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The Anthem

15+ Adventurous & Fun Date Ideas in Washington, DC

Throw in a dash of excitement and spontaneity for your perfect DC date.

The nation’s capital is quite the place to for an adventurous date or fun romantic getaway. From its national parks and outdoor adventures to exciting culinary journeys and more, Washington, DC has everything that a couple could want in an excursion. Read on for date suggestions that go beyond the standard fare and add a unique element to your outing.


Dance to your heart’s content at Echostage

Some of the hippest musical acts around come to Echostage, an immense dancehall that is widely considered one of the best clubs in the country. The venue plays host to rap, hip-hop, dance, electronica and other genres, with nearly every performance featuring an energetic crowd, plenty of grooves and lots of moving and shaking.


Unlock natural beauty at the National Arboretum

National Arboretum

Watch your love grow like a tree no matter the season with a trip to the National Arboretum, a 446-acre living museum brimming with gardens and cherry blossom trees. The arboretum is also home to the original columns of the U.S. Capitol building, featured in their own dedicated space and instantly Instagrammable. 


Admire the scenery of the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

One of the most romantic spots in DC, the Tidal Basin offers a serene setting unlike any other in the city. Across the water, you can view the beautiful Jefferson Memorial in all its glory, then take a stroll into the famous domed structure. The entire scene is even more romantic once the sun goes down.


Observe or join the drum circle at Meridian Hill Park

Meridian Hill Park

A dramatic tiered fountain, statues of historic figures like Dante and Joan of Arc and aggregate concrete walls make this early 20th-century park feel like a slice of Europe in the middle of DC, meaning its date credentials are through the roof. On weekends, the park grounds hop with yoga-doing millennials, frisbee-throwing families and, every Sunday afternoon, a drum circle that you can watch, dance to, or join.


Turn dinner into an adventure

DC is a hub for international cuisine, meaning your romantic dinner can turn into a globe-trotting excursion. Rose Previte’s Michelin-starred Maydan fires off flavors from the Middle East and North Africa. A Georgian feast awaits at Supra in Shaw, where the khachapuri (house-made bread filled with cheese) cannot be missed. Ambar in Capitol Hill brings Balkan cuisine to the heart of DC, offering mezze, spreads, flatbreads, meat pies, stuffed crepes and much more.


Walk among the animals at Smithsonian's National Zoo

Lions, tigers and giraffes are just some of the 2,000 animals that call the Smithsonian's 163-acre National Zoo home. The zoo’s habitats feature animals from 400 different species, including the golden-headed lion tamarin twins, certainly enough to fill an afternoon with your sweetie.


Hit the bullseye on date night

Up the stakes with axe throwing for friendly competition and a whole lot of fun. Channel cozy cabin vibes at Kick Axe, or head upstairs to Throw Social for a tropical atmosphere and lawn games. Keep the good times rolling at Kraken Kourts and Skates – the Penn Quarter location offers axe throwing, while the Bryant Street spot has indoor skating and pickleball. 


Expand your knowledge of the nation’s capital with a walking tour

DC by Foot offers pay-what-you-like walking tours of DC’s most fascinating sites, including the National Mall, Georgetown, the U Street corridor, Capitol Hill and many more. Although the tours are technically free, donations are highly recommended. For more walking tour options in the District, make sure to check out DC Design ToursWashington Walks and Fiat Luxe Tours.


Get in touch with nature at Rock Creek Park

Couple at Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC - Romantic outdoor activities and things to do

Even during the winter, Rock Creek Park serves as a scenic recluse from the city. Put on your winter coat and stroll through the 2,100-acre park, which includes historical attractions like Peirce Mill, as well as a nature center (step in for warmth, if you need to), picnic areas and playing fields. Inside the nature center, there’s also a planetarium, so you and your sweetie can stargaze.


Enjoy a concert at The Wharf

Pearl Street Warehouse

The Wharf features three pristine music venues that add to DC’s already robust roster. The Anthem is an acoustically optimized, 6,000-seat concert hall that brings pure bliss to music lovers. Pearl Street Warehouse is more intimate, letting you and your date enjoy the artist up close while savoring all-American dinner fare, craft brews and cocktails. There's also Union Stage, a dynamic spot that offers a packed calendar with a wide range of independent acts paired perfectly with beers and pizza from their Tap Room.


Savor the Peruvian-Asian flavors of China Chilcano

Relish in the mash-up skills of renowned chef José Andrés at this Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand honoree, an award given to restaurants serving high quality cuisine at affordable prices. China Chilcano, located in Penn Quarter, dishes out a delightful rendition on Peruvian food, with accompanying flavors from China and Japan – all without completely emptying your wallet. The restaurant’s daily Pisco happy hour (4-6 p.m.) discounts drinks and small bites.


Do your DC exploring on wheels

Walking around the District is a joy, but adding a little speed to your sightseeing means more adventure. Book a bicycle or Segway tour of the city with Unlimited Biking featuring a professional guide dishing out info on DC landmarks along the way. Other bike tour options include DC Cycling Concierge and Adventure DC Tricycle Tours. You can also rent a couple of bikes from the extremely convenient Capital Bikeshare, which offers 24-hour membership at its litany of DC stations.


Take your date to the sky at the National Air and Space Museum

Air & Space Museum

Despite ongoing extensive renovations, National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, one of the world's most-visited museums, has unveiled the initial eight galleries. These include exhibits like America by Air, Destination Moon, Early Flight, and Nation of Speed.


Discover DC's street murals

Street mural in Shaw's Blagden Alley - Historic, trendy neighborhood in Washington, DC

Canvases are everywhere you look in the District, which teems with vibrant street art in all quadrants. Spot everything from renditions of silver screen stars Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to abstract, museum-commissioned works, restaurant-themed facades and lots more. Don’t miss Lisa Marie Thalhammer's aptly-named LOVE mural in Shaw and the mural at Ben’s Chili Bowl, which features the Obamas, Prince and Harriet Tubman, among others.


Embark on a Mexican adventure with José Andrés at Oyamel

You’ve never had a Mexican food experience like the one at Oyamel, and culinary superstar José Andrés wouldn't have it any other way. Its crispy, crunchy grasshopper tacos (yep, you read that right), renowned guacamole and creative margarita concoctions mean your taste buds are in for some surprises (don’t worry, there are plenty of other taco options). The colorful decor makes for a lively vibe that suits an adventurous date night perfectly.


Navigate the winter wonderland at Washington Harbour

Ice Skating on Georgetown Waterfront - Washington Harbour - Washington, DC

Sam Kittner / Georgetown BID

Most of the year, Washington Harbour in Georgetown greets visitors with a dancing fountain surrounded by restaurants. But when the cool temps settle in, the fountain transforms into prime ice skating real estate. After dark is when it’s most magical, with dozens of twinkling white snowflakes lighting up the rink. Reserved ticket admission is only $10 for adults, and you can grab dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers afterwards.

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