Outdoor Ice Rinks Offer Holiday Fun

Skaters enjoy the outdoor rink at Harris Pavilion in Old Town Manassas.

The weather may be in a bit of a warming trend as we ring out 2010, but a great way to spend an afternoon or evening outside is to hit the rinks (that’s right, rinks, not links!). There are at least four open-air, outdoor ice skating rinks you can visit within a relatively short drive of Woodbridge, and they all offer an inexpensive way to have some fun over the winter holidays during the break from school. And with our own Woodbridge area rink being rebuilt and scheduled to open in July 2011 (remember, Prince William Ice Center’s roof collapsed in early February under the weight of nearly two feet of snow), these four rinks offer your best bet for nearby skating.

Here are the four closest open-air ice rinks:
• The ice rink in Old Town Manassas at the
Harris Pavilion is closest to Woodbridge — only about a 13-mile drive from here out the Prince William County Parkway. Rates at all the nearby skating rinks are about the same — in Manassas it’s $6 for children 10 and under and $7 for adults. Skate rentals are $3.
• Next closest to us in Woodbridge is the ice rink at
Pentagon Row. The hours here are a little more extensive, but the admission cost is a buck more: $7 for children 12 and under, $8 for adults. And with the rink being right in the heart of Pentagon Row, an added benefit here is being able to warm up and refuel afterwards at restaurants right on the plaza, like Champps, Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant, Starbucks and others that are within a short walk.
• The
Sculpture Garden Ice Rink on the Mall in Washington, DC is only a little farther away — less than 30 miles up I-95. It’s between the National Gallery of Art and the National Museum of Natural History on Constitution Avenue. This rink tends to get a little more crowded than any of the others during prime time, which is almost any afternoon during a holiday break or on weekend afternoons. It’s a wonderfully scenic place to skate, though, right in the heart of DC on the Mall.
Reston Town Center Pavilion and Ice Skating in the heart of the Reston Town Center is the farthest away — roughly 30 miles from here — and the most expensive for admission and rentals. They also offer lessons on Saturday mornings at a reasonable cost. And you’re in the heart of the Reston Town Center, so like Pentagon Row, shops and restaurants are just a short walk from the rink. The easiest way to get there is to avoid I-95 and Beltway traffic and head straight up Route 123 to the Fairfax County Parkway.

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