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DC's Best Spots For Valentine’s Day

Adam Isaacson

Adam brings 12+ years of real estate, marketing and sales experience to lead the team at Ai & Co...

Adam brings 12+ years of real estate, marketing and sales experience to lead the team at Ai & Co...

Feb 5 5 minutes read

Choosing a fun, original date activity is hard enough without the arctic chill of winter to worry about. We also know it can be extremely tempting to just opt out entirely and stay in bed all day and stream TV, or settle for the easy fall-back option of suggesting casual drinks!

Despite frigid conditions, Washington, DC is chalk full of unique and engaging date options that you'll both enjoy. Here are the best ways you and your date can stay warm together.

Explore Art Museums

It's one Washington, D.C.'s biggest draws: museums, an activity dismissed by (too) many as a snoozefest or a little tired. Our nation's capital, however, has mastered the art of creating tailored and intriguing explorations of art, history, and culture. 

Renwick GallerySteps away from the White House, a gorgeous 160-year-old building is home to the Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum dedicated to crafts and decorative arts. But don’t let the 19th-century architecture fool you into thinking that the Renwick is stuck in the past. Ever since it reopened after a 2015 renovation, the Renwick has hosted forward-thinking exhibitions from contemporary artists and artisans.

National Museum of African American History & Culture: A new addition to an already iconic landscape, The National Museum of African American History and Culture, houses artifacts, photography, and and other media that reflect African American culture and experiences. The Sweet Home Cafe has celebrity chef Carla Hall, an alum of "Top Chef" and "The Chew"—as its culinary ambassador and is worth a stop. Explore African American culinary traditions through dishes like shrimp and grits and a “smoking hot” pepper pot. 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: Nothing is off limits or expected at the Hirshhorn, which highlights pioneering sculpture, digital media, photography, and more from 21st-century innovators, both in its circular building and lush outdoor garden. Perfect for coffee dates, you can grab a legit cup of coffee—including ModBar espresso—at Dolcezza, a locally owned cafe and gelateria that recently opened a location in the Hirshhorn’s sophisticated lobby, which was designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto. Dolcezza also has a small selection of pastries and, in summer, gelato push-pops. Don't forget to drop by the gift shop for those quirky art supplies, toys, and books, plus a greatest-hits of contemporary-artist swag with small sections dedicated to Andy Warhol, the Guerrilla Girls, Ai Weiwei, and, of course, Kusama. It's a favorite.

Reconnect with Nature... indoors!

Do you miss being able to enjoy the splendor of nature without freezing your face off? Bring a date to the US Botanical Gardens next to the Capitol Building -- beautiful fountains and rooms full of interesting plants from around the globe will help set the mood for romance. Even better -- it's right on the National Mall, so if the date goes well you can museum hop to spots like the Hirschhorn or the National Museum of Natural History. The best part: it's free. 

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Watch a Movie in Style

IIf you and your date are dying to catch a new flick, don't take them to just any old movie theatre. You can skip the popcorn and grab a whiskey cocktail and a hummus platter at the small, intimate Atlantic Plumbing Cinema. Cushy leather seats complete the experience and ticket prices are comparable to what you'd pay at major theater chains. 

Catch Some Jazz & Sip a Classy Cocktail

Take a step back in time with your date at a jazz bar like Blues Alley in Georgetown, with its varied lineup of performers from saxophone players to blues singers. Next, make your way over to a classy cocktail bar for some quality drinks and conversation. Good options include the Gibson on 14th Street and Harold Black in Eastern Market. 

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