To some people, winter isn’t the most exciting of seasons. It lacks the sun and warmth of summer, or the crisp autumn air of fall. However, in Washington, D.C., winter brings in a wave of seasonal favorites. During the coldest months of the year, D.C. boasts some of its most beautiful splendors. Here at CUA we are in close proximity to all of the delights. One of CUA’s favorites is the annual trip to the Sculpture Garden ice rink. The Sculpture Garden is located in Downtown D.C., and is a lovely park-like area filled with new and interesting sculptures from famous artists. In the winter they build a skating rink around these pieces of artwork. Each year CUA’s Resident Ministers plan a trip for CUA students. Since so many people attend we only have to pay $5 each. A pretty nice bargain if you ask me. So ice skating is awesome, but it’s not something you can do every day. What else is there, you ask? No worries, there are plenty more things to do to avoid the cold. In Dupont Circle (a neighborhood of D.C.) they host “First Fridays”. Every first Friday of the month they open up many beautiful art-filled homes or galleries for free. These art homes are filled with hundreds of impressive and famous paintings. Usually the tickets are rather pricey, but on these days even a college student can’t argue with the price. If nothing else, it’s a nice way to dress up a bit and pretend to be a bit swankier. During the weekdays you can get a free guided tour of the Jefferson building in the Library of Congress. It boasts some breathtaking views of the National Mall. Or, if you are looking for something completely different, take a stroll over to the E Street Cinema. They have many different film festivals, as well as unique films playing constantly. Their films are both inexpensive and completely different from the big Hollywood films. It’s a great way to see a new inspiring work without breaking the bank. However, not every winter event has to take place inside. There are also numerous D.C. festivals in the winter, like the Scottish Festival, Arts Festival, and the Chocolate Lover’s Festival (to name a few). For those who are willing to brave the chilly temperatures, the city becomes a splendor of lights. Every neighborhood has some sort of light display, which are best viewed by simply strolling around. You may even wander into the Chinatown Holiday market, filled with local vendors and their goods. Or perhaps, you will visit Union Station’s garland and take in some window shopping. D.C. in the winter is definitely not a dull place, for those who want to try new things, or see different sites, you will not be disappointed.
– Eleanor Tynan