DC in January: What to know before you visit

January is one of the slowest months of the year for DC tourism. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad month to come. In fact, you can totally use this to your advantage. Capitalize on the small crowds at the museums and other big sites by visiting Washington, DC in January.

Tips for Visiting Washington DC in January

DC in January Weather

The average daily high temperatures at 45 degrees and average daily low temperatures at 25 degrees. A typical January day can be perfectly tolerable. That is why Trip Hack DC tours run year-round. However a lot of tour companies actually take the entire month of January off. This is not because it is too cold, but because there just isn’t enough business.  January is also the month when it is most likely to snow.

Packing for DC in January

You definitely want to bring a coat. You will also want to bring a hat, gloves, and boots. Just keep in mind that you will probably do a lot more walking during your trip than you’re used to. Boots are not often very comfortable for that.

Important things to know about visiting DC in January

If you’re coming to DC and hoping to see some late holiday decorations, you are too late. Our decorations come down on January 1st. So if you are hoping to see holiday sites, plan your trip for December instead.

January is a slow month for restaurants so it’s easy to get reservations, even at the most popular ones. However, this is also when restaurants have winter restaurant week. If you’re coming for this, just make sure to plan ahead because reservations can be surprisingly tough.

Since crowds are smaller than during the rest of the year, January is a great time to do some of our indoor activities. We have plenty of free museums around town. You might also want to check out a play at the Kennedy Center, or at least one of their daily free performances.

If you’re into sports, the Wizards and Capitals regular season will be happening. Both of those teams play at the Capital One Arena. If you’re an athlete yourself or like ice skating, there are many ice skating rinks set up around town. The most notable rink is on the National Mall, across the street from the National Archives and next to the National Gallery of Art. There are also rinks in Georgetown, the Wharf, and Navy Yard neighborhoods.

January holidays and events

There are two government holidays in January. New Years is on January 1st and all government employees and school kids get a day off. However, restaurants, museums and other tourist sites will be open. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the 3rd Monday in January. It’s a great opportunity for a weekend trip.

Also, every 4 years, the Presidential Inauguration is held on January 20th. Unless you specifically want to see it, you should not come during that week. Instead plan your trip for a little earlier in them month or a little later in the month. It’s really only inauguration day plus a couple days before and a couple days after that things are a little crazy. However, the rest of January is perfectly fine.

Coming to Washington DC, and want us to show you around?

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation’s Capital. Trip Hacks DC provides tips, tricks and travel hacks for planning your trip; and guided tours to show you around once you get here. Our tours are family and school group friendly and our guides specialize in the major Washington, DC sites. Click here to check out the upcoming tour options and to book your tour here today! Feel free to contact us if you have any tour questions.

About Trip Hacks DC

Trip Hacks DC was founded by Rob, a veteran tour guide in the Nation's Capital.

Everyone wants to get the most out of travel experience; we know that planning a trip can be fun but sometimes stressful. The tips and travel hacks offered here will help you make the most of your trip and avoid missing out on the best things the city has to offer. Our trip planning e-book is the perfect resource for every first-time Washington, DC visitor.

If you're looking for a guided experience once you arrive, Trip Hacks DC specializes in private tours; but has public tours options as well. Visit the Guided Tours section to learn about some of the suggested tours and the trip planning resources section for help preparing for your trip. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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