Baby, it’s cold outside! The sun is setting early, and all of our warm-weather activities are on hold until the spring. We’re definitely sad to be getting home from work after the sun sets, scrambling to think of things to do in the dark. But that’s why we’re here to remind you that the District becomes an entirely new city in the winter, and there are still a ton of activities to take advantage of after work. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite winter experiences for when the sun sets early and the days grow cold, so there’s no excuse to hibernate this winter season!
There’s one thing about DC we’ve all known since grade school—there are museums here. A lot of museums. So many museums, in fact, that they tend to fade into the background, only to be visited when relatives come to town. It’s time to bring them back into the foreground, because we’ve discovered a hilarious group of tour guides that will forever change your museum experience. Let us break down the intrigue: the group is called Museum Hack, it has a legit 5.0 rating on TripAdvisor, and its site specifies that “this ain’t your grandma’s museum tour,” with groups that are best for “speed-walkers,” “those who love saucy stories,” and “people who don’t like museums.” How could you resist booking a tour? The guides know an unreal amount of information about the artists they highlight and go into hilarious, cheeky detail about the backstories for every piece of art they showcase. Get ready for a comical night sprinting between galleries with tour guides who finally know how to make museums fun.
#FrayLife Tip: Tickets are $49 per person, but for only $9, you can join one of the beta tours conducted by guides in training.
Chances are you’ve heard of escape rooms, the all-consuming, hour-long adventures that always have the same goal: to escape a themed room by solving a series of complex puzzles and instructions hidden within. They’re a refreshing way to get out of “work mode” and challenge your mind with something that’s meant to be both difficult and entertaining. Gather a group of your friends together and test your skills in the Titanic or Ghost Busters room at the Georgetown location of Escape Room Live. Or try out one of the lesser-known but equally wonderful spots like Escape the Room on 7th Street and the Great Escape Room on Connecticut Avenue—similar names with totally different themes!
When the temperatures drop and the sun sets early, embrace the weather in true DC fashion by hitting the local rinks! Ice-skating is by far one of the most popular winter pastimes in the District, and there are so many spots to get your skate on. If you want a gorgeous view, enjoy the riverside rink at the Wharf. Looking to get some skating in after working Downtown? Head over to the Sculpture Garden rink at the National Mall. There are also great options around the DMV, like the Veterans Plaza rink in Silver Spring or the massive rink in Tysons Corner Center. To top it all off, each location costs less than $10, making skating the perfect activity for visiting friends, work hangouts, or date nights! Winter tends to be our hibernation period, but don’t forget how beautiful the crisp, chilly air can be if you’re outside having fun.
See a Performance at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage—for Free!
The Kennedy Center is one of the most famous locations for high-profile ballets, orchestras, and artists, but did you know that it also offers free performances every day? You read that right: Every. Single. Day. These shows are always top-notch, with exceptional artists ranging from mariachi bands to comedians from across America. Check out the Millennium Stage’s website for upcoming performances, or just show up after catching a Downtown happy hour. No tickets are necessary, meaning no excuse to miss this perfect option for a night out!
Everyone knows that the winter season consists of two inevitable happenings—stuffing your face with all the holiday food you can find and frantically working out when your pants start to get a little tight. If running on a treadmill or attempting the StairMaster isn’t your thing, look no further than rock climbing for the perfect winter workout. Climbing gyms have been popping up throughout the DMV like crazy, and for good reason. Getting up a wall takes an insane amount of strength and agility, but the routes are short enough to keep you from burning out too quickly. It’s also an excellent sport for beginners to pick up because each gym uses a range of climbing routes from entry-level to expert. If you’ve never climbed before, we recommend you start with a beginner’s class at Earth Treks, where they’ll show you the ropes (heh heh). They’ll also give you a key fob for unlimited free climbing for two weeks!
Here’s a fact we all know to be true: winter is a great time to warm up with some drinks! Especially if those drinks happen to be at one of the many gaming bars in the area. While most breweries and dive bars have a few board games tucked away in a corner, nothing beats finding those old-school bars that cater to our nostalgia. Get out of the cold and dedicate a night this week to Player’s Club in Northwest, which looks like a basement straight out of the 80s. Or head to the gorgeous Eleanor in NoMa for night of bowling, Skee-Ball, arcade games, and some seriously solid food portions in a location you’ll absolutely need to post on your Instagram. If you’re looking to stay in Virginia, Punch Bowl Social is a much larger, more immersive experience. With locations across America, they’ve learned how to create an atmosphere that can keep you entertained all night with a vintage arcade, full-sized bowling, private karaoke rooms, and awesome happy hour deals. Let the pinball competitions begin!
#FrayLife Tip: For more nostalgic bar options, check out our article on DC’s best arcade bars here!
Be sure to post your fun winter experiences to Instagram, and tag us using @DCFray and #FrayLife for a chance to be featured!
As February starts to creep up on you, don’t let your New Year’s resolutions get off track. Here are some of the best local spots to help you stay motivated and interested in maintaining your goals for 2019!
View More Articles By Laura Giuffrida
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