Things to Do

7 Things Around DC to Do to Cure the Winter Blues

Hit a rage room, take a walk along the water, or drink by a fire.

Photo courtesy of Bad Axe Throwing.

We did it—we muscled through another covid January. Still feeling blue, though? We get it. Here are some ideas for winter pick-me-ups.

1. Go Throw Some Axes

Photo courtesy of Bad Axe Throwing.

Hack away at all that negative winter energy with an ax throw, or three. There’s Ivy City’s Kick Axe or Bad Axe Throwing in Langdon. Penn Quarter’s Kraken Axes also has a rage room—where you can “smash a bottle, throw a plate at a wall, or take a sledgehammer to a printer“—for $29.99 per 15-minute rager.

2. See the Chinese Lanterns at The Reach

Photograph courtesy of the Kennedy Center

From now until February 6, set aside an evening to take a feel-good stroll through the whimsical Chinese lantern installation decking out The Reach for Lunar New Year. There are 100 or so Insta-ready lanterns created by Chinese artisans on display.

3. Cozy Up to a Fireplace

Drink wine by the fire at Bar a Vin in Georgetown. Photograph courtesy of Chez Billy Sud

Dry January’s done (if you even managed it this year). Grab your vax card and mosey over to one of our picks for the best places to drink by a fire.

4. Ice Skate on the C&O

There are lots of places to lace up around Washington in any given year (our full list is here), but during an extra-cold winter like this one, you can add another to the list: the C&O Canal. For the past two weekends, the area around the Chain Bridge has been a beautiful solid pack—and packed with pick-up hockey games and leisure skaters.

5. Go Back to Nat Geo

National Geographic Museum. Photo by RightCowLeftCoast via WikiMediaCommons.

After being closed for nearly two years, the National Geographic Museum is set to reopen on February 16 and will be offering free admission for the entire month with advance registration.

Two new exhibitions will be on display. “National Geographic’s Greatest Wildlife Photographs” will feature more than 60 images, while “Once Upon a Climb: Stories from Everest” dives into the history and future of Mount Everest through first-person stories of climbers, mapmakers, and scientists.

6. Busy Your Hands (and Mind) With Pottery

Photograph via Shutterstock.

Already tried adult coloring books and Legos and every other at-home art therapy? Head to a ceramics studio. Hinckley Pottery currently offers adult and teens & kids classes, while District Clay Center offers in-person workshops and virtual classes.

7. Walk on the Water

Riverbend Park, near Great Falls

It may be hard to motivate on a gray day, but next time the forecast calls for a cold winter sun, take a walk along the water. We’ve got a guide for that—with 22 options.


David Tran
Editorial Fellow