10 Memorable Free (or Almost Free) Dates in the DC area


Mark and I have never been one of those couples that spends a lot of money on dates. Sure, we like to go out to a nice dinner every now and then just like anyone else. But if we spend a lot on a date, unless the spending is really intentional, the chances of one or both of us just being grumpy and experiencing a lot of buyer’s regret is fairly high.

We also happen to live in Washington, D.C.. Besides being the capital of the nation, it’s also the capital of Great Free Activities. There are so many things to do and see in this city that don’t cost a dime and that are truly worthwhile.

So here are 10 free (or almost free) date-night suggestions for the D.C. area. Mark and I will definitely be checking off the items (again!) listed here as the weather begins to cool off. (If you’re not in the area, keep reading anyway . . . many of these ideas will still provide you with some date-night inspiration!)

1. Visit the National Portrait Gallery or the National Museum of American History.

Both of these frequently have new or visiting exhibits so they never get old! Mark and I love to wander through these and other museums, especially as the weather gets colder!


2. Have a picnic on the lawn of the Capitol.

Picnics are not as fun when the temperature registers at 95 degrees. The cooler weather means that impromptu picnics are fun again!

3. Spend an afternoon watching the planes take off at Gravelly Point.


4. Visit the beautiful Franciscan Monastery, located in Northeast D.C.

5. Rent or borrow bikes (or dust off your own!) and do a bike tour of the monuments around the Tidal Basin.

6. Play pickup volleyball by the Lincoln Memorial on any Saturday or Sunday morning.


7. Find a farmer’s market near you and wander. 

8. Make dinner together. 


9. Watch a movie at home.

This is seriously one of our favorite things to do. By the time we have time to just hang out, we are normally too tired (and probably too lazy!) to leave our cozy home to go out and spend money. We much prefer turning on a movie, opening a ginormous bag of Twizzlers or some wine, and watching a movie at home.

10. Visit Fort Washington. This little known but impressive landmark will fill a fun afternoon!


What are your favorite fall budget-date ideas?



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