There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned “dinner and a movie” night, but sometimes it’s nice to step outside your comfort zone and try something new with your boo.
Now that it’s finally starting to feel like spring, you’re probably itching to cure your cabin fever with a night out in the city.
Whether you’ve been hitched for years or want to make a splash on that big first date, the following list of unique date ideas is sure to impress that special someone in your life.
Don’t play mind games, play board games!
If you’re looking for a unique place to bring your guy or gal, DC is rich with establishments that will bring out their competitive side and heat things up between you in a new way. The Board Room near Dupont Circle is perfect for a first date because all the games and excitement are a built-in good time. There are all kinds of board games here, from Scrabble and Monopoly to Mouse Trap and Battleship. Pro tip: Bring your own games from home to bypass the $2 rental fee.
Pinstripes, located in Georgetown, gets you moving with both bowling and bocce ball. Plush seating, game-side food and beverage service, and a fun atmosphere make this spot a great place to break up your routine and leave all your troubles behind (at least for the night).
Finally, H Street Country Club has a host of fun activities to turn date night into game night. Play a quick nine holes on the indoor mini golf course where each hole represents a DC monument or other famous spot in the city. After that, play a game of shuffleboard, shoot some Skee-Ball at one of their four classic machines, or jump into a game of giant Jenga and take bets on who will reign victorious.
Immerse yourself in a butterfly garden.
Inside the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is a Butterfly Pavilion where you can stroll among live butterflies and gaze at exotic plants. The pavilion is like a tropical oasis in the city, with butterflies from all over the world right at (or maybe even on) your fingertips. If you want to see more of these beautiful creatures, stop by the Pollinator Garden where you’ll find the plants that local butterflies love.
Laugh your face off.
There’s always a new funny person about to hit the stage at DC Improv, the premier spot for comics in the nation’s capital. And if you’re going to be merry, you’ve got to eat and drink, which is why there’s a full menu that includes apps, sandwiches, beer, liquor, and wine, so you really can make a whole night of it.
Some pretty big names in comedy have been known to stop by Drafthouse Comedy in Downtown DC. Take your date to see comics like Rachel Feinstein, Greg Fitzsimmons, or Michael Costa from The Daily Show and spend the whole night laughing together.
Get fancy and enjoy the theatre.
What’s more romantic than Shakespeare? Spend a night out at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and woo the socks off your date. Come see classics like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, or a non-Shakespearean work like Potted Potter, where a cast of characters performs all seven Harry Potter books in 70 minutes.
Arena Stage, a gorgeous venue on the southwest waterfront, is a Tony Award-winning theatre dedicated solely to American plays. From political thrillers to toe-tapping musicals, there’s a show for everyone here. There’s also plenty to do nearby once the show is over, like all the bars and restaurants at The Wharf, or you can grab a drink at the swanky Station 4 just a couple blocks away.
Find love on the water.
Sail the seven seas (OK, fine, maybe just the Potomac) with your beloved on Entertainment Cruises. Take your pick of a sightseeing riverboat cruise, an elegant plated meal on a yacht, or a narrated tour to the Mount Vernon Estate. The views on the water will certainly get you in the mood for love, and you’ll see DC in a way you never have before.
Explore the great outdoors.
Gravelly Point is a grassy knoll in Arlington, VA that is the ideal spot for a daytime date. Pack a picnic basket, spread out a blanket, and watch the planes flying into Reagan airport overhead. There’s also a hiking and biking path that runs along the river for all you active couples, so this really is a one-stop shop for a whole day outside.
Take a spin on the Ferris wheel.
Nothing spells romance like a nighttime ride on a Ferris wheel. As soon as dusk hits, The Capital Wheel at National Harbor is lit up in brilliant colors that can be seen from a mile away. The view is great at the top, but if you want to take your date to the next level, opt for the VIP experience with a glass floor, leather bucket seats, and a photo of you and your sweetheart.