DC Date Ideas
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
I'm a hopeless romantic who loves all things cute so here's my guide on cute dates around the DC area. Not only am I going to break these dates down by location, I'll let you know if they're metro accessible and how much they're going cost!
Let's get to it!
Dates that will make y'all "Fall" for each other
(I'm so funny)
Watch Planes Overhead at a Picnic at Gravelly Point
Gravelly Point is a park located adjacent to the National Airport. This is a magical spot to take a stroll or just lay on a blanket and watch the planes fly over your head. My first high school boyfriend introduced me to dates at Gravelly Place when I was a Junior. Thanks Zach!
How to get there: Car/Uber
Finally Learn How to Salsa Dance
On their dating profile they said they could dance, so why not test out their skills at a free salsa lesson! Dancing is a great way to get loose and shake off some of those date jitters. Cafe Citron in Dupont Circle hosts free salsa lessons Wednesdays- Saturday from 8-10 PM.
How to get there: Metro to Dupont Circle (Red line).
Coffee at the Kogod Courtyard
The Kogod Courtyard is a great place to come for a first date. The Courtyard is located in the Smithsonian American Art Museum and one of DC's more serene indoor spaces. If you're tired of the DC coffee shop scene, check out the courtyard cafe and grab a coffee with your date. Date going well? Extend your date and venture into the museum's exhibits.
More information here: https://americanart.si.edu/visit/saam/kogod-courtyard
Cost: FREE entrance, 0-10$ USD for cafe
How to Get There: Take the metro to Metro Center (blue, orange, silver and red lines).
Get Cultured at the Museum of African Art
This art museum may be small, but it’s robust in material. Located adjacent to the Hirschhorn, the National Museum of African Art houses incredible exhibits featuring art from the African diaspora. They are currently running an exhibit entitled, I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa.
While you’re here walk to the Enid Haupt Garden outside of the Smithsonian castle- it’s one of my favorite places in DC. It's a great place for an after date chat or card game.
More information here: https://africa.si.edu/
How to get there: Metro to Smithsonian (blue, orange and silver lines).
Watch the Sunset at the Georgetown Waterfront
The Georgetown Waterfront is home to many waterside bars and restaurant including Nick's Riverside Grill, Sequoia, Tony and Joes, Guapos and Fiola Mares. Grab a drink (or two) and venture over to the steps at Georgetown Waterfront Park to enjoy the beautiful sunset views over the Key bridge. If your date is into capturing pics for the gram… take them here. Georgetown is an Instagrammer's dream.
More information here: https://washington.org/visit-dc/things-do-georgetown-waterfront
Cost: Free- $25 USD (if you're getting drinks)
How to get there: Metro to either Foggy Bottom (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) or Rosslyn (Blue, Orange, and Silver lines) and walk. It's a far walk, so you may want to consider taking an Uber or Lyft.
See an Exhibit at Artechouse DC
If you're into some cool new age art- take your date to Artechouse DC. This gallery is an innovate art space that hosts tons of different technological exhibits. You'll need to reserve your tickets ahead of time, as this experience can sell out pretty quickly. Plus it's cheaper to book online before your visit!
More information here: https://www.dc.artechouse.com/about
Cost: $32 USD for two tickets (if you book online)
How to get there: Metro to Smithsonian (blue, orange and silver lines) and walk.
Get Cozy and Watch a Movie Outdoors
Movies on the lawn are a popular feature of DC summers. Fortunately, some locations still host movies during the fall. Check out a full movie schedule here: http://www.dcoutdoorfilms.com/#dcscreenings
My two favorite locations for this fall are the newly renovated Ballston Quarters and National Harbor.
Don't to forget to bring a blanket and some snacks!
How to get there:
Ballston Quarters- take the metro to Ballston Station (Blue, Orange and Silver lines).
National Harbor- Drive, take an uber or catch the ferry from Old Town Alexandria.
Venture through the National Zoo
The National Zoo is one of my favorite DC establishments and it’s FREE 99. There are tons of kids running around, which is expected because it’s a zoo, but it’s a really cute place to stroll. After a long winding walk through the zoo, unwind for a meal at Italian Pizza Kitchen or Hot and Juicy Crawfish both located right outside the Woodley Park Metro stop.
Even cuter, pack a picnic basket and a blanket and eat lunch at one of the many picnic spots at the zoo.
More information here: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/
Cost: FREE- $50 USD (for lunch/dinner)
How to get there: Metro to Woodley Park (Red line).
Sip and Paint at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park
This date idea is gonna take a little bit of planning. Easel’s can easily be ordered off amazon or bought from a Michael's, Walmart or Target. Same thing with a basic paint set and brush. Pick out a cute design- (google has a ton of cute paint and sip templates.) The sip part outside is the issue as legally you are not allowed to drink in public parks in DC. So my advice would be to very slyly (not...) pour a bottle of wine into an aluminum bottle.
Wine recommendations: Apothic Red (red blend), Josh (Cabernet sauvignon), and 19 Crimes (red blend).
