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Release Date: October 9, 2014

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink Opens November 14; Wide Range of Skating Classes Available for All Ages and Interests

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink National Gallery of Art, Washington

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Washington, DC—The 2014–2015 ice-skating season at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink will begin November 14 and continue through March 16, weather permitting. Located on the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, the ice rink is a favorite Washington destination, attracting thousands of visitors to skate in the nation's capital. The rink is managed by Guest Services, Inc.

The experience of skating in the Sculpture Garden, surrounded by the grand architecture of national museums and monuments, is enhanced by splendid views of large-scale sculptures by modern and contemporary artists including Louise Bourgeois, Alexander Calder, Roy Lichtenstein, Roxy Paine, Tony Smith, and others from the Gallery's renowned collection.

In celebration of the opening, visitors who purchase time on the ice on November 15 and 16 will receive a coupon for a complimentary cup of hot chocolate from the Pavilion Café on those dates.

Ice Rink Hours and Fees

The hours for the ice rink will be as follows:

Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m.

Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.

The ice rink will be closed when it rains or when the temperature dips below 20°F.

During the evening, when the Gallery and Sculpture Garden are closed to the public, access to the ice rink is restricted to the entrances at Constitution Avenue and Madison Drive near 9th Street.

The skating fees for a two-hour session (beginning on the hour) are as follows:

$8 for adults

$7 for skaters age 50 and over, children age 12 and under, and students with a valid school ID

The skate rental fee is $3 (ID required as a deposit), and lockers are available for $0.50 ($5 deposit required). Season passes are available for $195.

Please call the ice rink office at (202) 216-9397 for additional information. The Gallery and Sculpture Garden are closed on December 25 and January 1.

Tips for Visitors to the Ice Rink

Layered, warm clothing that does not restrict movement, gloves, and helmets (for beginners) are recommended.

Free parking is available on Madison Drive on Saturdays and Sundays, with a three-hour limit on weekdays. Meters are located on Constitution Avenue and 7th Street surrounding the rink.

The nearest Metrorail stops are Judiciary Square on the Red Line, Archives–Penn Quarter–Navy Memorial on the Yellow/Green Lines, and Smithsonian on the Blue/Orange Lines. Metrobus stops are located on 4th Street and 7th Street NW.

Skating Lessons and Registration

This season, Guest Services offers skating lessons for all ages, directed and taught by Emme Porter, Bruce Porter, and their team of instructors. Emme Porter has more than 15 years of skating and coaching experience in all disciplines of skating and is a national and international ice dancing competitor. She has also danced in and choreographed performances for the NHL Washington Capitals' Red Rockers for five years. Bruce Porter has more than 10 years of teaching experience in hockey, ice dancing, and field moves. He is a national and international competitor in ice dancing and competed in the European Figure Skating Championships in 2008 and 2009. Emme and Bruce represented Azerbaijan in international competitions and retired from competitive skating in 2014.

Classes will be offered for different ages and abilities through the US Figure Skating Basic Skills Program. Classes are separated into age-appropriate categories and consist of a comprehensive lesson and evaluation structure that is exciting, rewarding, safe, and fun.

Class Descriptions

Snowplow Sam: Classes introduce children aged three to six to the basics of skating through interactive on-ice games. Skaters will learn the basics of balance, marching, and gliding.

Basic Skills 1-8: Classes teach the fundamentals of skating and the basic skills. They are designed to help children master fundamental moves, such as skating forward and backward, as well more complicated maneuvers, including crossovers, turns, beginning spins, and hops. There are a total of eight levels that lay a strong foundation for more specialized areas of skating, such as freestyle, ice dancing, and hockey.

Free Skate: Each Free Skate level is divided into four sections: moves in the field, spins, dance/footwork sequence, and jumps. The Free Skate levels are designed to give skaters a strong foundation on which to build their skills. This is the point where the skater can choose whether to pursue a recreational or competitive approach to the sport of figure skating.

Adult: Four adult levels are condensed versions of the Basic Skills classes, allowing adults to progress in their choice of skating discipline.

Hockey: This introductory class is designed especially for beginning players. Skaters will work on all the basic skills necessary to become a competent hockey player.


Session 1: November 15–December 21, 2014

Session 2: January 3–February 4, 2015

Session 3: February 7–March 11, 2015

Registration for group classes will be held at the entrance to the Pavilion Café on November 14, 4:00–7:00 p.m. (session 1); December 20, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (session 2); and February 7, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. (session 3). Skaters may also register 15 minutes prior to an ongoing group lesson as long as space is available. To reserve a space, please contact Guest Services, Inc. at (202) 216-9397 or [email protected] or instructor Emme Porter at (202) 436-5114 or [email protected]. Weekend group lessons have a five-skater minimum. Weekday group lessons have an eight-skater minimum.

Pavilion Café

The café has panoramic views of the Sculpture Garden from its floor-to-ceiling picture windows. Visitors may enjoy the recently installed interior sound system while dining indoors. The menu features freshly made dishes such as soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and gourmet tarts. Beverages include coffee, tea, hot chocolate, wine, and beer. A children's menu for ages 12 and under is also available. Managed by Guest Services, Inc., the café seats 98 people inside and 64 people outside on its north and south terraces. Hours for the Pavilion Café during the skating season are Monday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

For general information and announcements about openings and closings, call (202) 216-9397 or visit More details are available at

Sculpture Garden and Ice Rink

The skating surface, which measures approximately 135 feet long and 90 feet wide, can accommodate more than 200 skaters at a time. A state-of-the-art music system delights skaters, diners, and spectators without distracting other visitors to the Sculpture Garden. At night, lights encircling the rink illuminate the ice, contributing to the festive atmosphere and the skating experience.

Designed to offer year-round enjoyment to the public in one of the preeminent locations on the National Mall, the 6.1-acre National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden opened on May 23, 1999. The richly landscaped setting provides a distinctive backdrop for works of post–World War II sculpture by internationally famous artists. Visitors may enjoy spacious seating and walking areas amid the native American canopy and flowering trees, shrubs, ground covers, and perennials. The majestic fountain at the center of the garden gives visitors a chance to rest and reflect on the works on view, or to enjoy one of the popular Friday evening Jazz in the Garden concerts in the summer. In the winter, the fountain transforms into an ice rink.

The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden was given to the nation by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation.

The Sculpture Garden is located on the National Mall between 7th and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW, in the block adjacent to the West Building of the Gallery. There are six public entrances to the Sculpture Garden, from four corners and at two sides; and the area is accessible to visitors with disabilities. Admission is free.

Groups and Tours at the Sculpture Garden and in the Gallery

To arrange a special guided tour of the Gallery's permanent collection for 20 or more adults before or after a visit to the ice rink during regular Gallery hours, call (202) 842-6247 at least three weeks (or up to four months) in advance. Information about other Gallery programs, exhibitions, restaurants, and shops, is available at (202) 737-4215 or

General Information

For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

The Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Press Release