It’s been a very (very) long winter in DC, so now that the sun has finally decided to stick around for a while, it’s time to take your boo out on a daytime date in the city.
There’s much more to do in the light of day than just sip coffee and stroll the farmer’s market. Take your sweetie somewhere both fun and unique, like a day of bowling and beer or kayaking on the Anacostia.
Get cultured at the museums
You don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy the National Museum of Natural History. Seriously, what’s more romantic than a butterfly pavilion with hundreds of live butterflies fluttering above your head? There’s also an IMAX theatre with daily film showings, a dinosaur exhibit, and a display of the 45.5-carat Hope Diamond.
If you’ve “been there, done that” with all the traditional museums in the city, take your date to Artechouse for a 21st-century art experience with an interactive digital gallery. Explore how technology can influence art, take in the multi-sensory installations, and discuss your experiences over lunch.
Spend a day under the stars
Make sure your next date is out of this world (sorry, we had to) at the Einstein Planetarium. Pretend it’s the dead of night during the day as you journey through time and space with your bae, and watch a show specially designed for the domed ceiling.
The daily show displays DC’s night sky, so gaze at the stars with your beloved and try to spot any familiar formations. There’s also the “Dark Universe” show narrated by famed astrologist Neil Degrasse Tyson that examines the invisible dark matter in our galaxies. How mysterious!
Roll a strike at the bowling alley
Pinstripes in Georgetown has both bowling and bocce, as well as plush seating and food and beverage service. Take your sweetheart here for a game or two before a made-from-scratch Italian meal in their adjoining bistro, or head to one of many spots in the neighborhood for dinner and drinks once the sun sets.
With a full-service snack bar, video games galore, and beer on tap, White Oak Duckpin Lanes was practically designed for a day date. There’s also a romantic air of nostalgia here: score is kept by hand and there’s not a computer in sight.
Explore the great outdoors
Rent a double kayak from Ballpark Boathouse for just $20 per hour or $80 for the whole day, and spend some time on the Anacostia River with the one you love. Once you dock, rent a couple of bikes and head down to the Maine Avenue Fish Market for a tasty lunch of fresh seafood.
You can also explore Roosevelt Island, which is connected to Arlington via footbridge and offers a different perspective from your typical trek through Rock Creek Park. There’s no climbing or hiking required, so you and your date can spend time outside without getting all sweaty or pulling a muscle.
Take the lead at salsa class
Take a tango, bachata, or merengue class at Salsa with Silvia in Columbia Heights, the largest Latin dance studio in DC. This is a great ice-breaker date because you’ll be so focused on making your moves as smooth as possible, there will be no time for awkward silences. First-timers only pay $12 per class, but be sure to sign up in advance—Silvia’s classes fill up fast.