Outdoor date spots to celebrate Valentine’s Day around the District

Media Credit: Phebe Grosser | Staff Photographer

Stay warm and safe during Valentine's Day with a date at The Wharf's bonfire pits.

As if dating during a pandemic wasn’t difficult enough, couples must now find a way to safely celebrate Valentine’s Day.

To make it easier on you, we compiled a list of outdoor activities to make Feb. 14 feel just as charming as any other year. From visiting a bookstore to riding on a ferris wheel, here are some relatively safe Valentine’s Day date ideas in the District for you and your significant other.

Kramers | Bookstore, Bar and Restaurant in Dupont Circle
Combine a delicious dinner date with an outing to a local bookstore by taking your date to Kramers this weekend. Visitors can enjoy dishes like sandwiches from Fedwich, a new pop-up sandwich collaboration with Federalist Pig, as they sit in the bookstore’s patio, outdoor streatery or dining room.

While we might traditionally think of Postmates as a food delivery service, customers can order their meals remotely and purchase books from the bookstore through the Postmates app. Customers can wait outside the store while they eat to retrieve their books curbside.

1517 Connecticut Ave. NW. Open Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations, takeout and delivery available.

The Wharf
Head over to The Wharf for an evening of shopping, dinner and s’mores by the waterfront bonfire. You and your partner can choose from more than 20 different restaurants, like Mi Vida and Moon Rabbit, around The Wharf for dinner.

After dinner, head to Camp Wharf, a fire pit and airstream trailer just in front of The Wharf’s main pier. Sit in a bright blue chair around the large wood fire pit and roast some classic campfire treats ($3.50 each or four for $12).

Next, take a walk along the waterfront to the very end where you can find a line of swings down a second pier. The swings are hard to snag, so be patient. While you wait, you can enjoy a huge metal bonfire at the end of the pier.

760 Maine Ave. SW.

The Capital Wheel at the National Harbor
Take your partner on a romantic ferris wheel ride overlooking the Washington Monument, the National Harbor and other DMV sites. You and your date can opt to buy individual tickets, or you can purchase a ticket package that includes perks like beverages and a photo taken of you two on the ferris wheel to remember the occasion.

The Capital Wheel features climate-controlled private gondolas to withstand the cold February weather. Visitors can stop at the Flight Deck, an outdoor bar and lounge, to grab a beverage to drink on the ferris wheel.

165 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland. Open Monday through Thursday, noon to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Mount Vernon Trail
If you and your partner are more of the outdoorsy types, take a hike, bike or run on the Mount Vernon Trail alongside the Potomac River. On the trail, you and your date can take in the skyline of D.C., making this a perfect date for sunrise or sunset.

Extending from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island, the trail is easily accessible through three Metro stops – Rosslyn, Arlington Cemetery and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

1198 George Washington Memorial Pkwy, Alexandria, Virginia. Open daily 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Outdoor Ice Skating in Alexandria
If you’re looking for a flirty and fun date with your partner, look no further than outdoor ice skating. Alexandria’s Ice & Lights: the Winter Village at Cameron Run is an ice rink nestled between festively lit trees, making for an especially romantic data scene.

Masks are required in the facility, and tickets must be reserved online ahead of time, minimizing in-person contact. All skate sessions are limited to one hour.

Cameron Run Regional Park, 4001 Eisenhower Ave., Alexandria, Virginia. Tickets are $15 per person.

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