Washington’s Best Winter Traditions

Winter is upon us, which means there are countless ways for locals and travelers to embrace the season’s beauty, and manage its challenges. From snowball fights to warm nights by the fire, these are Washington, DC’s best winter traditions.

Ice Skating Around The DMV

Every winter, The Washington Harbour Ice Rink opens up a winter wonderland on the Anacostia River in Georgetown. A number of other outdoor rinks are also open throughout the chilly season, providing romantic outdoor experiences in places like the DC Wharf, Canal Park, and nearby Pentagon Row.

Caps & Wizards Games

The Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals are currently vying to defend their title in what promises to be an exciting season of hockey. A favorite event for DC locals in the winter, Caps games take place at the Capital One Arena, which they share with the Washington Wizards NBA franchise.

Winter Shopping

Shopping lovers know that it is a seasonal passion, and with all of the cozy wears that trend during this time of year, winter is primetime. To find some shops that are unique to DC with inspiring missions, check out our guide to shopping local in DC.

Sledding On The National Mall

It’s difficult to imagine a picture that better represents winter in DC than a bunch of people sledding down hills on the National Mall. Join in this favorite DC winter tradition, and sled down Capitol Hill with locals surrounding, and the iconic government buildings and monuments as your backdrop.

DC Snowball Fight

This Washington, DC winter tradition is fueled by a youthful spirit that lives inside all of us, regardless of age. This has been a laughter-filled event since 2014, and you can keep an eye out for an announcement of this year’s fight by following Washington, DC Snowball Fight Association.

Snow Day Drinking

When a big storm blows into town, it offers a gorgeous white blanket for everyone to enjoy, and it makes it pretty difficult to go about your normal business and travels. If you find yourself in town for a DC snow day, check out a bar like Hill Country Barbecue, or Jack Rose—a couple examples of the many DC bars that offer snow day discounts, and adjusted happy hours.

Warm Meals By The Fire

In addition to drinking at a discount on snowy days in DC, you can also seek out some winter-friendly restaurants with seasonal menus, and cozy fireplaces. One of our favorite examples is Dupont Circle’s Iron gate, which has an indoor fireplace and outdoor fire pits.

Relaxing Respite At The Spa

Sometimes winter can be a bit maddening, especially when the cold keeps you indoors for too many hours in the day. If you find yourself going stir crazy in DC, treat yourself to some rest and relaxation at one of the city’s many reputable spas.

DC Winter Events

Washington, DC is a city that has a year-round tradition of hosting groundbreaking art exhibits, critically-acclaimed cultural performances, and other unique happenings. Check out our events calendar to find out which DC winter events you can attend this year.

Staying In At A Luxury Hotel

We can’t say this is a tradition for the whole city, but one of our favorite winter experiences is staying in for a warm, cozy night at our luxury hotel in Dupont Circle. Check out our guest rooms for your own special night this winter.