Date Ideas Around Washington, DC 2021 [Updated]

Many hopeful people who made a wish at New Year's Eve midnight to finally meet "The One" for them in the upcoming year got screwed by the harsh reality of 2020.  


I’m guessing you probably just recovered from the previous relationships and right when you were ready to make a fresh start, a global pandemic with strict social isolation rules hit the planet.   

And a rough model of the probability of meeting the right person now looks like this:

Dating during quarantine 

But cheer up! 

As someone smart said 

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” 

Let’s ignore your introverted life-style and imagine for a second that you’re a positivist. 

Because you’re currently reading this post, I’m assuming that the New Year's Eve magic did not bring you any good luck at this part of your life. I wanted to create for you an updated local Washington, DC area guide of best date places that are in accordance with new rules of social distance.



Best Date Spots 


No-brainer, that before the pandemic, most popular places were a bar, restaurant, coffee shop or a movie theater


Yes, all of these places that got shut down for about 4 months and were proclaimed to be dangerous for public safety. 


There are many places in DMV area where people used to go on a date but many favorite date designated venues are now permanently closed. Including some famous DC nightclubs and late night restaurants. 


While the things are slowly going back to normal, people start looking for places that are in accordance with new safety guides and somewhat interesting for both parties. 


I think such classic date plans as dinner and a movie are a bit of a cliche and old-school. 


So I came up with some unique date ideas you can do in the DC area at this time with your potential bae.


What to Do on a Date


I think it’s a good idea if you can find a fun activity you can do together. A few of my favorites include: 


  • Cooking stuff together
  • Going to a Ping Pong cafe
  • Playing at an Escape Room
  • Doing a painting night
  • Playing group Social Games
  • Going on a Scavenger hunt adventure and etc.


The common element of these activities is some action on which you can concentrate instead of worrying about what to say. 


Well, you might notice that none of that had much drinking planned. That’s because it didn't work well for me and many people I know. 


While alcohol gives you a charismatic outgoing personality, it will eventually vanish showing your real nature. 


And even if you’re not currently nailing it at building new social interactions, calling for your self-confident alter ego would be against the old classic phrase “just be yourself”. 


Unless you’re planning to stay drunk till the rest of your life. 


On a flip side, if the date doesn’t go well, you can always turn a Cooking Stuff Together night into a drunk Cooking Stuff Together night.      


Where To Go For a Date in DC Area 


So yeah, if I was able to convince you to try any of the activities listed above for your date night out, there is a couple I particularly recommend: 


1. For a Cooking night there is Culinaria Cooking School in Vienna, VA. Don’t worry if you don’t master cooking, you just can’t screw it over thanks to careful guidelines from an instructor. You will be surprised how gourmet a dish you can make with your own hands. Despite the fact that the most elaborate meal you have ever made before was, what, mac and cheese? And I’m pretty sure there are a bunch of other classes in the area, just find the one that fits your taste by searching terms like: ‘chef cooking classes’ in your area. 



2. Pin Pong Cafes are also great as a fun thing for a couple to do on a date. And that’s because table tennis is a sport that does not require any pre-existing skills at it. It is pretty easy to learn and the fact that the most searchable question on google about it sounds like “Is ping pong a sport?” only supports my recommendation. This activity is budget-friendly and the average cost for a table rental varies between $9-12/an hour. That leaves you with some extra money you can put on drinks and snacks in a leisurely atmosphere. Last but not least, you can pretend that you’re something of an athlete yourself. I know a handful of places in DC area which have both tables and bars. Penn Social was pretty good which is located on E St NW, Washington, DC. But again, find the one for you by searching in your area. These venues were getting more and more popular lately.   





3. Escape Rooms are one of my favorite things to do when I have a vacant time anyways so I can't miss it to mention as a place for a date too. But it is only worth doing for like a double date because 2 people are usually not enough for this activity. Or it will work when you want to invite a person you are interested in to hang out with your friends. 


This works great when you want to avoid these awkward silence moments which usually happen when you go together for dinner, sit there surrounded by a romantic ambiance, glance down at a table and say ‘Ummm.. Yeah, so…’ 

and then you have to find a topic to continue the conversation.  


Playing a game brings positive emotions which last for some time even after it ends. 


This means that the night itself will be remembered as an excitable time. 


Besides, because you experienced something together, it now gives you a topic for an easy conversation. Book any escape room facility near you. 


Here is a list of all Escape Rooms in DMV area. "The Great Train Robbery" Game is your best bet, if you  want a prime experience. 


I’ve read on Reddit from an escape room owner that they had a guy bringing girls on dates to the same game he played before. This is an example of how not to do it because again for how long can you pretend that you’re that smart in real life?



Book Escape Room Game

4. If there is anything I know about myself that is I definitely know nothing about art. And if you’re like me, you may wonder why I recommend doing painting night together in the first place? Kudos to the modern art in which artistic perfection was replaced by personal expression. 


Don’t worry. In fact, no one in your group would be a real artist. These Groupon art classes were specifically made for profound painters like us. It’s just a good background activity you can do while practicing your social skills, flirting and making connections. It’s good for date nights because you can throw a couple of ice-breakers by saying something with positive teasing to it. You can borrow mine which were: 

Nice work! Which way is up?” 


Frankly speaking, you should keep your day job.”  

Uncork and Color looks good enough. They host paint nights in Manassas Brewery. Maybe start with this one.   




5. Another good way to spend a few hours with a friend and explore the city is a scavenger hunt. It’s usually a smartphone self-guided experience and a great alternative to a good old walk in a park. You can wander around the city while going through puzzles, take breaks for an ice cream or a picnic.    


We are all familiar with getting nervous on a date. And a good way to overcome this anxiety is by having more social interactions. That will improve your communication skills to such an extent that eventually your brain stops worrying. 


When it comes to actually getting there, a good strategy would be to practice social skills in groups with other people. One of the most successful ways of doing so is to attend a special training but those are expensive and only last a couple days.  


A more practical option is to look for social games. Those come in different forms and types, such as board games and role-playing games. The main uniting key factor is that it must be a frequent real live face-to-face experience, ideally with people you don’t know. And if you are interested in trying one, check out The Mafia Game DC group.         




I hope you find an idea of combining fun activities with dates useful. 


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