Best Washington DC Museums for First Dates

While the majority of singles in DC tend to be more career-minded than relationship-seeking, that doesn’t mean that love is not in the air in our nation’s capital. And for those who are looking to take someone out, the city is filled with unique and culturally-rich options to elevate above just grabbing a drink or a coffee. 

Our favorite? Museums. They provide infinite things to talk about, unique opportunities to connect, and dates that can be as short or long as you’d like. Today, we want to share our favorite Washington DC museums for first dates. More specifically, we want to share our list of Healthy Framework’s Best Award winners, who rise above the other hundreds of museums through the city. 

Here are your winners. 

International Spy Museum

Nothing sets the groundwork for a healthy relationship like exploring the history of deception in the world, right? All kidding aside, the International Spy Museum is one of the neatest and most unique museums in DC ideal for a first date. With exhibits on covert action, how to steal secrets, and how spies help to protect our world, you and your date can explore the museum as part of your very own undercover mission. If you want unique and intriguing for your first date, this is where you should start.

  • Address: 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Washington, DC 20024
  • Ticket Price: Starting around $26 with several discounts available
Planet Word Museum

A museum based all around language is beyond ideal for a first date where you’re looking to spark interesting conversation. This immersive language experience is the world’s first voice-activated museum filled with interactive and exciting exhibits. Together you can learn about spoken word, music, advertising, the power of words, and more. And you can even both take your turns at the teleprompter giving your favorite famous speech! Just make sure you get your tickets reserved ahead of time.

  • Address: 925 13th St., NW Washington, D.C. 20005
  • Ticket Price: Free with the option to make a donation
National Air and Space Museum

A list of the best first date museums in Washington DC would not be complete without at least one (or several) Smithsonian sightings. While some locals tend to view these museums as “for the tourists”, they’re actually really incredible places to explore with someone you’re getting to know. Even if you’ve both been to the museum before, the National Air and Space Museum is filled with so much history and exciting educational exhibits. Make sure you check out our favorite exhibit, Destination Moon while you’re there. And for those looking to save a few bucks on their dating life, the National Air and Space Museum is free to attend.

  • Address: 400 4th ST. SW Washington, DC 20024
  • Ticket Price: Free with reservation ahead of time
President Lincoln's Cottage

You don’t have to go far in Washington DC to meet singles who are big fans of history. And even those who aren’t can generally appreciate the excitement of taking a trip through history. One great place to do this in DC on a first date is at President Lincoln’s Cottage. This historic site and museum is located on 250 acres and can be viewed with a guided tour or by using the Lincoln’s Wild Home app for a self-guided tour. As it’s a first date, we’d highly recommend getting the app first so you can do your own thing together. 

  • Address: 140 Rock Creek Church Rd NW, Washington, DC 20011
  • Ticket Price: Starting at $15 with several discounts available
Mount Vernon

Technically in Virginia, Mount Vernon is still right within the DC area and is an amazing option for a first date for those who want to experience a little history and enjoy some fresh air at the same time. Open 365 days a year, Mount Vernon is the home of our first President George Washington. Get excited to explore the grounds together and if you want to check out the mansion, make sure you reserve a ticket for that. While not the most uplifting of moments, you can stop by the tomb to experience one of the most moving pieces of history in the entire city. All in all, an easy addition to our list of best first date museums in DC.

  • Address: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
  • Ticket Price: Tickets start at $28 with several discounts, including $2 off for purchasing at least three days in advance
Museum of the Bible

For Christian singles or those who are heavily into religious history, the Museum of the Bible is a unique option for a first date that often gets overlooked for this purpose. But what better way to start a relationship built on faith than by going to the Museum of the Bible. The slogan of the museum is “inviting all people to engage with the transformative power of the Bible”, and that’s exactly what you’ll experience together in an immersive and exciting adventure through the Word of God. 

  • Address: 400 4th ST. SW Washington, DC 20024
  • Ticket Price: Starting at $29.99
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

It’s hard to say that any of the Smithsonian museums are any more exciting than the others but if you haven’t experienced the Hirshhorn, you’ll see why we brought that up. Take your new love interest on an exciting journey through an ever-changing array of unique exhibits connecting art, ideas, and people. If you or your date love contemporary art and culture (or are open to experiencing it), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden may just be the perfect first date.

  • Address: Independence Ave and 7th St Washington, DC 20560
  • Ticket Price: Free
Dumbarton Oaks

Dumbarton Oaks is actually a two-in-one with both an incredible museum filled with unique collections as well as a stunning outdoor garden that, yes, is ideal for first dates. What’s neat about this option is that you can spend some time in the museum learning and experiencing the collections and then take your date outside to walk amongst the foliage and wildlife. There are also plenty of great spots in the garden to sit and chat making it a perfect spot for a first date with someone you’re wanting to get to know.

  • Address: 1703 32nd Street, NW Washington, DC 20007
  • Ticket Price: Free
The Mansion on O Street

Many reviewers share that the Mansion on O Street is “fun”, “one of the best times ever”, and a place where you can “get lost and discover new treasures at every turn” thanks to the 112 legendary rooms and nearly 90 secret doors that change every day. We LOVE museums like this for first dates because the unique array of exhibits and focus on exploring are great for sparking conversation. Additionally, the Mansion on O Street is an independent nonprofit (always great to support), and serves cultural, scientific, and educational growth. This museum is a bit off the beaten path, so the chances are higher your date hasn’t been there—which is always a plus.

  • Address: 2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
  • Ticket Price: Starting at $40 with optional add-ons for drinks and more
Smithsonian American Art Museum

While quite a few locals have been to this museum, it’s still one of our favorites for first dates. If you want to see some of the most breathtaking and conversation-inducing exhibits in the entire world, this is where you need to go. Experiencing what the Smithsonian American Art Museum has to offer by yourself is great. But getting to experience it with someone you’re romantically interested in is even better as you’ll start to build memories from day one. Additionally, there are always new and rotating exhibits in the 95,000 square feet the museum sits in, so it doesn’t matter if either or both of you have been here before.

  • Address: 8th and G Streets, NW Washington, DC 20004
  • Ticket Price: Free
National Museum of the Navy

An important part of our nation’s history is our armed forces. And if you’re going out with someone who loves this country, chances are high they’ll love checking out the National Museum of the Navy. You’ll both get to know each other while checking out exhibits from ships, submarines, past wars, weaponry, and so much more. You will need to do a little research beforehand about getting access to the museum if you’re not in the military, but it’s an easy process so please don’t let this deter you. Your date might even give you some extra brownie points for taking the time to really put the extra planning into the outing. 

  • Address: 736 Sicard St SE, Washington, DC 20374
  • Ticket Price: Free
Folger Shakespeare Library

When it comes to love, Shakespeare usually finds his way into the conversation—and rightfully so. With that in mind, it makes sense that the Folger Shakespeare Library makes our list of top DC museums for a first date. As the largest collection of Shakespeare in the world, there is so much for you to enjoy together. Why not start your own Romeo and Juliet story (with a happier ending) at one of the neatest museums in the DC area? If you’re a part of the library, there are options to explore the exhibitions as well as see performances!

  • Address: 201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003
  • Ticket Price: Varies
Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

Who wouldn’t want to go to a zoo on a first date! The Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute is an incredible option when it comes to unique places to take a first date in DC. Explore, learn, and experience nature, unique wildlife, adorable animals, and the nice weather—all in one place. And with the price tag of free, it’s a cost-effective first date that you can make as long or as short as you want. 

  • Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008
  • Ticket Price: Free
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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.