Grab your swimsuit and brave chilly temperatures as you plunge into icy-cold water in the middle of winter at these DMV polar bear plunge events, benefiting the Special Olympics, CCAN and more nonprofit organizations.
The Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge
Saturday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
One of the most well-known polar bear plunges in the DMV, The Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge benefits Special Olympics Maryland and encourages participants to tip their toes (and then some) into the Chesapeake Bay. Plungers must raise a minimum of $75 and will receive a 2020 Plunge sweatshirt. For this event, there are multiple plunge times to choose from. // Sandy Point State Park: 1100 E. College Parkway, Annapolis; $75
Polar Plunge Mosaic District
Saturday, Jan. 25, time TBA
Hop into the chilly pool set up within Fairfax’s Mosaic District for this annual event benefiting Special Olympics Virginia. There will also be live music, a costume contest with a prize for the best-dressed plunger and prizes for fundraisers. It’s $100 to participate, but the more money an individual raises, the more chances they receive to win prizes. // Mosaic District: 2910 District Ave., Fairfax; $100
15th Annual “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge
Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m.
The temperature outside may be cold, but the overall climate continues to warm. Want to fight climate change? Walk or run your way into the icy Potomac River as part of the 15th annual “Keep Winter Cold” Polar Bear Plunge, held at the National Harbor, benefiting the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. // National Harbor: 141 National Harbor Blvd., Oxon Hill, Maryland; donations required
DC Polar Plunge
Saturday, Feb. 1, 1 p.m.
At this annual event supporting Special Olympics DC, two above-ground swimming pools are erected at The Yards Park for participants to take the cold plunge in front of friends and families. Participants must raise at least $100 and will receive a commemorative 2020 Polar Plunge T-shirt. Those who raise more than $100 will receive other prizes as well. The event will also include an ice bar, live music, interactive ice activities, food vendors and more. // The Yard Park: 355 Water St. SE, Washington, DC; $100
2020 Virginia Polar Dip
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2 p.m.
It’s “freezin’ for a reason,” at this polar bear plunge that supports Camp Sunshine, a camp and support program in Maine that helps families affected by life-threatening childhood illnesses. All participants who raise at least $100 will receive a “I did it!” event T-shirt. // Reston Community Center Lake Anne: 1609-A Washington Plaza N., Reston; donations required
Polar Bear Plunge – EOD Warrior Foundation
Saturday, Feb. 8, time TBA
Jump into Lake Anna’s frosty water for the 2020 Polar Bear Plunge benefiting the EOD Warrior Foundation, which provides financial assistance and support to active-duty, retired and veteran explosive ordnance disposal techs and their families. Want to participate but can’t make it to Lake Anna? This year, you can register as a virtual participant and plunge in a local lake, pond or (why not) your own bathtub. // Lake Anna State Park: 6800 Lawyers Road, Spotsylvania Courthouse; $30
Polar Plunge Prince William County
Saturday, Feb. 22, 1:15 p.m.
A new location for the Polar Plunge event (which takes place in Virginia Beach, Richmond, New River and Fairfax too) this year is Leesylvania State Park. Dip into the Potomac River as you help support Special Olympics Virginia with live bands, prizes and a costume contest for the fanciest plungers. // Leesylvania State Park: 2001 Daniel K Ludgwig Drive, Woodbridge; $100
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