Gone are the days of the drab first date (or third for that matter)! Dinner and a movie? No way! On your date, you want to get to know each other, learn about each other’s interests, fears, hopes, and dreams. Nothing says, “Hi, I’m boring!” more than asking a date if they want to sit in a dark room and stare at a screen silently for two hours. You can do better! Here are our 10 unforgettable date ideas in Northern Virginia, please comment if you can think of anything that is better!
Date ideas that leave an impression in Northern Virginia:
When considering first date ideas to remember besides our escape rooms, make sure you plan one that sparks exciting conversation. Be active. Be daring. Do something together that is worth talking about. There is nothing more intimate than sharing an adventure and, together, creating that unforgettable memory.
1) Shadowland Adventures (Alexandria + Chantilly)
Their website says it best:
As an adventurer, interact with an ever-changing environment of light and sound; surrounded by friendly and hostile players and mysterious forces which elude the sense. Challenge and avoid creatures from ancient tales, stalk through spacescapes using logic and stealth to achieve your ultimate objective.
One of our date ideas that is sure to delight and excite, Shadowland Adventures offers an incredibly immersive and thrilling laser tag adventure. Bond with your date as you traverse an arena that feels like it’s straight from a big budget sci-fi film. This is not your 10-year-old cousin Tim’s laser tag: Shadowland is an immersive, impressively crafted multi-level experience, full of fog-filled darkness and dazzling multi-colored lights. Strapped into your fetching high-tech suits, you and your date will work cooperatively to take down the opposing team and conquer unique obstacles. Together you’ll dash over walkways, sneak through alleyways, storm across bridges, and retreat into towers. This exhilarating experience is sure to be a date to remember.
2) Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Chantilly)
For number 2 in our date ideas, picture this: Stroll with your date through Udvar-Hazy’s massive hangar where aerospace history meets spectacle. Sure to spark energetic conversation, these awesome pieces of machinery have seen war, been to space, and shaped the essence of modern day technology. Gaze of the Enola Gay, walk alongside space shuttle Discovery, and look down on the striking Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. From flight’s early days of one-man aircrafts to the sophistication of today’s satellites, the Udvar-Hazy center’s astonishing sites are sure to mesmerize and inspire all.
Once you and your date have experienced the incredible hangar, visit one of the riveting iMax theaters that show everything from visually enrapturing documentaries to Hollywood blockbusters. Together, ride the elevator into the flight tower where you can overlook the lush forests and watch the planes come and go from Dulles airport. Then, check out the Albert Einstein Planetarium and keep an eye out for their stargazing events. All of the awesome displays at the Udvar-Hazy center will inspired and energize; and together, you and your date will share the intimate experience of discovery.
As a team, we love team trivia as one of our group date ideas. Hosted at over twenty restaurants throughout the week, the official Team Trivia experience is a blast! You and your date will compete against other teams to tackle a series of riveting questions about pop-culture, sports, history, music, literature, and more! Come-up with a fun team name and put your heads together. Enjoy drinks and delicious food. Revel in the boisterous energy that Team Trivia is known for. You can even win cash prizes and giftcards, so you can easily fund that guaranteed second date!
4) Pev’s Paintball (Fairfax)
Together, show-up, suit-up, and charge into this daring date. Enjoy the adrenaline rush as you and your date team-up against the opposition, stalking through the acres of trees to capture their flag, or hunting them through complex obstacle courses. Spend hours working together, collaborating. You can play in any kind of weather and can even rent equipment. If you’re not into the full paintball experience, but want the adventure, enjoy a game of low-impact paintball with reduced speeds and smaller balls. Pev’s Paintball is a perfect opportunity to show your adventurous side, with gripping action, excitement, and lively conversation.
5) Autobahn Indoor Speedway (Manassas)
The Autobahn Indoor Speedway takes go-karting to a whole new level! Together, you and your date can share an exhilarating, unique experience unlike any other! Perfect for any weather, this thrilling experience will make for one of the most memorable first dates. Their site describes the track best:
Our massive state-of-the-art electric indoor go-kart racing facilities are fully air conditioned for perfect racing conditions every day. Change Your Speed at our Grand Prix style tracks with our electric Italian pro style go-karts reaching speeds up to 50 MPH.
Make a reservation, or walk-in, and prepare for a rush as you and your date race around this high-speed track. This is an experience hard to beat!
