15 Fun Things to Do on a Date in Washington DC

Romantic Date Ideas in the Nation's Capital

Blue Paddle Boats Moored In Lake By Jefferson Memorial Against Clear Sky During Sunset
••• Paddle boats in the lake near the Jefferson Memorial. Johannes Spahn / EyeEm / Getty Images

Looking for some fun ideas of things to do on a date? The Washington, DC area has plenty of interesting and affordable places to explore. With so many cultural activities, live entertainment, festivals, and outdoor recreation, there are endless opportunities for romance.  Here are some of my favorite suggestions. Get creative and try something new. 

  • 01 of 15
    Life in Washington D.C.
    ••• Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

    Enjoying the fresh air together is a great way to get to know someone in a casual atmosphere. The Washington DC area offers endless outdoor recreational opportunities. Some of the best spots to enjoy outdoor recreation in the area include East Potomac Park-Hains Point, Great Falls Park, and C & O Canal Historic National Park. Visit regional or local parks in Maryland and Virginia as well.

  • 02 of 15
    Blue Paddle Boats Moored In Lake By Jefferson Memorial Against Clear Sky During Sunset
    ••• Johannes Spahn / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Rent a canoe or kayak on the Potomac River.  Take a kayaking lesson or a guided tour and explore Washington DC from the waters edge. For a shorter and easier excursion, rent a paddle boat on the Tidal Basin and enjoy terrific views of the Jefferson Memorial and the famous Japanese cherry trees.

  • 03 of 15
    Facade of Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Castle, Washington DC, USA
    ••• Glowimages / Getty Images
    The Washington, DC area is the home to a wide variety of museums and historic sites. You can see the world's most extensive collection of artifacts of history, science, art, space and more. Check out some of the smaller museums for a quieter and more intimate visit or attend a special event to see a different side of a more popular attraction.
  • 04 of 15
    Facade of a memorial building, Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, USA
    ••• Glowimages / Getty Images

    There is something magical about visiting Washington, DC’s monuments and they are especially romantic at night when they are illuminated. Take an evening stroll and enjoy some of the best views of the city. Spend some quiet time visiting these historic attractions when they are less crowded. 

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15
    Putter and golf ball at miniature course in Stuart, Florida
    ••• Tony Arruza / Getty Images

    Playing a game of putt-putt is a fun and relaxing date and a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the warmer months of the year. Play at East Potomac Park in Washington, DC or find a miniature golf course in Maryland and Virginia.

  • 06 of 15

    Summertime brings great free concerts to the Washington DC Area. Pack a picnic, grab your lawn chairs and head outdoors to listen to great local music ranging from jazz to blues to reggae to rock and roll. You will also find a variety of patriotic and inspiring military band performances in the nation's capital. 

  • 07 of 15
    Outdoor summer movie in D.C.
    ••• Moshe B. Zusman

    Watching movies on a large screen outdoors has become a popular summer activity. There are many outdoor movie festivals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. Pack a picnic and enjoy watching a movie under the stars.

  • 08 of 15
    Torpedo Factory Art Center In Alexandria, Virginia
    ••• traveler1116 / Getty Images

    Explore this visual arts center in Old Town Alexandria with 84 working studios, 5 galleries, and 2 workshops. Watch artists of all kinds of media at work and ask questions about their creative processes.

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    There is no admission fee and what’s more romantic than marveling over those adorable animals while walking through the beautiful grounds at Washington, DC’s zoo. Visit early in the day or in the early evening when the popular attraction is less busy. 

  • 10 of 15

    Ice skating is great fun and good exercise. The Washington, DC area has a nice selection of skating rinks with a variety of amenities. Check out some of the outdoor rinks and enjoy some great views of the city. 

  • 11 of 15
    Ripley Garden
    ••• The Ripley Garden at the Smithsonian. PhotoviewPlus / Getty Images

    Visiting a beautiful place sets the stage for romance. The Washington, DC area has great places to enjoy the beauty and fresh fragrance of colorful plants and flowers. Some of the gardens have lovely strolling paths that are exquisitely landscaped. 

  • 12 of 15


    Bowling can be a fun date, but try not to get too competitive. Invite another couple to join in the fun. In Washington DC, visit Lucky Strike  or Pinstripes. In Maryland and Virginia, visit Bowl America. Check with the alley before going to make sure they have open bowling lanes at the time you wish to go (some have dedicated lanes to bowling leagues).

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15
    Glen Echo Park holds regularly scheduled dances that are open to the public in their Spanish Ballroom. Kick up your heels and try a new dance style. Lessons are included at most dances.
  • 14 of 15

    Enjoy a night of laughter at a comedy club in the Washington, DC area. If you've already discussed your political views and think similarly, DC is a great place to enjoy some comedy that pokes fun at American politics. The Capitol Steps is a political musical satire that will keep you laughing about events and personalities on Capitol Hill, the Oval Office, and other centers of power around the world. 

  • 15 of 15

    The Washington DC area has dozens of terrific performance arts venues offering  a wide range of live theatrical performances. See the hottest Broadway shows, music, dance, and more.Tickets to major performances in the area can be pricey. Check out some of the smaller theaters that provide an affordable alternative and put on a good show at a lower cost.