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Melanie D.G. Kaplan | Photo: Courtesy Image | November 21, 2013
DC’s outdoor ice rinks are worth the skate rental—but it’s the après-skate cocktails that have us venturing onto the slick surface. Skate—and sip—your way into the season with a night out at one of these hot ice rinks.
Washington Harbour (Now open)
SKATE Larger than the rink at Rockefeller Center and cooler than the mercury can measure, this Georgetown rink is the place to be seen, with or without your fancy spins. New last season, this 11,800-square-foot rink has a view of the Potomac River and is surrounded by a collection of buzzy restaurants with great views of the action. 3050 K St. NW, 202.706.7666, thewashingtonharbour.com/skating
SIP Take a break and watch skaters from your perch inside Farmers Fishers Bakers, where you can enjoy a craft cocktail with housemade syrups or a New York Egg Cream for JV skaters. 3000 K St. NW, 202.298.8783, farmersfishersbakers.com
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Now open)
SKATE Add a little of the arts to your skate date as you glide by eye-popping modern art in the gallery’s outdoor sculpture garden. And, if you’re looking for something original to do on New Year’s Eve, the rink is open until 11PM on Dec. 31.
SIP Warm up inside at the newly renovated Pavilion Cafe, with a panoramic view of the sculpture garden. The cafe offers a full menu, including wine, beer, hot chocolate, gourmet pizzas, brownies and chocolate croissants. National Mall at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW, 202.216.9397, nga.gov
Pentagon Row (Now open)
SKATE Step into a winter wonderland at the newly renovated and expanded Pentagon Row ice rink. Every night, skaters enjoy a fairy tale-like “snowfall” (at 6:30 and 8:30PM) that adds a touch of magic to your laps around the ice. An intimate stone firepit nearby offers the perfect place to warm up. 1201 South Joyce St., Arlington, 703.418.6666, pentagonrowskating.com
SIP Après-skate, enjoy an Irish coffee from Siné Irish Pub. 1301 S. Joyce St., Arlington, Va., 703.415.4420, sineirishpub.com
Reston Town Center (Now open)
SKATE The open-air rink in Reston attracts the suburbanite set every year with a great space for crazy eights—and family friendly events like Friday Night Rock ‘N Skate and Saturday morning skating with characters like Scooby Doo and Cat in the Hat. 1818 Discovery St., Reston, 703.709.6300, restontowncenter.com/skating
SIP Stop in at the adjacent Clyde’s of Reston for a classic cocktail with a spin, like the Midnight Mimosa or Coconut Cake Martini. 11905 Market St., Reston, 703.787.6601, clydes.com/reston
Washington Canal Park (Opening mid-December)
SKATE Lace up your skates at one of the city’s newest rinks, right near Nationals Park. The sleek, eco-friendly park features a circuitous ice path that will make you feel right at home… if you’ve ever skated on frozen European canals. 202 M St. SE, 202.554.6051, canalparkdc.org/ice-rink
SIP Warm up at the newest location of local fave Buzz Bakery. Vino from Planet Wine and the peppermint hot chocolate with housemade marshmallows will make you fall in love with winter all over again. 300 Tingey St. SE, buzzbakery.com