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7 Great Date Ideas in Arlington, Virginia

After you have seen the sights, hit your hotel room to dress up for a date night in Arlington. Arlington has the fine dining, entertainment and nightlife to make any date memorable, whether it's Valentine's Day or just a night out. Don't stress about wowing your better half, we've done some of the leg work for you. Try these great date nights next time you're in Arlington.

1. A Trip Around the World

Impress your date by taking an impromptu trip around the world via Arlington's international restaurants. They're just as international as its residents, who speak more than 150 different languages. Start off in Clarendon, where you can demonstrate your global culinary knowledge with a stop for Balkan bites at Ambar. From there, check out the flavors of Spain at SER in Ballston, explore Mediterranean at the family-owned Lebanese Taverna or check out Peruvian classics at the new Inca Social.  

2. Skate & Sip

Treat your better half to an evening of ice skating and drinks in Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood. Start the date off at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex, home to the Stanley Cup Champs Washington Capitals. The Iceplex offers public skate hours and skate rentals, so you can lace up those skates and chat as you glide across the ice hand in hand. Afterwards, warm up with a favorite libation and some gourmet noshes at a popular Ballston spot. Craft beer fans? Stop by Crafthouse, where you can choose from more than 400 brews. Prefer wine? Hop around the corner to Grand Cru Wine Bar & Bistro, where you can enjoy a glass or two along with delicious small plates or gourmet entrees. Can't decide? Head to Ballston Quarter's Punch Bowl Social, featuring a long-list of house-made libations and tasty treats.

3. Spice It Up

Bond over cooking your dinner together and sharpen your cooking skills with a date-night cooking class. Cookology in Ballston Quarter will offer an array of themed cooking classes that are perfect for date nights and chefs of all experience levels. Sur La Table in Pentagon Row offers Date Night cooking classes like Cooking with Wine and Passport to Thailand, as well as fundamentals like knife skills, bake shop basics and pasta making. Best part is, you get to feast on the fruits of your labor.

4. Dinner & a Show

Head to the Village at Shirlington for the quintessential date night. This romantic neighborhood impresses with tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks. Start with dinner at local favorite Carlyle, a lively bistro with full-length murals and American eats, or at Copperwood Tavern for local brews and farm-to-table fare. Stroll through Shirlington to the Tony Award®-winning Signature Theatre, where you can watch everything from Broadway-style musicals to independent plays. After the show, stop for a drink to discuss the performance at Busboys & Poets or Palette 22.

5. Coffee & Convo

There are few things better than a great cup of coffee and conversation during a date, and Arlington has a host of charming cafes that add that je ne sais quoi. Clarendon’s Northside Social Coffee & Wine Bar serves up beautiful lattes and fresh baked treats on its expansive patio, or check out East West Coffee & Wine, the area's newest stop, for a quick drink in the midst of Clarendon nightlife. 

6. Creative Cocktails


Some of Arlington’s latest additions to the culinary scene have focused on the beverage aspect of a night out. Check out WHINO in Ballston, where you’ll find a spot that’s half nightspot, half art gallery – with cocktails that rival any of the artistic masterpieces displayed. Or head downstairs to Salt in Rosslyn, where the cozy booths and dim lighting is perfect for a nightcap for two. More of a traditionalist? Check out wine and charcuterie at Shirlington’s Cheesetique – a neighborhood favorite.

7. Picnic & Pictures

On a sunny day, make plans for a romantic picnic with a view. Grab all the essentials from local favorites like The Italian Store (known for its cured meats and killer sandwiches), Lebanese Taverna Market (your stop for fresh, flavorful spreads and other Middle Eastern fare), or Best Buns (a hot spot for baked everything, sandwiches and salads). Add the perfect sweet treat from Artisan Confections—locally handcrafted chocolates—or cookies and cupcakes from Bakeshop next door. Make your way to the Netherlands Carillon 50-bell tower, which affords beautiful views of D.C. and the Potomac River and plays an automated concert every day at noon and at 6 p.m. Or, get active walking or biking on the Mount Vernon Trail, visiting Gravelly Point to watch planes fly overhead as you enjoy your picnic and views of the Potomac. Don't forget your camera, because these locales are the perfect spots to take the envy-inducing vacation selfie.

Of course, these are just a few of the many ways you can romance your other half on Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. Be sure to let us know your favorites around Arlington!

Kids in tow? Ask your hotel about babysitting options for a true date night.

Author: Talia Salem