Dating in the District: 15 Best Non-Happy Hour Date Spots

1. National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden: Although it’s not a huge place, it’s a great spot to wander through, grab a drink, coffee, or snack. Read our thoughts on it, here.

2. Boardroom: Why play mind games with your date when you can play actual games? The only negative is that there’s no food BUT, you can bring your own.

3. Slipstream: Coffee dates don’t have to be lame – in fact, they can be pretty cool. While Slipstream has happy hour and food options. This is a perfect spot if you want to sit and talk for a bit before doing anything more committal – like dinner. However, if the date goes well you can always extend it by getting a snack or a drink. Oh, and if you’d like to know a little more about Slipstream…keep reading.

4. Atlas Arcade: While you can grab drinks here should you choose, you can also play pinball, which adds an interesting element to the typically mundane happy hour.

5. Lucky Strike or Pinstripes: Bowling is always a good activity. It doesn’t matter if you’re good, there’s always food and drinks!

6. The United States Botanical Garden: You can check out a quick post about it here.

7. D.C. Improv: Comedy shows are always fun (and funny). Plus, they’re usually decently priced and if the jokes aren’t great, at least you’ll have the memories.

8. Union Market: This is a great one for a weekend date. If you’re into food and trying new things, we’d definitely recommend visiting. They add new things line pop ups, new restaurants, seating, all the time AND it’s very instagrammable. What’s not to love?

9.  Dupont Underground: Want to seem edgy, in-the know, and kind of cool? Duh – who doesn’t! The Dupont Underground offers everything from music to plays to art installations and is definitely an experience. If you have some time to plan ahead, see what they’re doing the next few weeks and head down.

10. The Lemon Collective: Basically, the Lemon Collective is where the city’s creative and curious gather to teach and learn new DIY skills. Maybe not great for a first date, but if you want to learn a skill and NOT go to a cooking class or a sip & paint, this could be fun. So, even if the date/relationship doesn’t pan out…at least you learned a new skill! Here’s the calendar.

11. A Brewery Tour: While walking tours, vineyard tours, bus tours, and segeway tours are wildly popular in the district and the surrounding area, you don’t actually have to go outside to enjoy a tour and learn something. In fact, you don’t even have to leave U street to go on a brewery tour. For example, District Distillery holds them all the time.

12. Renwick Gallery of Art: You can read more about our thoughts on the Renwick (and some pics) here.

13. Trivia: DC is full of weeknight and weekend trivia spots. It’s a great way to learn all of the random facts the other person knows. Plus there’s usually food and drink specials. Here’s a rundown of a bunch going on in DC.

14. Cooking Class: La Tasca, Lebanese Taverna, Del Campo, and Sur La Table all have classes that range in prices and length. If you’re adventurous, give it a shot on your next date…maybe on the second or third.

15. Kayaking on the Potomac: If you’re a fan of the water but don’t want to catch something from the Potomac via paddle boarding or swimming (which we definitely don’t advise), kayaking is a good alternative. You can do a single or double boat, it’s a great workout, and you can stroll around Georgetown when you’re done. Check Groupon before booking, we’ve found a deal or two on there before!