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15 Winter Things to Do in Georgetown

Practice Your Triple Axel

Every mid-November, give or take climate change, Washington Harbour’s fountain transforms into DC’s largest outdoor ice skating rink. Take a group class, or reserve a private evening rental for the perfect winter-themed party. Children, seniors and the military all receive discounted prices on hourly rentals. Whether you’re there with the little ones, on a winter date night, or taking a class, it’s arguably the most picturesque rink in the district.

Take an Art Class

Washington Printmakers Gallery offers weekly art classes and workshops, from frame making to copper-plate engraving and printmaking. Classes are open to all skill levels and a range of ages, so whether you want to spend a Saturday afternoon tapping into your creative side, or are ready to commit to weeks-long class, there’s something for everyone.

Visit a Famous Jazz Club

This is the good kind of winter blues. Blues Alley, the oldest, continuously-operated jazz supper club in America, is both a locally recognized landmark and an international jazz icon. The venue has hosted every major jazz artist from Ella Fitzgerald to Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett and Wynton Marsalis. Check out this iconic club, with shows nearly every day of the week.

Take a Winter Canal Walk

The first mile of the historic 184.5-mile C&O Canal runs through Georgetown, and its about as picturesque a stretch as you can get, with colorful rowhomes lining part of the path. Although the canal is currently drained due to a rehabilitation project, you can still get out and explore – with a unique opportunity to see what lies below the water.

Say 'Yes' to Something New

You could promise to lose 5 pounds or go to the gym every morning, but where’s the fun in those New Year’s resolutions? If you’re itching for a new hobby, pay a visit to Hinckley Pottery. The Blues Alley studio offers 10-week classes for all levels, plus a one-time try-it session for those who are on the fence. Bonus: You get to live out every Ghost fantasy you’ve ever had.

See the Oldest Houseplant in North America

And you thought keeping that orchid alive was hard?! Inside of the Dumbarton Oaks orangery grows a 150-year-old Ficus Pumila – the oldest house plant in North America. All of the historic estate’s gardens are rooted in the legacy of Dumbarton Oak’s original gardener, Beatrix Jones Farrand. The only female founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Beatrix began designing the garden in 1921 with Mildred Barnes Bliss, who purchased the property with her husband the year prior. The grounds were eventually donated to Harvard University.

In addition to the gardens, don’t miss the Dumbarton House museum for its world-class collections of Byzantine and Pre-Columbian art.

Marvel at Georgetown's Movie Sites

Pea soup mean anything to you? Georgetown has been a popular setting for many movies, from the iconic stairs in The Exorcist to the bar featured in St. Elmo’s Fire. Follow our guide for a look into Hollywood on the Potomac, with 11 locations where movies were filmed in Georgetown.

Start a Group Sing-Along

We’re placing bets on how many times “Sweet Caroline” is requested per weekend. Head to Georgetown Piano Bar for a glass of Pinot and pitch-perfect sing-alongs led by dueling piano players. Book a private party, or join in on the fun with everyone else; happy hour is from 5 pm – 7 pm, and the bar is open until 3 am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Put Some Heart into the Season

If volunteering more is one of your 2024 resolutions, look into Georgetown Ministry Center (GMC) – the Georgetown non-profit with a mission to seek lasting solutions to homelessness. November through March, GMC is looking for groups of six to eight people to cook for 20 people who otherwise may not have a hot meal. Organize a group of friends or your favorite co-workers and call GMC to schedule your dinner.

Stay Warm and Toasty

Get cozy at one of several outdoor fire pits with drinks on the patio at Bourbon Steak, Farmers Fishers Bakers, Nick’s Riverside Grill, or Pinstripes. Head inside at Bar a Vin for a cocktail by a roaring fireplace, or The Living Room at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown for plush leather seats and French toast s’mores. If you’re in the mood for dinner, reserve a seat next to the fireplace at 1789’s The John Carroll Room, or the more rustic, French countryside vibes of La Chaumiere.

Play Dress Up

Valentine’s Day dates mean one thing: Excuses to get a new dress(es)! Check out our Fashion directory for women’s boutiques, consignment shops, national brands, and everything in between.

Honor Georgetown's African-American History

Celebrate Black History Month by recognizing some of Georgetown’s most integral community members. Follow the African-American heritage trail to see the institutions and homes of Herring Hill, the 15-block area of eastern-most Georgetown that was home to African-American families migrating to Washington after the Civil War. Other points of interest include the site of freed slave and Georgetown resident Yarrow Mamout’s home, the Mount Zion and Female Union Band Cemetery, and the Rose Park tennis courts—dedicated to the star Peters sisters.

Bowl Over the Winter Blues

Winter is the perfect excuse to spend guiltless Saturday afternoons inside, under a pile of blankets. (How San Diegans log any couch time and still live with themselves is beyond us). But despite our grey skies and freezing temps, sometimes you just need to get out and move around. Expel that pent-up energy at Pinstripes with indoor bocce and bowling! You can also check out Escape Room Live, though you make never want to escape the warmth.

Catch the Love Bug

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with a plus-one or reclaiming Singles Awareness Day with a group of friends, Georgetown is celebrating all kinds of love this February. From special hotel packages to couples spa treatments, cooking classes, Valentine’s Day-themed cupcakes, and romantic dinners for two, check our events calendar and head wherever Cupid is calling.

Walk in the Steps of JFK

Did you know that one of America’s most iconic Presidential couples loved and lived in Georgetown? In the spirit of President’s Day, retrace the memories of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy with a self-guided Kennedy Walking Tour around town! From the home where John and Jackie lived during the 1960 presidential campaign to the church where they worshipped and the booth at Martin’s Tavern where JFK proposed, take a tour through time in DC’s oldest neighborhood.

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