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7 Ways to Get Out of the Cold in Arlington, VA

January is one of Arlington’s best months for value-conscious visitors, and while Arlington’s winters are relatively moderate compared to many parts of the country, let’s face it – there are plenty of days in which you just don’t want to bundle up and spend all day outdoors.

January is one of Arlington's best months for value-conscious visitors, and while Arlington’s winters are relatively moderate compared to many parts of the country, let’s face it – there are plenty of days in which you just don’t want to bundle up and spend all day outdoors. Take advantage of the great hotel rates available during this time period and find these indoor spots to explore and stay warm at the same time. it’s the best of both worlds, and you just may find a new Arlington favorite!

  1. Discover Local Art: You may have visited the grand Smithsonian galleries on the National Mall (and if you haven’t, you definitely should), but take some time to explore the talent and creativity of Arlington artists at Arlington Arts Center (AAC). Located just a block from the Virginia Square Metro stop, AAC’s nine gallery spaces and a large lawn suitable for public art make it one of the largest non-federal venues for contemporary art in the area and serves as a launching pad for emerging artists, provides established artists with the opportunity to experiment, and offers the public a snapshot of the region’s most compelling contemporary art.
  2. Grab Some Souvenirs: The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is the spot you’re looking for it you want the top brands. There are more than 170 stores and restaurants here with retailers ranging from Nordstrom and Apple to Lego and Michael Kors. Or for only-in-Arlington mementos, check out the tiny “Made in Arlington” shop tucked inside the Arlington Public Library branch in the Courthouse neighborhood, located inside the Arlington County Bozman Government Center.
  3. Salute Women in History: While winter temps may make a day exploring the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery a bit chilly (Pro tip: take one of the tram tours to get around without having to walk), you can warm up and take some time to explore a part of the grounds many visitors miss. The Women in Military Service to America Memorial, located by the ceremonial gate of the Cemetery, serves as tribute and a museum honoring women who’ve served in the military. 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote, and this year, it’s a great time to learn more about these honored women as well.
  4. Learn to Cook: It’s no secret that Arlington is home to hundreds of celebrated restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe, but did you know you can also learn to cook some of those favorite dishes here? Lebanese Taverna Market offers group cooking classes in the basement of the market. Cookology in Ballston Quarter offers classes in everything from comfort foods to cake decorating. And Sur La Table in Pentagon Row is the place to learn how to best use those fancy kitchen gadgets to create dishes that rival any restaurant.
  5. Solve a Mystery: Perfect for the whole family, Arlington is home to several escape room and related experiences that give you one mission: solve the clues and find your way out – all before the clock stops ticking. At Escape Room Arlington on Columbia Pike, guests find themselves locked into rooms ranging from a padded cell to a dusty attic. At Bond’s Escape Room in Clarendon, medieval rooms take center stage while guests maneuver their way through a series of clues. And at 5 Wits, a laser-focused interactive experience, channel your inner Indiana Jones as your team works together to solve the mystery.
  6. Catch a Show: Arlington’s performance stages come alive throughout the year with shows for every audience. See blockbuster musicals or world premiere events at the Tony-Award winning Signature Theatre. Check out the movement spectacular of Synetic Theatre, or discover the local talent at any of Arlington’s community stages.
  7. Take to the Ice: It IS winter, after all, and if you want to get the best of winter activity without braving the elements, look no further than Medstar Capitals Iceplex, where you can ice skate indoors year round on the same spot as the Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals. This is the Caps’ practice ice, so you may run into the NHL stars as you’re lacing up your own skates.

Author: Cara O'Donnell

Signature Theatre

Arlington’s Tony Award®-winning theater company known for contemporary and classic musicals and plays.