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Winter Fun Near Washington, DC

Looking for some ideas for winter family fun in the Washington, DC area? Even when the weather is cold and damp, there are plenty of interesting activities in this region to keep the whole family entertained. Here are my top picks of suggestions.

Things to See and Do


  • Museums

    We are lucky to have a terrific selection of museums in the Washington, DC area. Many of the museums have special programs for kids and lots of hands-on activities that are educational as well as entertaining.  The National Museum of Natural History happens to be one of our favorites.  The museum is one of the Smithsonian's most popular and offers something special for all ages.  The Discovery Room is a great hands-on display for young children. Feel the skin of a crocodile, examine the jaws and teeth of different animals or try on clothes from around the globe. Be sure to check out the Insect Zoo, Dinosaur Hall and Sea Life Hall.
  • Zoo Lights

    Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping.  More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. New this year will be a dazzling light show set to music!
  • Ice Skate

    Outdoor ice skating rinks are becoming very popular in the Washington DC area. There are now many places to skate in the capital region including Downtown locations and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs as well. Enjoy the crisp cool winter air and the ambiance of the city (or other urban destination) while skating outdoors. Although weather dependent, most of the ice rinks are open from mid November to early March.  

    • Our favorite: Sculpture Garden Ice Rink

      The ice skating rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is a long time favorite destination, attracting thousands of visitors to skate in the parklike setting on the National Mall, surrounded by extraordinary sculptures by renowned modern and contemporary artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The skating season begins in mid-November and continues through mid-March, weather permitting. Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m. ADMISSION: $7.00 Adults, $6.00 Children and Seniors. Skate Rentals: $3

  • ICE

    As part of Christmas on the Potomac, the Gaylord National Resort's ICE! is a special holiday event in the Washington DC area you won't want to miss! This holiday season, Gaylord National Resort's popular holiday attraction returns with a brand-new theme. The theme for the 2015 edition of Gaylord National's ICE! is Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, celebrating the 45th anniversary of the classic television special with scenes including Burgermeister outlawing toys in Sombertown, Winter Warlock's heart melting and Kris Kringle becoming Santa Claus.
  • Christmas at Mount Vernon 

    The holidays are full of delight at George Washington's estate. Join us for candlelight tours of the Mansion, a dazzling display of fireworks set to Christmas music, dancing, fire-side caroling, Aladdin the Christmas camel, and so much more. November 27 - January 6.

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