10 Summer Date Ideas in DC

By Swingers

We’ve gathered together a range of summer date ideas in DC for whatever mood you two are in - playful, peaceful, and anywhere in between.

10 Summer Date Ideas in DC

Whether you’re wooing someone new or spending quality time with your long-time love, DC makes the perfect romantic backdrop for a summer date. We’ve gathered together a range of date inspiration for whatever mood you two are in – playful, peaceful, and anywhere in between. So onto our roundup of summer date ideas in DC!

Try a Round of Crazy Golf at Swingers

A young woman smiles, drink in hand, watching another young woman line up her shot on a crazy golf course.

Go head-to-head with a bit of friendly competition with a round (or two) of crazy golf at Swingers – the crazy golf club. Runner up buys the drinks! Enjoy quirky courses inspired by the British 1920s, complete with twists, turns, and playful theming. Then kick back with a post-match tipple in one of our stylish bars – we recommend giving our signature ‘The Swinger’ G&T a go. All that pitching and putting is hungry work, so check out the local street food on offer – tacos, pizza, or burgers anyone? If you’re both not ready for the date to end, how about you stay a little longer and enjoy a sweet treat alongside music from our live DJ. The perfect excuse to show off your dance moves.

Grab a seat at The Wharf’s Transit Pier

Sunset Cinema at The Wharf

Enjoy a dreamy summer stroll by the water’s edge with your date at The Wharf. For a laid-back date, how does spending time on the waterfront promenades and stopping for a drink sound? There’s plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from when hunger hits. Stay a little later and watch the sun go down as DC comes alive at night. If you fancy something a little more lively, check out the upcoming events at The Wharf. Take your pick from salsa dancing, live music, and outdoor movies. The best thing of all? A lot of these events are free!

Visit the National Zoo

Smithsonian National Zoo

We have to say, this date idea is particularly wholesome. Take your date to the Smithsonian National Zoo for an afternoon filled with animals and wildlife fun. This is your chance to impress your date with all those animal facts you’ve been stockpiling.  Fawn over orangutans, red pandas, tigers, and everyone’s favorite, the mongoose. There’s also the notoriously grumpy Pallas’ cat. You’ll be able to recognise them from their thick fur and rather surly expression. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming events, which include daily animal demonstrations and bird presentations. Note that entry is free (hooray!) but reservation passes need to be made in advance.

Enjoy the beauty of the United States Botanic Garden

United States Botanic Garden

The United States Botanic Garden has been described as a ‘living plant museum’, and is a wonderful destination for a relaxing, day-time date. Both of you can enjoy the colors, scents, and nature sounds as you wander through these beautiful gardens. Think lush, green, and very romantic. An ideal date spot for the summer in DC! The gardens are separated into three distinct areas across two locations, meaning there is plenty to explore together. Find everything from rare and endangered plants to inspiration for your own outdoor spaces. If you’re not a plant expert, don’t worry – cell phone tours are available if you want to learn about what’s on display. This is another free entry attraction, which means more money to put towards drinks and snacks!

Paddle under the Key Bridge

Key Bridge Boathouse

Would you describe the two of you as adventurous? Then this one’s for you. Head to the Key Bridge Boathouse for something a little different. See the Potomac river from a new angle as you board your kayak and paddle from landmark-to-landmark. Take in sights like Georgetown Waterfront, Roosevelt Island, and the Lincoln Memorial. Classes and tours are available if you’d like. This is sure to be one of those dates you’ll talk about for years to come!

Uncover hidden gems at a Mystery Picnic

Mystery Picnic

Game lovers and puzzle enthusiasts, we have you covered too. Book a Mystery Picnic for a foodie-based tour of the city. This requires your thinking caps, comfortable shoes, and a good appetite. This self-guided experience that’ll provide clues to pick up all the food for your picnic, and lead you to the end location. But you and your date will need to solve the clues to get there! This is a fantastic way to get to know the local area and its food scene. This is the sort of history we can definitely get on board with.

Visit DC’s Jazz festival

DC's Jazz festival

Music fans, here’s your summer date idea! This year is the 19th annual DC JazzFest, running from August 30th- September 3rd. If you and your date love jazz, you’ll be in heaven. Take your pick from over 100 concerts in more than 30 venues across the city. Highlights include Gregory Porter at the Anthem, Grammy-winner Samara Joy, and the multi-day DC Jazz Fest at The Wharf. Be adventurous, pick an artist new to you, and go in with an open heart (and open ears!) Who knows, you might find your new favorite musician. 

Feast in a picnic by The Jefferson Memorial at Night

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Keep things classic with a romantic evening picnic. Pack a hamper with breads, cheeses, fruits, wine (of course), and you’re good to go! This iconic white marble landmark sits in West Potomac Park, and is surrounded by Japanese cherry blossom trees – a gorgeous setting for an intimate get together. Once you’ve feasted, you can take a turn around the memorial itself. Dating back to the mid 1940s, this imposing circular structure stands to honor founding father Thomas Jefferson. There’s plenty of history to enjoy here as you spend quality time together.

Immerse in interactive art at ARTECHOUSE

visitors watch screen at artechouse

If you and your date love quirky things, experiential art will be right up your alley. ARTECHOUSE is all about the fusion of art, science and technology. Expect exhibitions that use immersive ceiling-to-floor digital screens, allowing you to interact with unique, bold visuals. It’s a bit like the art is coming to life! The conversation will be flowing as the two of you explore this genre-blurring art. You can also debrief afterwards over a drink and some eats. Check back on the ARTECHOUSE website for current and upcoming exhibitions that tickle your fancy.

Enjoy an expansive rooftop bar area at Union Market

union market

Summer is for spending time outdoors, and Hi-Lawn is ready for the occasion. This unique rooftop is prepped for outdoor dining, drinking and – importantly – dating. Enjoy cocktails, picnics, lawn games and live music with great views across the city. Pretty perfect location for a date, huh? Although there are picnic tables and patio umbrellas available, you’ll need to make a reservation. And remember, there’s Happy hour every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 3pm-5pm. So if you’re able to take a half day, you’re in for a right treat.


Swingers ~ The crazy golf club

We believe that life is more fun when there is an element of competition, and that competition is best enjoyed with friends.

Swingers, the crazy golf club takes the holy trinity that is crazy golf, street food and amazing cocktails and combines them all into one incredible social experience