Top 7 best ice skating rinks in DC

DC hosts a number of great outdoor ice rinks that open up in November and stay open through February. A few (such as the Capitals Iceplex) stay open throughout the year.

Canal Park | Washington Harbour | Pentagon Row | Reston Town Center | Veterans Plaza | Capitals Iceplex | National Art Gallery

7. Pentagon Row

In spite of the sore shoes, Julia had an awesome time speeding around the virtually empty rink at Pentagon Row.
In spite of the sore shoes, Julia had an awesome time speeding around the virtually empty rink at Pentagon Row.

With small crowds (especially on a Sunday morning), Pentagon Row is the ideal place to learn if you have your own skates. Although the Pentagon Row does rent out skates, they are easily the most uncomfortable skates I’ve ever put on and our legs looked like bruised avocados when we peeled them off. Someone must have gotten a really good deal on these. This is also the most convenient public transportation option as it is just steps from the Pentagon City Metro Station.

6. Canal Park

$9 admission / $5 rentals Canal Park Ice Rink shines with its sheer size. With islands in the middle of the rink and a longer run than any outdoor rink in the area, DC’s riverfront rink makes for the most visually interesting and is our top pick for a romantic date.

5. Washington Harbour

Although smaller than Canal Park, Washington Harbour is another good pick for a date, with the nearby shops of Georgetown and a number of close dinner options, including the upscale Sequoia.

4. Reston Town Center

If you’re looking for a giant Christmas Tree and old fashioned holiday decor, Reston Town Center Ice Rink is worth the 30 minute drive from DC. Be sure to book your dinner at Clyde’s in advance as the waitlist grows as Christmas nears.

3. Veterans Plaza

The most popular Maryland rink is the Silver Spring Ice Rink at Veterans Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. With jumbotrons around and a light-show roof above, it feels a bit like skating through Times Square.

2. Capitals Iceplex

Our top indoor option, Capitals Iceplex is an excellent place to improve your triple axel in the offseason. As the name implies, this is also the official training rink of the Washington Capitals, so you’ll want to check the website for open skate times before heading out to Ballston Quarter. Generally, though, you can skate around lunch and dinner time on Saturdays and mid-afternoon on Sundays. The Capitals Iceplex is also accessible, with ample and cheap parking in the public garage under the rink and a short walk to Ballston Metro Station.

1. National Gallery of Art

The seasonal outdoor ice skating rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is the ideal pick for a memorable family vacation.
The seasonal outdoor ice skating rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is the ideal pick for a memorable family vacation.

The most famous rink in DC, of course, is the Sculpture Garden Rink at the National Gallery of Art. This is DC’s Rock Center, surrounded by iconic neo-classical grandeur and art. The rink is kid-friendly and a great place for people just learning to stand up on the ice. Price per person, including skates, is $12 – $13.

Hours at the Sculpture Garden rink are:

  • Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
  • Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
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