Five Favorites: Reasons to Leave the House

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

It’s easy to just want to hibernate this time of year– it’s dark when you get home, it’s too cold to be outside for more than 10 minutes, and well, not much can compete with a warm couch and a Snuggie.  And now that the holiday season is over, there aren’t as many fun winter events, like tree lightings or holiday parties, to distract you from the winter doldrums. But there area some great seasonal activities in DC that are definitely worth leaving the house for.  Here are our five favorite winter activities in the District!

Photo courtesy of
‘DC’s first snow of 2010’
courtesy of ‘theqspeaks’

5. Visit a museum.
The tourists haven’t yet descended on the city, so the museums aren’t completely packed this time of year. Yes, you can actually visit the Air & Space Museum without being driven into a murderous rage!  And there are still lots of great exhibits going on, like portraits of the Kennedys at the American History Museum, LEGO buildings at the National Building Museum, and art by Haitian children after the earthquake at the African Art Museum.

Photo courtesy of
‘I think I’ll pass’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99’

4. Make good on your resolution, and start training.
DC is full of athletes, and there are dozens of great athletic events to gear up for here in the city.  Always wanted to run a marathon?  You’ve got time to start training for one– the National Marathon here in DC is 3 months away.  The DC Triathlon is six months away, so you’ve got more than enough time to start training for that too!  Join the DC Tri Club’s New Triathlete Program to figure out how to get from couch potato to triathlete in four months.  Now’s the time to get to the gym and start training for that race you’ve always wanted to do.

Photo courtesy of
‘hot chocolate’
courtesy of ‘jenna_huntsberger’

3. Or ignore the resolution, and eat all the warm, delicious food you want.
As Brittany mentioned in a previous Five Favorites, there are lots of great restaurants in our city that’ll warm you up. And Restaurant Week is January 17-23, so you can try out a new local restaurant without breaking the bank.  Enjoy warm soups, hot drinks, and those leftover Christmas cookies while you still can.

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘m hoek’

2. Volunteer.
We get to climb into beds in our lovely warm houses at the end of a cold day, but many others aren’t so lucky.  Many volunteer organizations could use your help this time of year.  Whether you’re interested in making/delivering food for those less fortunate, hanging out with kids who need positive influences, helping take care of adorable animals, or helping an unemployed person get back on their feet, there are dozens of charitable organizations in the city that would love your help.  Take a look at where they are and what they do, and make a new years resolution to help them out.

Photo courtesy of
‘Sculpture Garden Ice Rink’
courtesy of ‘Mr. T in DC’

1. Go ice skating!
It may not be Rockefeller Center, but the Sculpture Garden’s ice rink is worth a visit this winter.  Sure, it’s a small rink and it can get crowded, but it’s a perfect wintertime activity.  The rink is open daily until 9 PM (or 11 PM on Friday and Saturday nights) until mid-March, so get out there and enjoy this winter weather!  I guarantee you’ll miss it in August.

Shannon grew up in the greater DC area/Maryland suburbs, went to Virginia for college and grad school (go Hoos!), and settled in DC in 2006. She’s an urban planner who loves transit (why yes, that is her dressed as a Metro pylon for Halloween), cities, and all things DC. Email her at Shannon (at)!

Comments are closed.