Places to go for your special date

By Parissa Jaseb

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Graphic by Elena Toumayan.

The Zoo:

Taking the metro down to the zoo provides you and your date with a built-in adventure. Even if you get lost, finding your way back will just allow more time for you and your date to get to know one another. At the zoo, walking from place to place and looking at the different animals will provide fodder for conversation and keep the date from getting boring.


If you and your date bond over the outdoors, try ice-skating on an outdoor rink or taking a local hike. The D.C. sculpture garden has a great outdoor rink in the middle of the city.  The sculpture garden provides a beautiful setting and will set the perfect mood for a fun Valentine’s Day date. If weather permits, you can also try walking on the Billy Goat Trail. You may have to bundle up, but not only will this get you talking, it will also make you hungry enough for a bite to eat afterwards. This gives the date more variety than just the typical meeting in Bethesda for lunch.


For those who are tired of romantic, candle-lit dinners, a breakfast date could be the way to go. You and your date can try crazy omelet combinations or new pancake flavors that are sure to spark a fun feud over whose is the better. Try restaurants such as Old Georgetown Grill or La Madeline in Bethesda for an easy and laidback date.  If you talk to the restaurant beforehand, a special table can be arranged.  This gives you the opportunity, if you are so inclined, to get there ahead of time and decorate the table with fun Valentine’s Day candy and cute cards.  No girl could resist such a thoughtful and original gesture.


Bowling is a great activity for a double or group date. The game is exciting, competitive and can last for a few hours if you play a couple of rounds. Strike Bethesda or Bowl America are two alleys that offer a dinner and bowling combo, which would provide for a meal and an activity while saving you a couple of bucks. For Valentine’s Day, Strike is offering a deal for couples: $80 for an hour-and-a-half of play, shoe rentals and assorted appetizers.  They offer group party packages as well.

Make Dinner Together:

Cooking dinner together can be fun and challenging, ultimately bringing you two closer together.  Begin the date by researching easy recipes and planning a menu. Then go to Giant or Safeway to purchase the ingredients.  It will be a blast to try cooking each dish together, and will provide for conversation and activity.  Afterwards, you can enjoy eating it together in a more intimate, one-on-one setting.  If you are up for it, after dinner you can make dessert and exchange homemade Valentine’s Day cards, putting the cherry on top of this do-it-yourself dinner-date.  If you discover during the course of the date that neither of you is a very gifted cook, you can always order pizza and laugh about your attempt.

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