National Gallery Ice Skating Rink Officially Open for Season


Image courtesy of On Tap Magazine

By Angela Hickey

With the holiday season right around the corner, there are plenty of events to look forward to in the D.C. area. From various holiday celebrations to festive seasonal gatherings, one of these festive holiday attractions in D.C. is the opening of the public ice skating rink located in The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. 

This D.C. tradition has been lighting up lives and ringing in the holidays since 1999 and has become an attraction for D.C. natives and tourists alike. The rink officially opened for the season on November 15th and has attractions for people of all ages to enjoy. Lessons are also offered at the rink for people of all ages and skillsets, directed and taught by Emme Porter and the Washington Elite Skating School team of instructors. 

This adventure is the perfect way to take in the picturesque scenery of the Sculpture Garden while simultaneously enjoying all that D.C.’s winter has to offer. With the rink surrounded by fairy lights and the beautiful scenery surrounding the rink, it attracts people of all ages. 

Lessons cost $9 for all adults and children over 13, and $8 for everyone 50 and over, as well as children age 12 and under, military, and students with a valid school ID. This season, in particular, the rink is offering skating lessons for people of all ages. 

The lessons come in various packages, from lessons for families with young kids to packages offered to local schools for class field trips. But all registration, whether for lessons or for just free skating, can be done online, over the phone, or in-person at the rink itself. You can enter a lesson as late as 15 minutes before the lesson begins, provided that space is available.

Along with the rink comes many other attractions for the public to enjoy. One of these attractions is the Pavilion Cafe, with panoramic views of the Sculpture Garden and a seasonal menu of freshly made beverages and foods for all to enjoy. Some specialties include hot cider, mulled wine, pumpkin spice lattés with flavored whipped cream, and more. The cafe closes 2 hours before the rink each day, so make sure to stop by to fight off the frost with some tasty treats.

There’s something for everyone at this historic D.C. spot, and it attracts crowds of all kinds. From competitive skaters to families looking to enjoy time with their kids, this event has attractions for people of all ages to enjoy. 

The ice rink is open throughout the week, weather permitting, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., the rink is open for skate lessons only, and is then opened to the public from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., until March 15th, 2020. 

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