Get a Break from Boredom

Claire Kuwana, Sentry Staff Reporter

This year, students are finally getting the break they deserve – a full two weeks off of school for winter break. For some, this might be the best news they’ve heard all year; for others, it may be just the opposite. Two weeks is a long time, allotting plenty of time for boredom to hit you smack in the face. When it does, here is what to do instead of rewatching the entirety of Grey’s Anatomy.


Ice Skating at Washington Harbour

Arguably the most classic winter activity is ice skating, where you can spend hours outside in the freezing cold while attempting to balance on two thin pieces of metal. There are many different places in both Arlington and Washington, D.C. where you can do this, but the most popular is undoubtedly the rink at Washington Harbour in Georgetown. For just $10, you can glide across the ice while looking out on the Potomac River. If $10 just sounds like too much money to spend on  ice skating, look out for this deal every Tuesday night from 4-6 p.m. — admission is two for the price of one. Also, on Saturdays, you can skate along with costumed cartoon characters from 10 a.m. -12 p.m., or to music from a DJ from 8-10 p.m.


ZooLights at the National Zoo

Every winter, thousands of people flock to The National Zoo to see ZooLights, a free event that is centered around a display of extravagant, holiday-themed lights. You can view these lights along with live music and delicious winter snacks. For a couple extra dollars you can also take a train ride around one of the exhibits, go snow tubing (with or without snow!), or ride the solar-powered carousel. Unfortunately, ZooLights is only open until January 2 and is closed on December 24, 25, and 31.


ICE! at the National Harbour

If you are someone who loves the cold, and does not want to escape it even when indoors, then you should stop by ICE! at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor. It is a walk-through collection of over two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures including five ice slides. This year, it depicts the story of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” and features a live carving zone. Ticket prices (anywhere from $25-$35) vary along with hours from day to day, so check online to be certain that this amazing attraction is open.



Considering all of the feasting that is sure to go down over break, it is probably a good idea to work off some of those extra meals. One way to get an effective workout while still having fun is to go to a yoga class. Sun and Moon Yoga Studio, which has locations in both Arlington and Fairfax, is only one example of a studio that offers many opportunities to exercise over winter break. One class they offer at the Arlington studio is Winter Solstice Yoga, a session that is designed to benefit Doorways For Women and Families, a charity based in Northern Virginia that focuses on helping women and their families escape domestic violence and homelessness. This class will take place on December 22 from 7-8:30 p.m. and is free; however, donations are welcome and will benefit Doorways.


Sporting Events

The holidays are often characterized by sitting on the couch and watching football with family. Why not improve this tradition by actually attending a game in person? You can go cheer on your home team by supporting the Redskins as they take on the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field on December 20. Ticket prices start at about $35.

Another game that is happening right around the corner is the 2015 Military Bowl in Annapolis, MD at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. On December 28 you can watch Navy and Pitt face off in person, instead of on your couch with some leftover candy canes. Ticket prices vary anywhere from $25-150. The best part is that it benefits the United Service Organization and other organizations that support the military and their families.

If you are not a football fan, you can attend a Wizards game right here in D.C. at the Verizon Center. The Wizards will face both the Charlotte Hornets and the Sacramento Kings during winter break, on December 19 and 21 respectively. If you are on a budget, you are in luck, because tickets for these games can be found starting at under $10.


Visit the Botanic Garden

Step foot into a tropical paradise by taking a trip to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory. Inside you will find one of the largest indoor decorated Christmas trees in all of the District and a poinsettia gallery. Also, there is a train display in which trains chug along above you through plant structures and a place to view oversized flowers, bees and butterflies. This holiday special runs until January 3 and is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Conservatory hours are extended until 8 p.m. with live music. The best part is, it is free!


Go See a Show

Instead of being forced to listen to the same old holiday stories you hear every year, see them be brought to life by seeing a show or play. There are many being shown in the area such as “A Christmas Carol” at the Little Theatre of Alexandria or “The Nutcracker”, performed by the Washington Ballet at Warner Theatre in D.C. If you are looking to save some money this break, then A Christmas Carol may be the better option for you as tickets are only $15, while the tickets for The Nutcracker are much more expensive. Other performances of The Nutcracker are done by both the Manassas Ballet Theatre before Christmas for about $35-55 and the Virginia Ballet Company after Christmas for about $10-30.

With these activities, two weeks of break will fly by! The question is, do we really want it to?