Nov 16, 2023 - Things to Do

Best ice skating rinks in the D.C. area for the holidays

The ice rink outside the National Gallery of Art with skaters surrounded by trees

The Sculpture Garden ice rink. Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

Festive outdoor ice rinks are opening for the winter season.

Why it matters: There's a rink for every mood, from first dates to family fun.

Of note: Many rinks get busy and offer (or require) online reservations in advance, so book early!

🎨 Sculpture Garden ice rink: One of the prettiest places to glide in D.C. is the National Gallery's rink on the Mall (open Nov. 20-March 3). The Pavilion Café serves warm drinks and light fare. Season passes and lessons can be purchased online — all ages and abilities welcome — though you can only buy regular passes on-site.

  • Tickets: $10 for kids, $12 for anyone 13+, plus $6 skate rental fees.

⛸️ Washington Harbour: Skate at the Georgetown Waterfront from mid-November through February, overlooking the Potomac River and pretty harbor lights.

🛥️ The Wharf: Glide out over the water at The Wharf rink, set on a pier. It opens Nov. 22 with various activities throughout the season.

  • Tickets are first-come, starting at $10 for kids and $13 for adults (no cash accepted).

🎄 Ice & Lights at Cameron Run: Enjoy skating and holiday lights in one place at this winter wonderland in Alexandria, where skaters can glide around displays and under the stars (open Nov. 17-Jan. 1). Warm up with cocoa and pizza.

  • Tickets: $20 for skating and holiday village entry, day or evening.

❄️ Color Burst ice rink: Columbia's outdoor rink opens Nov. 17 along with a holiday festival and tree lighting. Skating will run through January with festive decorations and warming drinks and eats.

  • Tickets ($12) and skate rentals ($3) can be booked online.

🔥 Pentagon Row outdoor skate: The 7,200-square-foot ice rink touts itself as the largest in Northern Virginia. The surrounding plaza has lots of lights, shops, and an outdoor fireplace. Lessons are available for kids and adults, and passes are offered for both walk-up and advance purchase.

  • Tickets: $10 for kids under 12 and $11 for adults.

⛄ Silver Spring ice skating: The outdoor rink at Veterans Plaza is set under colorful lights. Lessons for kids and adults are offered throughout the season. Reservations are required (no cash).

  • Tickets: $10 for kids and $11 for adults, plus $6 skate rentals.
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