The Thanksgiving turkey has graced our dinner tables and partied in our bellies. New celebrations await as we prepare for an abundant holiday season ushered in with gusty cold temperatures, crisp frost on the grass and the sparkly presence of ice decorating our trees, cars, homes and sidewalks.
While the icy weather gives us iridescent eye candy, a different type of ice is ready to warm us up through the pleasantries of public exercise, spectator sports, fun classes for children and adults, and the perfect excuse to talk about the Zamboni ice resurfacer machine. This is the beauty of local ice rinks sprinkled throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Ice Rinks in Maryland
In Bowie, the City of Bowie Ice Arena recently celebrated 50 years in operation. Open in 1971, this ice arena used to offer only seasonal skating, but is now open for almost the entire year, with a short break for maintenance. Each month is packed to the brim with public skating, skating lessons and organized club sports.
It is the proud home of:
- Bowie Figure Skating Club
- Bowie Hockey Club
- Bowie High School Ice Dogs team
- Bowie ISI Figure Skating Team.
In Rockville, the Rockville Ice Arena stays extremely busy hosting practices, games, tournaments and ice shows for multiple community organizations, including the Montgomery Youth Hockey Association, St. John’s College High School ice hockey team, the Bullis Bulldogs ice hockey team, the Landon School ice hockey team, Team Maryland travel hockey organization, Washington Pride all-girls travel hockey organization, Wheaton Ice Skating Academy and International Silver Stick, just to name a few.
Ice Rinks in Virginia
In Arlington, the MedStar Capitals Iceplex is home to our professional ice hockey team, the Washington Capitals. It features two large indoor rinks for public skating, hockey and figure skating classes, youth and adult hockey leagues and many other ice-based events and parties. Of special note is MedStar’s unique Sky High Skating Academy (SHSA), an affiliate of the U.S. Figure Skating Aspire Program which seeks to help develop skills for serious and freestyle skaters.
Another great ice rink in Arlington is the Pentagon Row Outdoor Skating facility, situated in the heart of a flourishing shopping district among busy, colorful high-rise apartment buildings. After being renovated in 2013, this facility nearly doubled in size and now boasts a whopping 6,840 square-foot rink. This rink is the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia and the second largest in the state! This rink is open seasonally for public skating.
In Ashburn, the Ashburn Ice House offers year-round public skating, lessons in ice skating, figure skating and ice hockey, leagues for children and adults and camps. Visible from far distances with its gigantic ice hockey player silhouette adorning the exterior of the building, this facility has plenty of space to offer many fun programs with its two NHL-sized rinks. Guests may sign up to play stick n’ shoot, pickup hockey or broomball. There are also many opportunities to learn to skate or play hockey year round through clinics and dedicated instruction.
The Fairfax Ice Arena in Fairfax is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary by welcoming the public for public skating, ice hockey leagues and opportunities for adults, ice skating lessons, summer camps and an annual figure skating competition and ice show. This facility is well known for its generosity and community-building efforts in providing warm, welcoming fundraising and spirit events for Girl Scouts, schools, clubs and other local organizations.
Ice Rinks in the District of Columbia
Flanked by exciting restaurants and retail shops overlooking the exquisite Georgetown Waterfront, also known as the Washington Harbour, lies a regal fountain which bursts forth flares of water for nearly seven months of the year. Each November, it transforms into a majestic ice rink suitable for a heavy congestion of public ice skating.
Known as the Washington Harbour Ice Rink, this charming rink was built in 2011 in an oval shape over the reflecting fountain with a perfect central location to allow patrons to enjoy views of the Potomac River while skating. Public ice skating sessions are offered on a seasonal basis.
In Southeast D.C. is the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, an indoor ice skating rink built in 1976 and managed since 1996 by the not-for-profit group Friends of the Fort Dupont Ice Arena. The rink offers seasonal “free figure skating, hockey and speed skating lessons to economically disadvantaged children” in a sequential instructional program known as Learn to Skate USA.