More information here: https://www.nps.gov/places/meridian-hill-park.htm
Cost: $24 USD for supplies + $12 USD for a bottle of wine= $36 USD
How to get there: Metro to U St/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo Station (Green and Yellow lines).
Visit the Renwick Gallery (With a Twist)
Here’s a fun date with a little bit of a twist. Arrive to the Renwick gallery located right next to the White House. Make sure you bring two sketch pads/notepads and a pencil or pens.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and set off separately into the art museum. You will have 15 minutes to find a piece of art, sketch it, and return back to your designated starting point.Then, start your tour of the museum together. As you walk around, you both will try to identify which piece of art the other drew. Whoever can identify what you sketched first, has to buy the other person a drink!
Cost: $7 USD for supplies
How to get there: Metro to McPherson Square (Blue, Orange and Silver lines).
Get Your Workout in Paddle Boating at the Tidal Basin
Paddle Boating in DC is a great way to burn calories while enjoying glorious views of the Tidal Basin. It’s a bit pricey ($20 usd for one hour) but, you pay for the experience and the views. Every time I’ve been paddle boating I’ve just eventually given up and made my partner paddle for both of us (I’m a bit spoiled). But it’s good fun I promise you!
More information here: https://boatingindc.com/boathouses/tidal-basin/
Cost: $20 USD for an hour
How to get there: Uber/Car or bike/scooter from Downtown DC
Get Fancy at the Kennedy Center
Did you know that the Kennedy Center hosts free concerts and events every day? Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage has a ton of cool programs available. From talks to concerts, if you’re looking to get cultured for free, check out the Kennedy Center’s Millennium stages performance calendar.
Note: For September 2019, some tickets require a free timed-entry pass which can be reserved here: https://cms.kennedy-center.org/festivals/reach
More information here: https://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/index
How to get there: Metro to Foggy Bottom (blue, orange and silver) and walk or take the free Kennedy Center Shuttle.
Apple picking at Waters Orchard in Maryland
Nothing screams Fall more than forcing someone to pick apples with you. My favorite orchid is Water’s Orchard. You take a cute little tractor to the orchards and can pick freely from a variety of apple trees. Bag prices do get a bit pricey ($15-25 usd) but you'd be surprised how many apples you can fit in them. Make sure to bring cash! There’s also a cidery not far from Water’s called Doc Water’s Cidery, so you might as well indulge in a tasting while you’re there.
Once you’re done, head over to Butler’s Farm, not far from Waters. There you’ll find pumpkin patches and a great farmers market with some of the best pumpkin treats I’ve ever tasted.
Water’s Orchard information: http://www.watersorchard.com/
Doc Cidery Information: http://www.watersorchard.com/doc-waters-cidery
Butler’s Information: https://www.butlersorchard.com/market/
Cost: $15-25 usd
How to get there: Drive
Go Back in Time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival
I’m a little bit of a nerd but my favorite part of fall is the Renaissance Festival. No, you don’t have to dress up, but definitely make the journey to Annapolis to witness this amazing festival. Some of my favorite activities here is jousting, ax throwing, and getting tipsy drinking meade and beer. The food is relatively inexpensive and the mere fact you can get a turkey leg here is one of the reasons I’ve gone every year since college.
More information and tickets here: https://rennfest.com/
Cost: $27 usd per ticket ($54 usd for two tickets)
How to get there: Drive
Ghost Tour in Old Town Alexandria
It's almost Fall and nothing screams #spookyseason like a ghost tour around colonial Alexandria! Alexandria Colonial Tours conducts several historical and ghost tours around Old Town Alexandria. From their website, " On this entertaining tour, you’ll hear ghost stories, legends, folklore, unsolved mysteries, tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge!"
Sounds romantic to me.
After your tour, walk around to experience some of the culinary gems of Old Town Alexandria. And check out the Torpedo Factory, an art gallery, as well.
More information on tickets here: https://www.alexcolonialtours.com/ghosttours
Cost: $15 usd for adults ($30 usd for two tickets)
Tasting at a Winery
You know the old saying "couples who drink together, stay together". Yeah me neither. But visiting a brewery or winery is a great way to explore so of the local alcoholic offerings. My favorite vineyard is Old House Vineyard located in Culpepper Virginia. Not into wine? Don't worry this vineyard also has a distillery!
More information here: http://www.oldhousevineyards.com/index.html
Cost: $20 usd for two tastings
How to get there: Drive
Not trying to drive to Virginia? There are tons of wineries and breweries in this area! Check out these links below.
Other vineyards near dc: https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/05/19/11-amazing-wine-country-day-trips-near-dc/
Breweries near dc: https://washington.org/visit-dc/breweries-in-washington-dc
Other dates ideas I didn't feel like writing a description about because I'm lazy but you all love me regardless:
Seafood at the Wharf and Picnic on the docks
Watch the sunset at the Air Force memorial
Visit National Mall and Tidal Basin at night via scooter
Catch a Poetry Slam Night at Busboys and Poets
Free yoga classes at the US Botanical Gardens
That's all folks. I'll update this list each season, to give you all bright and fun date ideas. And if you're still reading this and have a cute tall man who wants to take me on one of these here dates, hit my Instagram dms.