20 Winter Things to Do in Washington, DC

Winter can be a little tough in DC between the holidays and cherry blossom season. With COVID-19 restrictions continuing well into winter 2021, I’m hoping this list well help you find happenings in the DMV that you can enjoy while we’re all still taking health precautions. 

Events are loosely listed in the order they occur, by location. Ongoing events are listed first. This list will be updated for 2021 with COVID-19 restrictions in mind. 

Snowman Winter Things to do in Washington, DC

Things to do this winter in Washington, DC

Lunch at the Fish Market at the Wharf: The Fish Market draws big crowds in nice weather but is much quieter during the winter months. Plus, the Fish Market has implemented new guidelines to make sure it doesn’t get too crowded during COVID. So bundle up and grab a warm lunch like clam chowder, shrimp, crab sandwiches, and more to enjoy on the boardwalk. 

Events at Union Market: To be announced but Union Market currently has/had multiple fitness pop-ups through the end of 2020. This includes 305 Fitness (dance cardio), Cut Seven (circuit training), and BOOMBOX (boxing). 

Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella: Catch a retelling of the classic Cinderella story set in London during World War II. Enjoy beautiful dancing and stunning visuals right from your home. On-demand anywhere in the US January 15 at 8 and January 17 at noon. $10/household. 

Winter Restaurant Week: Winter Restaurant Week is currently scheduled for January 18-31. Find two dinner price points ($35 and $55) and brunch/lunch deals for $22. Details are minimal but I expect to see creative take-out and outdoor dining options. 

Space Chats with the Air and Space Museum: On Thursdays at 1 pm in January, join the Air and Space Museum for virtual science chats. These events are geared toward middle school-aged kids and are free. Plus, don’t miss Soar Together, a monthly, family-friendly, science chat. Upcoming topics include Science Fiction (January 15-16), Exploring Other Worlds (February 12-13), and High Speed Flight (March 12-13).



Things to do this winter in Virginia

Ice Skating: Public ice skating open at many rinks in Virginia. Most require online reservations due to COVID-19 safety restrictions but check each website for the latest information. Find skating at Reston Towne Center (through March 14), Ashburn Ice House (indoor), Fairfax Ice Arena (indoor), and Prince William Ice Center (indoor).

Chocolate Lover’s Festivalcanceled for 2021 but expected back in 2022. 

Gray Ghost Vineyards: Winery season doesn’t wait for warm weather. Enjoy wine at Gray Ghost vineyard during the colder months. The Vineyard encourages brings your own lawn chairs and blankets to space out on the grounds. You can also enjoy them for a few winter events. 

  • Tasted limited supply, vintage wines from Gray Ghost all January long. $18/flight.
  • Enjoy tasting four past vintages of Gray Ghost wine with owners and winemakers Al and Cheryl Kellert in the wine library. January 31 at 1, 2, or 3 pm. Reservations required. $35/person.
  • Celebrate a loved one (or BFF) with wine and chocolate on February 13-14. $30/person.

Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week: Old Town Alexandria is celebrating Winter Restaurant Week To-Go from January 22 to February 7. Grab exclusively take-out deals for $49 for 2 or $25 for one. More than 60 restaurants will participate and almost half will over the single meal deal. 

Alexandria President’s Day Parade: Head to Old Town Alexandria on President’s Day (February 15) to see floats and music from local organizations. The parade is still on for 2021 but be sure to check the website as more COVID-19 updates become available closer to the event. 

Washington’s Birthday Celebration at Mount Vernon: To be announced.

Things to do this winter in Maryland

Ice Skating: Maryland is also home to several ice rinks that have remained open. Reservations are required and many require 2 weeks of advanced planning. Find rentals, lessons, and group rates at Rockville Outdoor Ice Rink, Cabin John Ice Rink, and Silver Spring Ice Skating at the Pavilion.

Step AfrikaCanceled for 2021

Polar Bear Plunge: Brave enough to take on the Chesapeake Bay in January? If so, take the plunge at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis to raise money for the Special Olympics Maryland. There are four plunge events from January 23-24 including a cool school plunge, police plunge, corporate plunge, and main plunge for all. Participants must raise a minimum of $75 to plunge but teachers and students can participate in the cool school plunge for $50.

First Saturday – Fire and Ice: Fredrick, Maryland hosts a day of fun on the first Saturday of every month. Join them on Saturday, February 6 for Fire and Ice. Many of the usual special events will be canceled due to COVID but Fredrick still hopes to celebrate shopping local. 

Maryland Restaurants Weeks: Maryland has you covered this winter as far as restaurant deals are concerned. Check out Baltimore City Restaurant Week (TBD January), Howard County Restaurant Week (January 18-31), and Frederick Restaurant Week (March 1-7). 


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