20 Fun DC Date Ideas to Impress Your Significant Other

9 min read
The US Capitol Building with a lake in front of it and trees to the side
Washington DC is an incredible city for couples to explore together

Washington DC is a city full of iconic landmarks, exciting attractions, and beautiful outdoor spaces. The capital city of the US is also a great destination for couples to explore.

Whether you live in the area or are visiting with your significant other, you can discover an array of fun DC date ideas to try. From visiting tourist hotspots to playing a game of ping pong, or just grabbing coffee, DC has something for all couples.

If you want to make lifelong memories with your partner in Washington DC, be sure to read these 20 unique date ideas.

  • 20 Washington, D.C. date ideas

Disclosure: Destguides may receive commission for purchases made through hyperlinks in this article at no cost to you.

20 Fun Date Ideas in DC

Washington, D.C. Date Ideas Map

A map of Washington, D.C.. Use the map to explore all the date ideas.

© appalachianview via Depositphotos
An art gallery with multiple painted portraits hung on the wall
Visiting the National Portrait Gallery is a fun and cultural date idea

The National Portrait Gallery is an ideal date spot for couples that enjoy cultural activities. The renowned gallery houses a portrait of every President of the United States, plus portraits of significant figures in American history.

Wandering around the gallery and appreciating the stunning portraits is a fun way to bond with your date. The National Portrait Gallery is open until 7 PM too, making it an ideal spot for an evening date.

Look at the stars at Rock Creek Park Planetarium

The Rock Creek Park Planetarium is part of Washington DC’s Rock Creek Park Nature Center. The planetarium offers a range of exhibits and activities relating to astronomy. Taking your date here to learn something new and view the stars is a great idea!

Having visited the planetarium, you can also explore the nature center. This educational center houses informative exhibits on a range of wildlife creatures.

© sainaniritu via Depositphotos
One of the fun DC date ideas is going to the United States Postal Museum
Going to the United States Postal Museum is one of many fun DC date ideas

Learn something new at the National Postal Museum

The National Postal Museum is an informative DC museum. The attraction was developed as a collaboration between the United States Postal Service and the Smithsonian Institution.

Taking your partner to this museum is one of the most unique date ideas in DC. It’s an ideal spot to visit if your other half likes learning about new and interesting topics. At the museum, you can discover exhibits on the history of USPS and the investigation arm of the postal service, among other things.

Want to make a day of your date? Then go on a DC sightseeing tour that takes you to the National Postal Museum and many other attractions.

Visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is dedicated to the artistic achievements of women. Exhibits cover a range of impressive females that have produced works in visual, performing, and literary arts.

As you explore the museum, you’ll come across a range of amazing artworks and will learn more about the women that created them. This date idea is perfect if your partner loves art and cultural attractions, especially those that highlight great female talent.

A long mall with green grass and an obelisk in the distance under a blue sky
Walking along the National Mall is a laid-back date idea

Stroll along the National Mall

If you’re looking for the perfect date idea that’s also super laid-back, walking on the National Mall is a great option. You and your date can spot some of the most famous landmarks in North America, like the Washington Monument, and enjoy each other’s company.

For those planning an evening date, consider taking a DC Monuments by Moonlight tour. This tour will allow you and your date to see the National Mall, Washington Monument, and many other landmarks lit up after dark. It’s an extremely romantic way to sightsee in DC!

Between November and March, the National Gallery of Art has an ice rink in its Sculpture Garden. Taking your partner here to skate is an incredibly romantic idea. No matter how good you are at ice skating, you’re both guaranteed to have an enjoyable and memorable time.

If you’re planning a date when the rink is closed, visiting the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden is still one of the cute date ideas in DC. You and your partner can explore the garden together and discover a range of interesting statues, sculptures, and water features.

A river with a bridge, a building with columns, and an obelisk behind it at night
Going out on the Potomac River on a dinner cruise offers great views of DC landmarks

Treat your partner to a Potomac River dinner cruise

The perfect way to spoil your date is by taking them on a scenic Potomac River dinner cruise. On the cruise, you’ll be treated to a three-course meal, complete with entrees and dessert. Dishes served included steak and lobster, roasted vegetables, and mussel gratin.

You’ll also be able to enjoy the stunning views as the sunsets over DC and spot some landmarks. Additionally, live music is included to add a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.

Shop and eat at the bustling Union Market

A great way to spend some time with your partner in DC is by visiting Union Market. At the market, you can check out a range of shops, eateries, and market stalls together.

If you don’t know what dishes to try, why not grab a few things and have an impromptu picnic! Union Market has a cute rooftop space where you can share snacks and grab a cocktail too. After eating, be sure to go to some of the interesting independent fashion, decor, and gift shops also housed at the market.

© avmedved via Depositphotos
A rectangular building at night with the lights on and water in front of it
In the evening, take your date to see a show at the John F. Kennedy Center

Watch a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

One of the super fun date night ideas in DC is catching a show at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. This venue hosts an array of shows, so you’re sure to find something that both of you want to see.

Performances to watch include theatre productions, classical music concerts, and dance shows. You can even watch a range of comedy shows here. A night out at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts is a failsafe date idea!

