Monday, October 13, 2014

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink Opens Mid-November

Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art

From our friends at the National Gallery of Art...

Wide Range of Skating Classes Available for All Ages and Interests

The 2014-15 ice-skating season at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink will begin in mid-November and continue through mid-March, weather permitting. Specific dates will be announced. 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.

Skating Lessons and Registration:
This season, Guest Services offers skating lessons for all ages, taught by Emme Porter, Bruce Porter, and Sergey Korovin. 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. Sergey Korovin is a national, international, and Olympic coach. He has more than 25 years of teaching experience and was a member of the Soviet Union National Team. He also has a degree in choreography from the State Institute of Theatrical Arts, Moscow. All three instructors are preferred members of the United States Figure Skating Association.

Classes will be offered for different ages and abilities through the Figure 8 Basics Skating Program. Classes are separated into age-appropriate categories and consist of a comprehensive lesson and evaluation structure that is exciting, rewarding, safe, and fun.

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

Figure 8 Basics: 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.

Adult Classes: Four adult levels are condensed versions of the Figure 8 Basics classes, allowing adults to progress in their choice of skating discipline.

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

Skaters seeking one-on-one attention may schedule a private lesson. Special group rates are also available for children's birthday parties and group lessons.

Registration for group classes will be held in November, December, and January at the entrance of the Pavilion Café. Registration dates will be announced. To register in advance or arrange for a private lesson, please e-mail

Ice Rink Hours and Fees:
The hours for the ice rink will be as follows:

Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Friday and Saturday, 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM

Sunday, 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

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.

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 AM - 7:00 PM; Friday and Saturday, 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM; and Sunday, 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM.

For general information and announcements about openings and closings, call (202) 216-9397 or visit Guest Services' website, 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. More information is available at

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