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  • Ice Skate at the National Gallery: The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden pool turns into an ice-skating rink in winter. Rent some skates and twirl around on the ice, admiring sculptures as you go. Treat yourself to hot chocolate and sandwiches at the Pavilion Café in the garden.
  • Attend an Event on the Mall: Think of the National Mall as the nation's public square, where something is always going on, whether it's a book festival in the fall, the splendid Independence Day celebration every Fourth of July, or soccer, baseball, even cricket games year-round.
  • View Washington from the Water: Rent a paddle boat to skim the surface of the Tidal Basin for an hour, or cruise the Potomac River aboard one of several sightseeing vessels. The paddle boats give you a remarkable view of the Jefferson Memorial; river cruises offer a pleasant interval for catching a second wind, as they treat you to a marvelous perspective of the city.
  • Sit at an Outdoor Cafe and Watch the Washington World Go By: The capital has plenty of places that offer front-row seats. Among them are Capitol Hill's Johnny's Half Shell, where movers and shakers hustle past you on the sidewalk and peer out from limos on their way to the Capitol; the Penn Quarter's Café du Parc, which captures sights of Pennsylvania Avenue, the Washington Monument, and the grounds of the White House; and Hank's Oyster Bar, whose Dupont Circle perch is the perfect spot for watching a passing parade of live entertainment.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.