The abundance of outdoor ice rinks here means we city dwellers don’t have to head for the mountains to partake in winter sports – at least not this one. Whether you need a penguin to lean on, a refresher course or a place to practice your triple lutz, there’s a rink for that. Santa pays a visit to some rinks, as do cartoon characters and even fireworks. Yes, fireworks. Here are 13 rinks to take a spin on – and 13 places near them to warm your tootsies afterward.
photo: Howard County
Columbia Ice Rink
You can enjoy public sessions and lessons at this rink. Family Sessions are held every Sunday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and cost $26/family of four (skate rentals are included).
Cost: $9.25/person, $3.75/skate rental
Where:5876 Thunder Hill Rd., Columbia, MD
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Grab a slice post-skate at near-by Vennari’s Pizza (5865 Robert Oliver Pl, Columbia, MD).
Reston Town Center Ice Rink
This shopping and dining area turns its open-air pavilion into an ice rink every winter. The skate shop has more than 500 pairs of skates in figure skating and hockey styles, plus double-bladed, flat-edge skates for beginners.
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child 12 and under and seniors over 55, $6/skate rental
Where: 11900 Market St., Reston, VA
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Replenish those calories at Edibles Incredible Desserts which sells works of art in the form of brownies, cookies and chocolate confection (11917 Freedom Dr., Reston,VA).
Harris Pavilion Ice Rink
Known for its outdoor shows in the warmer months, the pavilion turns icy in November. In January and February, look for special events like matinee skate from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, when $5 buys admission and skate rentals, and Wednesday free skates from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., when all you pay is the $5 rental fee.
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child 10 and under, $5/skate rental
Where: 9701 Center St.,Manassas, VA
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Historic Old Town Manassas is less than half a mile from the rink. Learn more about the area at the James and Marion Payne Memorial Railroad Heritage Gallery, which has photographs tracking 150 years of railroad history in the town. 9431 West St. (Manassas, Va)
photo: Alex T. via Yelp
National Gallery of Art
Getting to glide among art at this rink surrounded by the Sculpture Garden makes it one of the most popular outdoor rinks every year. Swish past works by artists such as Roy Lichtensetein and Louise Bourgeois.
Cost: $9/adult, $8/child 12 and younger, students with ID and seniors 50 and up, $4/skate rental
Where: National Mall between 7th and 9th St.. along Constitution Ave. NW
Where to Warm Up Nearby: The Pavilion Café is on-site and offers wintry staples such as soup and chili. There’s a small children’s menu, too. Constitution Ave. and Madison Dr. (entrances at 9th St. NW)
Washington Harbour Ice Rink
Open annually from mid-November until March, this 11,800-square-foot rink is the District’s largest outdoor skating venue. Take peeks at the Potomac River and you whoosh around, and stop by for weekly skating events such as two-for-one admission on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Cartoon Skate on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Note: Helmets and penguin skate aides are available on a first come, first serve basis.
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, senior and military, $6/skate rental
Where: 2000 K St. NW
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Snag a famous Georgetown Cupcake while you’re in the area. In December, check out holiday-themed flavors such as Rudolph Red Velvet and Hanukkah Vanilla (3301 M St. NW).
Canal Park Ice Rink
This park at Capitol Riverfront is a home run for everyone. Skate at your own pace or take Learn-to-Skate classes, which will be offered throughout the winter for $95 per five-class session. Birthday party options are also available.
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child under 12, senior over 55 and military, $5/skate rental
Where: National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Get great views of the area, including Nationals Park, while chowing on an All-American Kobe Dog or Presidential Cheese Sticks at the Top of the Yard (1265 First St.SE) on the rooftop of the Hampton Inn and Suites. Don’t forget to grab a muffin ice cream sandwich for dessert.
photo: Silver Spring Ice Skating
Silver Spring Ice Skating at Veterans Plaza
Enjoy some loops around a rink that sits in the middle of a shopping and dining center. Need some instruction? Sign up for Skate School. Classes include introduction to ice hockey for kids 6 to 12, youth group lessons for ages 3 to 15, and parent/tot groups.
Cost: $9/person 13 and up, $8/person 12 and under, $8/senior, $5/skate rental
Where: 8523 Fenton St., Silver Spring, MD
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Rest and warm up at the Regal Majestic Stadium 20 and IMAX movie theater (900 Ellsworth Dr., Silver Spring, MD), situated within view of the rink.
Rockville Town Square Ice Rink
At 7,200 square feet, this outdoor rink is said to be the biggest between Baltimore and Washington. Skate lessons are available for $85 for five classes for ages 3 to 16. Rockville Town Square has shops, restaurants and even a spa (just saying) to peruse after you hang up your blades.
Cost: $9/person 13 and up, $8/person 12 and under, $8/senior, $5/skate rental
Where: 131 Gibbs St., Rockville, MD
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Refuel with pizzas with great names such as Funky Q. Chicken and Maui Wowie from Mellow Mushroom (33A Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD). Vegan and gluten-free options are available.
photo: Patryk S. via Yelp
Quiet Waters Park ice rink
The ice rink sits in front of the Visitor Center, which has three art galleries showcasing local talent. Take a break and warm up by perusing the works. Helmets and walkers available for use on the ice, and sessions, which start on the hour, are two hours long. Note: Cash or check payment only.
Cost: $7/adult, $6/child 4 to 12 and seniors over 60, free/child 3 and under, $3/skates, $6/skate blade sharpening
Where: 600 Quiet Waters Park Rd., Annapolis, MD
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Take a 10-minute drive to Miss Shirley’s Café (1 Park Place, Annapolis, MD) which has a sizable kids menu. Silver dollar pancakes, French toast and sliders are each $8.88.
The Inner Harbor Ice Rink
Besides the usual suspects (read skating), this rink has themed events such as Superhero Skate (where kids can skate in costume) on Nov. 17 from 2-4 p.m., Princess Skate on Jan. 18 from 2-4 p.m., and the Closing Glow Party on Jan. 20 from 6-8 p.m.
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child, senior and military, $4/skate rental
Where: 201 E. Pratt St., Baltimore, MD
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Grab a hot chocolate at the nearby Christmas Village in Baltimore.
Glen Burnie Outdoor Ice Skating
Music sets the tone for skaters making loops around the rink situated in the Glen Burnie Town Center. This rink, like the others, offers skating lessons and birthday party options.
Cost: $8/adult ages 12 and up, $7/child under 12 and senior 55 and up, $3/skate rental
Where: 103 Crain Hwy. (Glen Burnie, Md)
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Indulge your sweet or savory tooth with a buttery apple or spicy turkey crepe, respectively, from Irina’s Crepes Café. (111 Crain Hwy., Glen Burnie, MD).
Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating
As part of a renovation to the plaza three years ago, more space was made for the ice rink, which now stands at 6,840 square feet – the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia and the second largest in the state. Little ones can grab a penguin aide, and youth skating and hockey lessons are available.
Cost: $10/adult, $9/child 12 and under and seniors over 55, $5 skate rental
Where: 1201 S Joyce St., Arlington, VA
Where to Warm Up Nearby: Warm up and refuel with the powdered sugar goodness of a beignet and a hot drink at Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Rd.. Arlington, VA) in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood a short drive away.
— Ayren Jackson-Cannady and Stephanie Kanowitz