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Where to Sip Wine While Ice Skating Around Town

Pair boozy drinks with frozen fun

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Top of the Skate at the Watergate.
Photo: Watergate Hotel
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Thanks to a bevy of new developments and existing hotels ramping up their holiday game, more seasonal ice skating rinks are blanketing D.C. this winter.

Prices and ambiance wildly vary: Admission to the Fairmont’s tiny rink is only $5 per hour, while the Watergate’s scenic rooftop installation charges skaters $20. Lots of restaurants near frozen patches are also getting on the action. Tourist favorite Sequoia, next to the giant 11,000-square-foot Washington Harbor Ice Rink, is launching an all-day happy hour starting this week.

Canal Park Ice Skating

Capitol Riverfront's winter attraction is on a track and mimics what it’s like to do figure eights on a frozen canal. After working up an appetite, there’s a prime place to eat right nearby starting this week: quick-service Indian eatery Rasa, which is about a five-minute walk away, is opening Wednesday, December 6. The rink is projected to stick around through the end of February 2018. 200 M Street SE

Fairmont Washington

The West End hotel’s interior courtyard is outfitted with twinkling lights, a festive tree, and a quaint 900-square-foot ice skating rink made out of materials that don’t require water or energy to keep it cold. Seasonal goodies, as well as a hot chocolate menu, can be enjoyed around various fire pits before or after a spin. Bringing little ones? Santa is expected the make frequent appearances at a decorated Christmas suite that overlooks the rink. Admission is $5 per hour and includes a pair of rental skates. 2401 M Street NW

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Through March 11, 2018, visitors to this well known rink can admire large-scale sculptures by contemporary artists including Sol LeWitt and Roy Lichtenstein while gliding along Constitution Avenue NW. The attached Pavilion Cafe hut has expanded offerings this year, including pizzas, sandwiches, desserts, beer, and wine (mulled too). Post pics via the museum’s free Wi-Fi service. Constitution Avenue and Seventh Street NW

Washington Harbor Ice Rink

D.C.’s largest outdoor ice skating venue is capitalizing on its newly renovated neighbor’s fresh look. Sequoia just wrapped up a multi-million dollar art and design renovation, and its anticipated all-day happy hour menu is scheduled to debut Friday, December 8, just in time for skating season. Specials include $8 Moscow Mules on Mondays, a bourbon and burger combo for $30 on Tuesdays (when it’s also two-for-one skate day), lots of champagne deals for a “Party Like It’s 1986” theme on Wednesday (the year it opened), and a dozen East and West Coast oysters and a bottle of Champagne for $35 on Thursdays. Deals are offered from noon to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. And a new “Winter in Washington” hotel package for two at the nearby upscale Rosewood includes complimentary ice skating tickets. 3050 K Street NW

The Watergate

D.C.’s iconic Watergate debuted a new rooftop ice rink this season, dubbed Top of the Skate. The winter wonderland includes a rectangular-shaped synthetic ice rink, wintery snacks ($10 to $20) such as hot pretzels and strombolis, and new hot and cold drinks ($16) such as spiked hot chocolate and a sherry-fueled Old Fashioned. Admission to $20 per person. 2650 Virginia Avenue NW

The Wharf

The Wharf’s ice skating rink opened on Transit Pier this weekend. Open every day through late February 2018 (weather permitting) the waterfront attraction is joined by a new Winter Waterfront Beer & Wine Garden. Big holiday-centric events like Nog Fest are happening throughout the month. 960 Wharf Street SW

The Fairmont Washington, D.C.

2401 M St NW, Washington, D.C. 20037 (202) 429-2400 Visit Website