It’s hard to get bored in a city like Washington, but long December nights can make it hard to muster the motivation to get out of the house. These are some events to plan for once the sun goes down.
Go Ice Skating
If you’re looking to stay active in the cold, swing by one of the city’s scenic ice rinks. The famed Watergate Hotel has a rooftop rink with hot drinks and snacks along with views of much of D.C. Nearby, there’s the Washington Harbour ice rink, a good base location for shopping and exploring the streets and lights of Georgetown. Or gather at the National Gallery of Art for a session at the popular sculpture garden ice rink, overlooking the National Archives.
Meander Through ZooLights
The Smithsonian National Zoo’s annual ZooLights festival is a must-do for anyone who likes light displays, animals, and good vibes. Free to attend, ZooLights features all ages fun and activities. There are warm drinks for adults, snacks and sledding for kids, and animal houses that stay open late. The light displays change colors and take the shape of favorite creatures from around the zoo. Hours are 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. and it runs through January 1, 2018.
Explore Georgetown Glow
See the streets and cobblestone alleys of Georgetown in a new way during the Georgetown Glow art display. The exhibits light up from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly from December 8 through January 7. Past year’s displays have taken over trees, Church yards, bridges and more.
Have A Drink At A Themed Bar
If you don’t mind waiting in lines, the city has seen a number of holiday-themed bars pop up for December. The standard is set at Miracle On 7th Street, the three-room bar in Shaw that touches on winter, Christmas, Hanukkah, and even Beyoncé. Cocktails are themed after movies like “Elf” and “A Christmas Story,” and there are more than a couple Instagram-worthy selfie spots. Nearby, the Midwest-inspired Ivy and Coney bar has transformed into a temporary Hanukkah party called Chai-vy and Cohen-y. Celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah with dreidel spinning, latkes, Manischewitz, and more appropriate drinks.
Other bars are getting in on the spirit too. Try Radiator near Logan Circle, which is rolling out a Christmas Vacation menu. Cocktail options include the Drum Roll, Please (rye whiskey, aged rum, egg nog) and the Melekamikimaka Is The Thing To Say (pineapple rum, lime, simple syrup, mint and Angostura bitters).
With that, go forth and explore all that winter nights in D.C. can be.