6) Wolf Trap (Vienna)
Beyond puzzles, we love music and the outdoors. We remembered a fun outing to a Jeff Beck concert, and we had to suggest Wolf Trap as one of our top 10 date ideas in Northern Virginia. Maybe guitar gods and classic rock are not your style, but with all of the great live shows, Wolf Trap offers several captivating and charming activities that will create memories. You and your date can spend a full day here. Stroll down the Wolf Trap Trail, talking and enjoying the natural beauty of this gorgeous National Park. Then, for a perfect blend of fun and romance, pack a picnic, bring some wine, and spread a blanket on the lawn in front of the Filene Center and enjoy a fantastic evening of live music. For incredibly affordable prices, you can see all kinds of performances–from opera, to the Emerson String Quartet; from Creedence Clearwater Revival, to the Counting Crows. Be sure to also check-out the shows hosted at The Barns. Perfect for a beautiful afternoon and evening, Wolf Trap will give you and your date a memorable experience of laughter, awe, entertainment, and intimacy.
7) The Auld Shebeen (Fairfax)
We personally love the Auld Shebeen in our list of dating ideas. This rustic, former speakeasy has spirit, history, and the authentic atmosphere of a true Irish pub. Enjoy all kinds of savory food, locally brewed beers, and traditional Irish stouts. Together, share in relaxed lively conversation in the Auld Shebeen dynamic restaurant, bar, and cellar. Share a serving of scrumptious Irish Spring Rolls or Guinness Battered Brie, then dig into a familiar Americana-style burger or explore a traditional Irish pub favorite, like the Burdock’s Fish-and-Chips or Cahill’s Irish Stout Burger.
With the Auld Shebeen your date will be delectable and delightful, as you share dinner and a show! Every Friday night, starting at 7:00 p.m., the Auld Shebeen hosts live, traditional Irish music. For late night events, they host more live music, and live DJ’s, in their cellar, with karaoke on Tuesday nights! Or come in on a Saturday afternoon and be enchanted by a live instrumentals that perform traditional irish compositions. With the Auld Shebeen, your date will be wooed by this unique atmosphere, delicious food, and rousing music.
8) Barrel Oak Winery (Delaplane)
You’ll appreciate Barrel Oak Winery’s secluded location when you and your date are sipping hand-crafted Virginia wines while overlooking the beautiful setting of the Piedmont countryside. Affordable and crisp, Barrel Oak offers a wide range of award-winning wines. Try their merlot, gold medal winner of the Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, or their chardonnay, gold medal winner of the INDY International Wine Competition. Virginia Living Magazine rated Barrel Oak Winery the Best Winery In Virginia four times, and Northern Virginia Magazine rated Barrel Oak Winery the Best Winery another four times.
Buy yourselves a full bottle, or do a tasting by the glass. You can even bring your own food, or order a fresh, cheese platter. Indulge in their Sangria bar where you can order Sangria pitchers full of fresh fruit. Barrel Oak is also dog friendly, so bring your pup and enjoy the blissful wagging of the happy, furry friends. Take a moment to walk through their production area to see how Barrel Oak crafts its 24,000 gallons of Virginia wine. On elect evenings and afternoons, you can even enjoy a live show! Between the gorgeous setting and the handcrafted wine, your date will delight and wow.
9) Caboose Brewing Co. (Vienna)
This artisan brewhouse will charm and relax, as you and your date get comfortable and enjoy fresh beers and intimate conversation. This rustic, modern atmosphere is energizing, and their 15 barrel brewhouse offers an impressive range of handcrafted beers. Their food selection is equally unbelievable, spanning brunch, lunch, dinner, and bar plates. Their entire menu is completely farm-to-table, meaning any food you order is fresh and made specifically for you.
Together, start your date by ordering a pair of their crisp Crossroads Vienna Lager. Share one of their unique cheese plates, complete with offerings from salmon to beer-candied bacon jam. Indulge in a plate of their hand-cut potato fries or a serving of their Crispy Virginia Pork Belly. A first date at the Caboose Brewing Co. is sure to be a night of delicious warmth, as you get to know one another over locally brewed beers and fresh, succulent meals.
As described by their site: “Centuries-old architecture, brick-lined streets, cobblestone alleys and a canopy of twinkling lights during the holidays make strolling King Street the #1 thing to do in Alexandria. Explore dozens of independently owned restaurants and boutiques, or take a ride on the free King Street Trolley.”
This riveting main street in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria offers excitement, beauty, great food, and entertainment. Together, browse the storefronts, investigating many of the delightful boutiques and antique stores. Explore some of the many historic sites, including the enchanting Torpedo Factory Art Gallery. Walk the waterfront of the Potomac River. Dine in delicious, unique restaurants. Indulge in the massive Farmer’s Market. Exploring King Street on your first date is sure to entertain and excite!
We hope you enjoyed our date ideas and invite you to give us suggestions for Northern Virginia date ideas in the comment section below. In the meantime, enjoy the dating scene. We all deserve an amazing date whenever we can have one!
Make sure to also consider our 6 unforgettable escape rooms in Fairfax, VA.