Best Places to Cool Off

By: Lynne Shallcross

Washingtonian > Packages > Best of Washington

Want a cool escape from the summer heat? The Kettler Capitals Iceplex (627 N. Glebe Rd.; kettlercapitalsiceplex.com) at Ballston Common in Arlington offers two NHL-size rinks—plus the chance to skate alongside a pro hockey player. The Caps train here during the season, and in the summer, a few of them—including winger Chris Clark and goalie Brent Johnson—show up for early-morning workouts and sometimes stay to skate during afternoon public sessions. Admission is $7, $6 for ages 12 and under; $3 skate rental.

If you’re around the National Mall, duck inside the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s new Kogod Courtyard (Eighth and F sts., NW; americanart.si.edu/reynolds_center/courtyard.cfm). It’s naturally lit by a glass canopy, and chilled water circulates through tubing in the floor, creating a radiant cooling effect. Take advantage of the free wi-fi as well as live jazz on the third Thursday of the month. Still hot? Grab an ice-cream cone or sundae from the Courtyard Cafe, open 11:30 am to 6:30 pm.