Recreational winter sports activities provide amazing opportunities to gather with friends and family. Luckily, there are plenty of ski and snowboard areas close-in to the D.C. area to quench your action thirst. Outdoor ice rinks are in beautiful settings and near riverfronts, shops, and restaurants. Indoor rinks offer the opportunity to keep up your resolution to stay active away from the elements, to develop new skills, or simply have fun!
So, bundle up and don your favorite gear, warm up with a hot drink, and head to one of our favorite local winter spots during these blustery, wintry days.
Closest to Washington is Liberty Mountain Resort (78 Country Club Trail, Fairfield, Pa.), a beautiful resort eight miles southwest of Gettysburg. They offer snow tubing, skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. You can take lessons, rent equipment or just drop the kids off at the child center to have some fun of their own. The new Highland Lodge is a wonderful option to turn your day trip into a weekend getaway.
Whitetail Resort (3805 Blairs Valley Rd.) and Roundtop Mountain Resort (925 Roundtop Rd.), are both located in Pennsylvania and owned by the same folks as Liberty Mountain Resort. With season passes you’re able to travel from one resort to the next! These resorts also offering a unique option to paintball. Whitetail leans more towards family-friendly fun, with an adaptive snow-sports program for children and adults with mental and physical challenges.
Additionally, Massanutten Resort (Rt. 644 in Harrisonburg, just off of Interstate 81) in Virginia and Bryce Resort (1982 Fairway Drive) in Basye, Va., both offer plenty to do year-round. Massanutten boasts an indoor water park with water cannons, body slides, a surfing pipeline and hot springs, making it popular for all ages. Bryce Mountain Ski Resort offers all the winter activities, and also golf, tennis, swimming and more when weather permits. Since Bryce is located near Shenandoah National Park, there are tons of additional recreational activities, historical sites, wineries, and vineyards. Bryce is a member-owned resort with all activities and facilities open to the public and members access to additional perks.
If you feel like making a longer drive, there are also great ski spots within three to five hours away: at Wisp Resort in Maryland, Wintergreen Resort in Virginia, Timberline Four Seasons Resort and Snowshoe Mountain Resort in West Virginia, and Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania.
While you may not find a lot of winter sports enthusiasts at recreational rinks, you will find a lot of people looking for winter fun. A longtime favorite on the National Mall, the rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is surrounded by extraordinary works of art and a cafe. The Canal Park Ice Rink in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood (Navy Yard) offers general skating, learning programs, and event rentals. The Washington Harbour Ice Rink in Georgetown and District Wharf Ice Rink on Transit Pier at DC Wharf are both right on the waterfront. For a truly impressive view of the surrounding skyline, try Rooftop Skating at the Watergate Hotel.
In Maryland, Silver Spring Ice Rink at Veterans Plaza in the center of Downtown Silver Spring is nearby plenty of shops and restaurants. Rockville Town Square Ice Rink is the largest in Montgomery County and offers lessons, birthday parties, and discount and pass options. Also, Kentlands Community Ice Skating Rink, Gaithersburg offers lessons and group discounts.
The Pentagon Row Ice Rink in Arlington is the largest outdoor rink in Northern Virginia, next to many shops and restaurants. Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion offers learning programs and rentals, and College Skate Night Thursdays, Rock the Rink Fridays, and Cartoon Skate Saturdays. The Harris Pavilion is a charming spot in Historic Downtown Manassas.
For anyone looking to avoid the weather outside, there are a number of indoor ice rinks. Most often, these rinks offer the added benefits of longer seasons or being open year-round, and more extensive lessons and sporting training.