Add Georgetown's Washington Harbour to the list of places where you can skate your figure eights, have romantic icy dates and spend time slipping and sliding. The new rink rests next to the Potomac River, tucked behind Bangkok Joe's and the circular driveway that normally greets diners headed to Sequoia or Tony and Joe's Seafood Place. On a recent cold Sunday morning, the
sidewalk leading to the water was packed with ski jackets and rosy faces.
"Ho ho the mistletoe . . ." played over the speakers as children laughed and screamed as they skated, some grasping the side
of the rink desperately, others cautiously moving slowly about the ice and yet others simply slamming themselves into the clear, plastic rink walls.
"It's great. We both grew up in the Midwest, so this is what winter should be all about," said Laura Nelson, a lawyer who lives in Georgetown. She was there with her husband, Steve Pearlman, and their three children, Dorothy Nelson, 10, and 8-year-old twins Lily-Beth Nelson and Gus Pearlman. The twins, who attend Washington International School, were celebrating their birthdays with 40 other second-graders.
"This is fantastic," Nelson said. "We're so happy it's here in Georgetown."
That sentiment was echoed by other parents glad to have an ice rink open nearby with so much skate time available. "It's nice to have something in Georgetown that has public skate hours that's not one hour a day in the middle of the day when kids can't go," said Kim Boylan, referring to some of the indoor rinks in the area. She was at the harbour rink with her daughter, Catie Boylan, 7, who has taken lessons elsewhere. "We will be coming here a lot," Boylan said.
For adults needing to warm up a bit, Nick's Riverside Grill provides a bottom-of-a-Colorado-ski-slope vibe with its unheated outdoor bar (open daily at 11:30 a.m.) overlooking the rink. Pull up a wooden stool and sip a mulled cider mixed with either rum or cinnamon whiskey. The view alone should warm your spirit with the river on one side and a skating rink full of laughing children on the other.
-- Moira E. McLaughlin (Dec. 7, 2012)