Located near Benning Road metro station, the Fort Dupont Ice Arena has its administrative offices open every day and makes its rink available for public skating on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Enchanting guests with perhaps the most picturesque surroundings in the entire Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is the Ice Rink at the Sculpture Garden located at the National Gallery of Art. Open seasonally each year after Thanksgiving, this outdoor ice rink sits surrounded by a beautiful array of carefully manicured trees. It is practically a life-on-earth recreation of a storybook fantasy with its inimitable backdrop of architectural sculptures and museum monuments. The Washington Elite Skating School offers ice skating lessons at this outdoor rink. It is open for public skating every day during the season.
Exploring Ice rinks throughout the Metropolitan Area
Children of all ages, adults and families have many beautiful choices in ice rinks throughout the metropolitan area. Each of our three jurisdictions offers unique combinations of classes, ice sport events and opportunities, public and freestyle skating sessions and a few special extras including competitions and annual ice shows. No matter what level of ability you may have, feel free to explore the many ice rinks scattered in our area. Each rink is worth visiting!
Local ice rinks in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area
Ashburn Ice House 21595 Smith Switch Road Ashburn, Va. 20147 ashburnice.com Open year-round Indoor ice rinks. Public skating, skating lessons, drop-in sports, sports leagues and an annual ice show. This facility uses Daysmart Recreation rink management software to process public events. Guests are encouraged to create accounts before visiting the facility.
City of Bowie Ice Arena 3330 Northview Drive Bowie, Md. 20716 cityofbowie.org/105/Ice-Arena July – April. (Closed for ice maintenance between May – June.) Indoor ice rink. Public skating, skating lessons, club sports. Offers many public activities nearly on a daily basis. Check the website for up-to-date information. The City of Bowie often collects canned food to benefit local nonprofits.
Fairfax Ice Arena 3779 Pickett Road Fairfax, Va. 22031 fairfaxicearena.com Open year-round Indoor ice rink. Lessons, public skating, freestyle sessions, ice hockey, camps and a competition and show. Online registration is optional for drop-in public skating. This facility welcomes fundraisers for schools and community organizations.
Fort Dupont Ice Arena 3779 Ely Place, SE Washington, D.C. 20019 fdia.org July – March. (Closed for ice maintenance between March – June.) Indoor ice rink. Lessons and recreational programs for children ages 5 – 18. Public skating on select days. The not-for-profit Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena manages the rink and accepts donations. This rink provides subsidized figure skating, hockey and speed skating lessons to youth in the metropolitan area.
Ice Rink at the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art 101 9th Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20004 nga.gov/visit/ice-rink.html
Thursday after Thanksgiving through the first week of March. Outdoor ice rink. Public skating and skating lessons.
MedStar Capitals Iceplex 627 N. Glebe Road, Suite 800 Arlington, Va. 22203 medstarcapitalsiceplex.com Open year-round Indoor ice rinks. Offers recreational, pickup and professional sports and skating programs. Walk-ins are not accommodated. Everyone is asked to preregister online for the session of their choice.
Pentagon Row Outdoor Skating 1201 S Joyce Street Arlington, Va. 22202 pentagonrowskating.com Seasonal; check the website for details Outdoor ice rink. Offers public skating and lessons.
Rockville Ice Arena 50 Southlawn Court Rockville, Md. 20850 rockvilleicearena.com Open year-round Indoor ice rinks. Offers lessons, public skating, events and open gym “stick time” for hockey players. Public skating is usually offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but check the website for current information.
Washington Harbour Ice Rink 3050 K Street, NW Washington, D.C. 20007 thewashingtonharbour.com/ice-skatingSeasonal (approx. Nov. 11 – March 23) Outdoor ice rink. Public skating sessions last 90 minutes long with a 30-minute break in-between.
Silver Spring Civic Center 8523 Fenton St Silver Spring, MD 20910 silverspringiceskating.com Brand new outdoor ice rink. Reservations are required and open two weeks in advance. Offers group and private skating lessons.