Embrace the cold weather

Embrace the cold weather

In the winter, the lull of indoor heating and the comfort of our homes often tempt us inside, letting us forget the snow, ice and below-freezing temperatures outdoors. Activities become increasingly less strenuous and the range of areas we visit grows smaller, resulting in bouts of winter-induced boredom and apathy. Easy and available winter sports like ice-skating are often forgotten amongst fits of listlessness.

One of the most beautiful places to get your ice-skating fix this season is the Sculpture Garden Ice Rink at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Surrounded by unique sculptures and scenic D.C. buildings including the National Archives, National Gallery of Art Museum and the Capitol, the rink is open-air and nestled in the trendy Penn Quarter neighborhood.

Besides being a great place to exercise and hang out with friends for a change of pace, the Garden is surrounded by great restaurants and sandwich shops and has a café where you can get food and hot chocolate. There is also a Starbucks less than a block away, conveniently placed as a way to warm up after skating.

Getting into the city for a day trip, if only for a couple of hours, is one of the best ways to shake off the winter ‘blahs’ that attack after the holiday season. After stepping into skates and whizzing into the crisp air at the National Sculpture Garden, you might be inviting winter to hang around for just a little while longer.

Skating at the Sculpture Garden is an invigorating experience. The rink is circled by twinkly white lights that liven up the area after dark, and twenty-four speakers mounted on poles around the ring provide music ranging from cheerful oldies classics to recently released singles. Visitors who stop by earlier in the day can beat the crowds that tend to congregate in the late afternoon and evening, especially on weekends.

The rink is open Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for students with a valid ID and children 12 and under. Skates are available to rent for $3 and lockers can be rented for 50 cents an hour with a $5 deposit.