The Washington Post
Best places to escape bad weather photo
(Amazonia by Lucian Perkins/The Post)

Best places to escape bad weather

Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 03/07/2012

When cold and rain are on the horizon, these indoor destinations will make you think you've left D.C. behind for to warmer climes.


Cub Run RECenter

Chantilly, VA

Every day is summer at the Cub Run RECenter's indoor water park, which features two huge slides, a splash playground, fountains and a wading pool.


Cuba Libre

Washington, DC

Dressed up like the set for a pre-Castro musical, Cubra Libre's lively salsa music and delicious mojitos make for an easy escape to Hollywood's Havana.


Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

Washington, DC

It's easy to believe you're outdoors when you're sitting at a table in the National Portrait Gallery's tree-lined courtyard, protected from the elements by an undulating glass roof.


H Street Country Club

Washington, DC

Foul weather doesn't have to keep you from a round of (mini) golf. The H Street Country Club has nine indoor holes, plus skee-ball, shuffleboard and two full bars.


National Museum of Natural History - Smithsonian Institution

Washington, DC

With hundreds of butterflies fluttering through a tropical garden in the Butterfly Pavilion, you'll feel like spring is in the air. (Unlike most Smithsonian exhibits, the Butterfly Pavilion has an admission charge every day except Tuesday.)


National Zoological Park - Smithsonian Institution

Washington, DC

The Zoo's Amazonia exhibit is a 15,000-square-foot replica of a Brazilian rainforest, with monkeys and birds moving freely through the trees and fish and frogs swimming through the water, and balmy temperatures throughout.


Spa World and Kokiri Restaurant

Centreville, VA

A Centreville strip mall is an unlikely source for respite from the bitter cold, but that's where you'll find Spa World, the Korean-style spa that features a half-dozen heated "poultice rooms" that can reach 160 degrees. Spend a day warming up, sloughing off your winter skin and, perhaps, curing what ails you, in the fragrant rooms lined with quartz, oak, salt or hot clay.


U.S. Botanic Garden

Washington, DC

The Botanic Garden's lush, steamy Conservatory, filled with tropical plants under a glass dome, is an easy way to transport yourself thousands of miles from Washington.


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