2018 Polar Plunges in Maryland and Virginia

Winter Plunges into the Region's Icy Waters

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••• Freezin For a Reason. Photo © David Madison Photography

Polar Plunges have gotten really popular in recent years and many events are being held each winter around the capital region. Thousands of adventurous individuals volunteer to take a dip in the frigid waters of the Potomac River, the Chesapeake Bay or the Atlantic Ocean in the height of winter. Here’s a guide to the polar plunges in Maryland and Virginia.

  • North Beach Polar Bear Plunge - January 1, 2018. The beach community has an annual tradition of kicking off the New Year with revelers taking a quick dip, splash or swim in the frigid Chesapeake Bay. Participants receive a certificate and t-shirt.
  • Keep Winter Cold Polar Bear Plunge - January 27, 2018. The Beach at National Harbor, Maryland. The annual event is the Chesapeake Climate Action Network's priority annual grassroots fundraiser to combat climate change and move the capital region off of fossil fuels and to clean energy. Participants take a quick dip into the icy Potomac River.
  • Maryland Polar Bear Plunge - January 25-27, 2018. Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, Maryland. The charity event, sponsored by the Maryland State Police, supports the Special Olympics. Thousands of participants of all ages take a dip in the wintry waters of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition to the Plunges, attendees enjoy a full-day winter festival featuring the Robert Andrews Salon & Spa, the Carnival FunFest tent with games, Astro Events Kids Zone, the Rams Head Ice Lodge and Beer Garden, food and other displays.
  • Virginia Beach Polar Plunge Winter Festival - February 2-3, 2018.  Virginia Beach, VA. The annual event is Special Olympics Virginia’s largest fundraiser. Individuals and teams, alongside Special Olympics athletes, take the plunge into Virginia Beach's icy Atlantic Ocean. The festival includes family friendly activities including the Friday Night Plunge Party, Saturday’s 5K, the Pee Wee Plunge for kids 10 and under, and the Saturday Night Beach Bash.
  • Special Olympics DC Polar Plunge - February 10, 2018. Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol St. SE Washington, D.C. Jump into above-ground swimming pools, then enjoy the party in the ballpark, including music, refreshments, and a special appearance from and photo op with the famous Nationals racing presidents. Attending the event is free! To participate, raise at least $100 and receive a 2018 Polar Plunge t-shirt. Raise more than the required $100 to qualify for exciting prizes, including Nationals game tickets, entry to the Nationals batting cage and a behind the scenes tour of Nationals Park.