Are you attending one of the language schools in Washington DC this January? If so, you should be prepared for cold weather. January is the coldest month of the year in DC with an average high-temperature of 43.3°F (6.3°C) and an average low of 28.6°F or 1.9°C. Plus, January usually brings snow – and sometimes it brings a lot of it.
For students who have traveled from warmer climates to study English in Washington DC, the January weather may come as a shock. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable! While the temperatures may make outdoor fun difficult, DC offers tons of ways to stay warm while having a good time. After you grow tired of playing in the snow, there are plenty of other things you can do. Use our tips to stay warm and have fun in DC this January.
The first thing you need to do if you are a new arrival to DC is to pack proper winter attire. Since it can get so cold in DC in January, you want to be sure you have clothing items that will keep you warm and toasty. You will need a thick winter coat and a pair of winter boots. Additionally, you should have clothing that can be worn in layers, and you may want to invest in thermal underwear. It is also wise to have a winter hat, gloves, and a scarf. If you do not dress appropriately for freezing weather, you put yourself at risk for hypothermia or frostbite.
Watch a Movie
A great way to stay warm on a chilly day is to watch a movie. While you can always stay inside your Washington language institute dorm or homestay living space, it is also a fun idea to go watch a movie at a movie theatre. You can see newly released films for a little less at movie theatres that offer student discounts. If you are snowed in, then invite some of your inlingua classmates over to watch a movie so you can practice listening in English.
Visit the Library
Public libraries are free to visit, and they are wonderful escapes from cold weather. You can spend hours inside a library browsing through their large book collections and sitting in a cozy reading nook. Plus, many public libraries offer a variety of free events for the public, such as film showings or crafting events. And, of course, the library is the ideal place to study for your English language test.
Do Some Shopping
DC and the surrounding area is home to fabulous shopping malls and centers. And, many of these malls are indoor! You can easily spend a large amount of time shopping at Tysons Corner Center in Virginia (but still accessible by the Metro). It has hundreds of stores for you to browse. Additionally, it also has plenty of places to eat. In fact, it is so popular on cold weather days that they open early just for people to walk to the mall and not shop.
Enjoy a Fire
If you are lucky enough to be living in a space with a fireplace, then take full advantage of it! January is the perfect time to enjoy some time by the fire. If you are not so lucky, then take advantage of some of the fireplaces in local restaurants or warm up by an outdoor firepit at DC venues. You may even venture to a Virginia brewery or winery to enjoy an adult beverage and a nice fire.
Go to a Game
DC is home to several pro sports teams, but two of these teams have winter seasons. The National Hockey League Washington Capitals and the National Basketball Association Washington Wizards play games at the Verizon Center in DC. Even if it is frigid outside, you will feel warm cheering on the home teams! And you can use the games as an opportunity to practice English sports idioms with students from your English class in DC.
Take in a Live Show
DC is packed with culture – and many cultural events take place indoors. For instance, students should make a point to attend a live show during their stay in DC, and winter is the perfect time to watch a show indoors. You will have your choice of theatre, ballet, orchestra, and more in DC. Plus, venues like the National Theatre, Folger Theatre, and Kennedy Center offer student discounts.
Explore a Museum
DC is home to so many amazing museums and they all have heating systems! This means they are fantastic places to visit on cold winter days. The fact that many of the Smithsonian museums are free makes it even better. As students new to the area, there are enough museums to keep you busy through the winter. And, you will likely find a favorite that you want to visit more than once.
Drink a Hot Beverage
No matter your favorite winter beverage, there is bound to be a warm spot in DC to enjoy it. DC is home to countless coffee shop and bars, so whether you want a peppermint mocha or a hot buttered rum, you are sure to find it. January is also a great time to search for your favorite cup of hot chocolate in DC with your inlingua classmates.
Take a Trip Somewhere Warmer
Finally, take a trip to somewhere warmer! If you are new to the United States, then you should take advantage of your time in the States as a student. Take trips to the destinations in America you have always wanted to visit. DC has a train station, two airports, and an Amtrak station, which makes it easy for students to travel while they are taking English courses in Washington DC. January is a great time to head to places like Florida where you can visit the beaches or Disney World.