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 2022, I’m hoping this list will help you find ways to have fun outside – even in the cold. Don’t forget, many DC restaurants require proof of vaccination. 

Eat & Drink

DC Winter Restaurant Week: Winter Restaurant Week is currently scheduled for January 17-23. Find two dinner price points ($40 and $55) and brunch/lunch deals for $25. Many restaurants are also offering take-out specials.

Alexandria Restaurant Week: Celebrate winter restaurant week in Alexandria from January 21-30 with $35 deals for 1-2 people. Over 50 restaurants are participating and many offer heated, outdoor seating. 

Enjoy a drink by the fire

  • Metrobar (Rhode Island metro stop) offers heated areas for groups of 2-10 including heat lamps, firepits, and a heated tent. Plus, don’t miss special event nights like movies, live music, and a Super Bowl watch event. 
  • Lulu’s Winegarden (U Street) was one of my favorite heated spots when the pandemic first begin. Enjoy three different heated areas, hot dishes, and warm drinks outside all winter long. 
  • Urban Roast (Chinatown) offers firepit tables to keep you cozy this winter. Plus, warm up with fancy cocktails like whiskey cider, toasted cinnamon mezcal, expresso martini flight, and more. Drinks are pricey but it’s a perfect special occasion spot. 

Lulus Winegarden Hot Cider
Hot cider at Lulu's Winegarden

Wineries

Sunday Brunch at Creek’s Edge Winery: (Lovettsville, VA) Creek’s Edge is cozy on any day but head over for a special brunch on Sunday. For $20/person, enjoy a brunch board with pastries, waffles, fruits, yogurt, assorted cheeses, and more. Sized to the number of people in your party. Reservations are strongly encouraged. 

Hidden Brook Winery: (Leesburg, VA) Hidden Brook is open Wednesday to Sunday and features warm fire pits outside. Enjoy a wine flight with warm flatbreads or stay cozy with mulled wine or hot cider. 

Gray Ghost Vineyards: (Amissville VA) Winery season doesn’t wait for warm weather. Enjoy wine at Gray Ghost vineyard during the colder months with special events or just an afternoon with friends.

  • Chocolates and Cabernet: Celebrate a loved one (or BFF) with wine and chocolate on February 12-13 and 19-20. $35/person in advance or $40 at the door.

  • Gray Ghost’s Annual Barrel Tasting: Taste developing wines directly from the barrel. $25/person includes logo glass and light hors d’oeuvres. March 5-6. 

Ice Skating and Parks

Sky Meadows State Park: Sky Meadows in Deplane, Virginia is a little over an hour from downtown DC. It is filled the hiking trails and places to enjoy a picnic that can be enjoyed in any season. Plus, the astronomy program is back on February 5 and March 5. 

Picnic at the National Arboretum: Bundle up and grab a picnic table in the Grove of State Trees at the National Arboretum. There are trash bins and plenty of parking and nearby. Pack your own food or stop at Roaming Rooster (3176 Bladensburg Rd NE) for chicken sandwiches on your way there.  Roaming Rooster lets you choose your spice level so it’s perfect for kids and picky eaters. After you finish eating, enjoy the Capitol columns or head over to the Asian Gardens which looks beautiful in any season. Plus, you can also enjoy views of the Anacostia River which can be hauntingly beautiful on a crispy winter day. 

Picnic on the National Mall: Enjoy monument views and thinner crowds on the mall this year. There are several places to grab food on your way over to the mall, but one of my favorite spots is Grilled Cheese DC right next to the White House. Enjoy many options for grown-up grilled cheese with loaded mac & cheese or tomato soup. It’s a perfect option for both kids and adults. Open Monday-Saturday 11 am to 7:30 pm. 

Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden: Enjoy skating at the Sculpture Garden on the National Mall open daily through March 6. Skating times are 45 minutes long a start on the hour. Buy two sessions for $10 plus $5 skate rentals.  

Ice Skating in Reston: Enjoy outdoor ice skating in Reston through March as weather permits. 90-minutes of skate time can be reserved for $10 plus $7 for skate rentals. Advanced reservations are highly recommended. 

Roaming Rooster Chicken Sandwich 2
Roaming Rooster
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