Like it or not, it’s already the middle of November. That means the official start of winter is just over a month away, and brisk nights seem like they are already here to stay. If the changing season has you yearning for a festive activity, look no further than the rooftop at the sleek Watergate Hotel (2650 Virginia Ave. NW).
The historic property is revamping its popular “Top Of The Gate” bar for cold weather, outfitting it with a synthetic ice rink, snacks, and hot boozy beverages. Referred to as “Top Of The Skate,” the winter-themed roof opens this Friday, November 16. It has some of the best views of D.C., Arlington, and Georgetown. It’s a great bet for a fun date or a night with friends—or those out of town family members you need to impress with 360-degree vistas.
Skating will run $20 an hour for adults and $10 for kids 12 and under. If you don’t want to fly around a rink on a rooftop, feel free to watch from the sides. There will be fire pits and chairs for relaxing and grabbing a sip or a bite. The concept is being done as part of a partnership with the non-profit Mel’s Rink, a Maryland organization that works to support athletic development of mentally and physically challenged youth.
The menu features snacks like stromboli, s’mores and German-style soft pretzels. Pair them with a selection of drinks, which come both in hot and cold options. Think mulled wine, apple cider with Kentucky bourbon, and spike hot chocolate. For something refreshing, go for a Winter Frost, made with vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, coconut syrup, and dolce cream. Or try the sherry Old Fashioned with rye whiskey, Pedro Ximenez, maple syrup and bitters.
Drink prices are a bit steep at around $16 but let’s face it—you’re paying for the tough to beat ambiance. There’s also wine and beer, along with a pair of nonalcoholic options (both $7 each), tea, and coffee.
Top Of The Skate will be open Wednesdays through Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. If you want to extend your evening with a drink afterwards, head downstairs to the hotel’s Next Whiskey Bar for a cocktail, wine, or pour of Scotch, whiskey, or bourbon from the bar’s impressive selection.
Other nearby activities include the Kennedy Center, which hosts daily free shows on the Millennium Stage. The Watergate Hotel is also a quick cab ride or stroll away from Georgetown, which has plenty of places to dine as well as shop for any holiday gift needs.