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Author Topic: DC area rink recommendations  (Read 936 times)

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Offline Meli

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DC area rink recommendations
« on: July 14, 2015, 09:30:48 AM »
Any recommendations on DC rinks with decent metro access?  I'm staying over near Gallaudet.

Offline Query

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Re: DC area rink recommendations
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 01:38:15 AM »
I maintain a list of DC area rinks, with a link to an overall map, at

  http://mgrunes.com/dcicerinks.html

You can get to a lot of places by bus, but Wells (College Park, MD) and Kettler (Arlington, VA) are the only rinks I know of, that are open in the summer, and are near the subway.

Kettler isn't the cheapest rink, and depending on your hours it may or may not work for you, but I think it probably has the shortest Metro travel time from Galaudet.

Directions to Kettler are here:

  http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0040/8870/KCI_Directions_4-09.pdf

Leave yourself 60 minutes more than you think it will take the first time, so you can find your way - a fair bit of walking from the metro stop. You will probably get lost if you try the "outdoor route". But it's a pretty safe area.

If you want to drive around DC, and are able to, navigating is a challenge, many roads are unmarked, parking is hard, and traffic jams in some places sometimes last 5 - 6 hours. You will need a good GPS, and a lot of patience. Also, DC makes a lot of income from giving people traffic tickets for things they shouldn't get tickets for - think of DC as a totally corrupt third world government. So Metro is a good option, if you can get to it.

Happy skating!

P.S. I work a little at Gardens Ice House (Laurel, MD), and so should tell you to go there. But it has no metro-rail access, which I guess you want.

I regret to say that evening and weekend public sessions at all DC area rinks can be crowded. Freestyle sessions are sometimes less so, but at some rinks, including Kettler, you may sometimes have to compete for space on the ice with high level freestyle and ice dance skaters.

Offline Meli

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Re: DC area rink recommendations
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 09:55:27 AM »
Thanks!

I was leaning towards Kettler, but wasn't sure if there were more attractive options.  I come out to DC several times a year, so I'm loaded up with a metro card and the app so that I can get around town.  I'm not fond of driving in DC.  It's just crazy and I hate parallel parking!

Offline Query

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Re: DC area rink recommendations
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 04:28:29 PM »
Oops, I made a mistake: Wells isn't open in the summer. It's essential an outdoor. Kettler is probably best for you - though I've never been around Gallaudet. I suppose it is conceivable there might just happen to be a bus route that goes directly to Fairfax Ice Arena or Cabin John.

If your metro card is of the paper variety, it may not work - they want you to switch to the plastic style. Meanies. Maybe the vending machines will take in the old paper cards...

DC area Metro isn't like NYC's subways. There are a lot of places you can't go, and a lot of things you can't do (e.g., reach the best skate technicians), without a car. But for a short visit, if you can do what you need by Metro, it may be less hassle.

Remember to bring the directions to Kettler with you. I seem to remember there were discrepancies between the website directions to Kettler and where you actually have to go - for one thing, Ballston Metro station has more than one exit. I do remember that once you get inside the big shopping center, you follow the signs to Kettler, or maybe they say something about skating. Make sure you remember the way back, or you may wander forever until the end of days.  :)  And bring enough money to get out, or like Charlie beneath the streets of Boston, you may never return!


Offline Meli

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Re: DC area rink recommendations
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 04:59:21 PM »
Switched to the plastic a while back because they started charging extra on the paper ones.  Grr.  Fleece the tourists!

Maybe I'll leave a trail of crystals or sequins so I can find my way back!