town Square Outdoor Skating
Hours: Monday – Thursday 12 p.m.– 10 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. -10 p.m.
Cost: $9 adults, $8 children and seniors, $5 rentals
This is a great rink for your little one to learn to skate for the first time, or for mom and dad to take a refresher course! On Saturday mornings, they offer youth lessons for kids age 3-6 (9:30 a.m.) and 7-15 (9 a.m.), and adults hit the ice on Sunday mornings. You can always book private lessons as well. The rink will validate parking for two hours, so before you head home, warm up at Asian food hall The Spot, or check out all that Rockville has to offer.
Silver Spring Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza
Hours: Monday – Thursday 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday 12 p.m.- 12 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $9 adults, $8 children and seniors, $5 rentals
If you're up for a little late-night spin on the ice, parking is free here after 8 p.m. on weeknights, or all day on the weekends! Skate sizes range from a toddler size 7 to adult 14, so this is yet again a rink that caters to the whole family.