The return of chilly temps puts us in the mood for a wintery outing. These Washington DC and Northern Virginia ice skating rinks offer healthy winter fun for every age, whether you prefer to skate indoors or out. Each ice skating destination offers smooth ice, happy music, and nearby fun, so we suggest you visit them all.
Rinks are operating with reduced capacity and new safety rules for the 2020/2021 winter season. Purchase tickets in advance to guarantee your spot. We’ve also noted a few rinks that will not reopen this year. Outdoor rinks may close due to weather so always check for updates before you head out.
Outdoor Northern Virginia Ice Skating Rinks
1. Harris Pavillon Ice Rink, Manassas
Seasonal ice skating takes over the Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas from November 20 through February (weather permitting). The pavilion offers a generously covered rink with a nice sound system pumping out music to glide to. All sessions are open skate, and skate rentals are available for $6.
Skating is $9/$8 adults/children 10 and under. The rink is open daily in November and December, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and hours vary by day. The rink is closed Monday and Tuesday in January and February. Follow the link for details and special event closures.
Historic Manassas is full of restaurants, shops, and historic sites, so allow time after your skating session to explore. Better yet book a room in Manassas and enjoy a winter mini-vacation. The Manassas Train Depot is a great spot for a photo with the Virginia LOVE sign.
2. Reston Town Center Ice Skating, Reston
Skating can get a little cozy at the popular Reston Town Center rink, but the vibe is upbeat and the staff does their best to keep everyone happy. In 2020, the covered rink is open daily from November 6 until early March, including Christmas and New Year. There are special kid-targeted events on the weekend—Rock the Rink on Friday nights, 7:30 – 9:00; Cartoon Skate on Saturday mornings, 11:00 – 1:00. There is also a College Skate Night on Thursdays, 6:30 – 10:00 ($2 off with a Valid College ID).
Capacity is limited in 2020 so reserve your spot and purchase tickets online. Adult admission is $10; youth under 12, Seniors, and Military $9; plus $7 for skate rentals.
Follow your skating fun with a stop at any of the terrific Reston Town Center restaurants and bars, or rest your feet at a movie. Clyde’s is our pick for delicious crab cakes and a view of the skaters, but we’ve also had tasty meals at Big Bowl, Jackson’s, and others. If the weather is warm enough, the tables by the fountain provide an excellent spot to sit and people watch. Remember that parking is free in the evenings and weekends, otherwise plan to pay for your spot.
3. Pentagon Row Outdoor Ice Skating, Arlington
The largest outdoor ice skating rink in Northern Virginia, Pentagon Row offers 6,840 feet of space to glide and twirl. A 2013 renovation also added a two-sided fireplace, next to the rink, offering a cozy place to relax. The rink is open daily from early November through mid-March, including major holidays. Prices are $10 for skaters 13 and up; $9 for those under 12 and Seniors over 55. Skate rentals are $5.
4. Winter Village at Cameron Run, Alexandria
Returning in 2020 for its second year is the sparkly rink at Ice & Lights, The Winter Village at Cameron Run in Alexandria, Virginia. The waterpark will be transformed from November 20 through January 3 into a winter wonderland with an ice rink, beautifully lit photo ops, music, and more. The Village is open nightly, 5:00 – 10:00, including holidays.
The ice rink only is also open on weekends, January 9 to February 28. Grab a slice of pizza, roast a marshmallow over the fire pits, and enjoy the winter village. Admission to the Village plus one hour of skating is $19.43 (Village only $7.95).
Indoor Northern Virginia Ice Skating Rinks
When it’s just too cold outside, or you’re looking to cool down during the warmer months, these indoor Northern Virginia ice skating rinks are the place to go.
5. SkateQuest, Reston
Two large rinks at SkateQuest are often occupied with hockey, figure skating, lessons, and camps, so public skating hours vary and are not available every day. When public skating is offered, you’ll find good quality ice, a lot of room to spread out, and pleasant staff. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for 12 and under, and skate rentals are $4. Check the website for public skating hours and special deals. There’s a cafe in the building, and there are plenty of restaurants at nearby Plaza America.
The Ashburn Ice House has two large rinks, but the hours for public skating vary so check the schedule. The rink is a popular spot for hockey games, figure skating, camps, and skating lessons. Admission during public skating hours is $9 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, and $5 for Seniors. Skate rentals are $5. When you get hungry try a pizza from the Pomodoro located inside the Ice House, or head to our favorite haunt for tasty seafood, Ford’s Fish Shack.
The first year-round ice rink in DC area, Fairfax Ice Arena has welcomed skaters for nearly 50 years. The indoor rink offers classes, camps, competitions, ice hockey, and public skating year-round. Public skating hours are offered every day, including Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve/Day (closed Christmas). Schedules vary seasonally so follow the link for details. Public skating admission on is $7.00/$8.25 for ages 12 and under/adult. Skate rentals are $4.00.
8. MedStar Capitals Iceplex, Arlington
Feel like a pro when you glide in the rink that the Washington Capitals uses to practice. You can stop by to watch a practice session, but why not get out on the ice yourself? Public skating hours vary, so check the website for details. Admission is $9/$8/$6 13 and over/under 13/55 and over. Skate rentals are $5.
Seasonal Outdoor Washington DC Ice Skating Rinks
9. National Sculpture Garden—CLOSED in 2020
You’ll find a fun alternative to Northern Virginia ice skating at the Washington DC National Sculpture Garden. During the day you can skate, then visit the large scale sculptures by major artists that surround the rink. At night, enjoy the festive lights.
Opening hours for the 2020/2021 winter season are TBA. We’ll update details as soon as they are available.
In 2019, the rink was open daily, from mid-November to early March, weather permitting. Adult skating is $9 for 2 hours, $8 for children 12 and under. Skate rentals are $4.00 plus $.50 if you want to rent a locker. Frequent skaters should consider the $195 season pass.
10. Washington Harbour Ice Rink, CLOSED in 2020
The Washington Harbour Ice Rink will not open for the 2020/2021 winter season.
The largest outdoor skating rink in Washington DC is 11,800 square feet of fun at the edge of the Potomac River. In 2019, the Washington Harbour rink offered public skating every day including holidays, along with skating lessons and special events. Admission is $10/$9 for adults/children, plus $6 if you want to rent skates. Weekdays 12:00 – 9:00, Friday noon – 10:00, Saturday 10:00 – 10:00, Sunday 10:00 – 9:00.
11. Canal Park Ice Skating Rink, CLOSED in 2020
This seasonal outdoor rink has a figure-8 shaped track which offers a unique ice skating option. There are plenty of restaurants close by for a fun night out. Admission is $9 adult, $8 children and seniors. Skate rentals are $5.00. The rink is open daily noon – 10:00 with longer hours on weekends.
What’s your favorite ice skating rink? Share your tips in the comments below.
This article was published in 2017 and updated in 2018, 2019, and 2020.