Where Do Kids Play Ice Hockey in the DMV?


Wondering where kids play ice hockey? The average age for kids to try out ice hockey is five years old. Some younger kids may or may not be ready to learn to play or learn to skate. The DC Capitals team has a fantastic learn to skate/learn play programs which offers the opportunity for youth to try hockey and includes hockey equipment sized and fitted appropriately for your child. In partnership with the NHL, Pure Hockey offers a learn-to-play program, which is a great way for new-to-hockey families to get introduced to the sport. 

Photo from Jackie Malkes

There are many health benefits to playing ice hockey (no screen time, cardiovascular exercise, agility, balance and endurance). Ice hockey is a team sport which encourages communication, passing and working together toward a common goal. Hockey teaches sportsmanship and that there are ups and downs in sports (getting scored against, knocked down, called for a penalty) and allows each player multiple chances!

Learn to Play Resources & Leagues

The first step is researching different local minor hockey associations. The best place to start is with the Capitals which offers a Learn to Play program spring/summer/fall and winter throughout the DMV (MedStar Arlington, Haymarket, Reston, St. James Springfield, Ashburn, Prince William, Hagerstown, Rockville, Capital Clubhouse, Bowie and others!)  The fee includes all equipment.  This is a great gateway into the support! Kids range from 5-9 years old. Most importantly Pure Hockey provides the sizing for all equipment and it is shipped to your door and customized for your child!

Once your child graduates from the Learn to Play program, there are many opportunities to build upon their skills and “graduate” learn to play continuation, house or travel hockey league.

What Equipment Do You Need to Play?

Below is a rough list of all the equipment needed to compete in organized hockey (See this link here to identify how to put it on). Many learn-to-play programs provide hockey equipment, but here is a basic shopping list for kids to play ice hockey:

  • Elbow pads  
  • Helmet/Cage 
  • Hockey gloves 
  • Hockey pants  
  • Hockey socks  
  • Hockey stick  
  • Jocks or Jills  
  • Mouthguard  
  • Neck guard  
  • Practice jersey  
  • Shoulder pads  
  • Shin pads  
  • Skates 

Have Fun!

The most important—step for beginning a hockey parent is to remain patient and supportive during whether it is an early-morning practice, busy weekends, or a tournament road trips. 

Places Where Kids Play Ice Hockey


  1. Reston Raiders 
  2. Loudon Knights
  3. MedStar Capitals Iceplex
  4. Ashburn Extreme
  5. St. James Hockey


  1. Potomac Patriots
  2. Montgomery Youth Hockey
  3. Navy Youth Hockey
  4. Bowie Hockey

Would you like to add more places where kids play ice hockey? Let us know and we are happy to add!