Challenge your partner to a game of ping pong at SPIN

Challenging your date to a fun game of ping pong is an exciting and laid-back idea. Washington DC has a few ping pong locations, with SPIN being a local favorite. Conveniently, it’s located in downtown DC.

At the ping pong bar, you can play at one of many tables and grab food and drinks. Dishes to enjoy together include burgers, tacos, and sweet treats. A date at SPIN is always a good suggestion, whether hanging out in the afternoon or at night.

A lake with a Greek-style building on the shore and cherry blossoms in front
In the spring, you can see cherry blossoms as you walk around the Tidal Basin

Take a romantic walk around the Tidal Basin

No matter what time of day you plan your date for, a walk around the Tidal Basin is always a good idea. The tree-lined path will take you around the tranquil water until you reach the Washington DC landmark, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

As you wander around the Tidal Basin, be sure to take lots of pictures with the scenic surroundings. During the spring months, the path is lined with beautiful pink cherry blossoms, making your stroll even more picturesque.

Go on a classic dinner date

One of the best DC date ideas is going on a classic dinner date. Washington DC is home to an array of world-class restaurants and unique independent eateries. No matter what kind of cuisine you want, you and your partner will find a restaurant for you.

Dupont Circle is a hub for outstanding eateries. Recommended spots include Italian Obelisk, South American Del Sur Cafe, and Tapas spot Boqueria.

© olegkozyrev via Depositphotos
A concrete zoo sign with a banner above it with big cats on and greenery surrounding
You and your partner can see many exotic animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo

See a range of animals at the Smithsonian National Zoo

The zoo isn’t just for kids! Taking your partner on a daytime date to the Smithsonian National Zoo is a guaranteed good time. Animals to spot here range from flamingos to giraffes and elephants.

The zoo also hosts Zoo Lights, where the zoo is lit up with colorful lights in the evening. Going to the illuminated event is one of the best things to do a night in DC.

Laugh together at a comedy show a DC Improv

Watching an entertaining comedy show is the perfect date idea for all types of couples, from first dates to long-term partners. A great place to catch a show in Washington is DC Improv Comedy Club.

This comedy club hosts a range of shows, including improv performances. Other types of shows include open mic nights and performances by professional comedians.

© appalachianview via Depositphotos
Attached houses on a street with pointed roofs
The quirky Adams Morgan District features an array of fun things to do and see

Hang out in the Adams Morgan District

The Adams Morgan District is a trendy neighborhood, and exploring the area is one of the many cool date ideas in DC. Things to do include shopping at quirky independent stores, sipping coffee at unique cafes, and walking in the nearby Meridian Hill Park.

If you can’t decide where to go in the area, consider going on an Adams Morgan District walking tour. This exciting tour takes you past ten renowned attractions that you can stop at if interested.

Play a game of mini golf

You can find numerous mini golf courses in DC. A popular new addition to Washington DC is Swingers Crazy Golf. Not only can you play a fun crazy golf course here, but you can also grab bar snacks and drinks.

At the course, you and your date can try two amusing courses, a clock tower course, and a waterwheel course. Food to share includes tacos, pizza, and burgers. You can also add delicious cocktails as well as beer, wine, or liquor.

Relax on a laid-back coffee date

A coffee date is another classic idea that can’t be missed. Luckily, DC has a vast selection of great coffee shops to head to. Cameo is a super cute spot located on Pennsylvania Avenue. This specialty coffee shop has a range of brews, plus yummy pastries, pies, and cakes.

A few of the other must-try coffee shops in DC include Dua Coffee, Royal, and The Coffee Bar.

The White House with green trees surrounding it under a blue sky
The White House is one of numerous famous landmarks to see with your date in DC

Explore Washington DC on a sightseeing tour

Washington DC is home to a vast number of famous world landmarks. Whether you and your partner live in DC or are visiting, going on a sightseeing tour is an exciting way to see the city together.

Being such a popular tourist destination, you can find an array of DC sightseeing tours to try. These tours run from early in the morning to late at night, depending on when you want to go out. Iconic places to see include the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol Building.

Share a delicious brunch

DC has a vast array of amazing brunch locations. If you’re planning a daytime date, going to brunch is one of the fun couple activities in DC to try.

A highly recommended brunch spot is The Imperial. This contemporary restaurant hosts an incredible brunch with egg dishes, veggie options, sweet treats, and more. Other outstanding brunch locations include Jaleo, dLeña, and Imperfecto.

© f11photo via Depositphotos
A tusked elephant in museum with white stone walls surrounding it
The Natural History houses interesting exhibits that are sure to fascinate your date

Spend the afternoon at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History is a renowned natural history museum. This attraction houses multiple exhibits covering topics from fossils and wildlife to ancient Egypt and genome sequencing.

Admission is free, so visiting is an ideal date idea, no matter what your budget. If you want to visit in the evening, the museum often hosts after-hours events too.

In Summary

Washington DC is the perfect city for couples to explore. If you're looking for the best date ideas in DC, this list should have given you some inspiration. No matter what you and your other half like to do together, DC has an activity for you.

Give us feedback about this article

For more interesting articles about United States, read:

For some great articles about date ideas, check out:


Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!


Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Thank you for subscribing

We will be in touch soon with discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

Want to keep exploring?

Subscribe for discounts on tickets and hotels and our latest guides.

By entering your email address you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy policy, and consent to receive emails.