Posted at 03:15 PM ET, 12/16/2011

A dozen of your favorite holiday date ideas


Seeing “It’s a Wonderful Life” makes for a wonderful holiday date tradition, according to one Got Plans? reader. (NBC Photo)

The holidays are the perfect time for romance. Whether you’re going out for the first time or have been married for years, there are ample opportunities for seasonal dates. When we asked readers for their favorite holiday dates during yesterday’s Got Plans? discussion, they responded in droves. Here are some of our favorites.

Candlelight caroling at the National Cathedral, followed by a moonlit walk to Cleveland Park for the latkes and Hanukkah dinner offered at Dino. (If you don’t need a Hanukkah component, the Feast of the Seven Fishes at Dino would be a special holiday treat, too).

• Best holiday date idea for me and my Marine who just got back from Afghanistan: I’m taking him ice skating in the Sculpture Garden followed by mussels and Belgian beer at Brasserie Beck. An extremely delicious finish to a chilly outdoor activity, and then a nightcap at the Passenger for a serious cocktail crafted just for him. Perfection!

• Start at the Botanic Garden and then walk by the Capitol Christmas Tree (much more impressive I think than the National Christmas Tree) on your way to Fiola’s bar to warm up with pasta and gin cocktails.

• Start at the most idyllic Christmas tree farm, Snickers Gap, — cut down a tree or just enjoy the free hot apple cider and holiday atmosphere. Then head to Bluemont Vineyard where you’ll enjoy striking views of the mountains while sipping their yummy wines. You can keep the date on the affordable side by bringing lunch to eat there, or buying snacks in the tasting room. If you have some extra money to spend, have a romantic dinner at the renowned Ashby Inn.

• I love checking out all the various gloggs around D.C. bars! I’d suggest starting at Domku, then go to Room 11, then go to the Passenger with your favorite honey. Best part: you can take the 64 Metrobus.

A candlelight tour of Mount Vernon followed by dinner or drinks in Old Town Alexandria (so many great restaurants to choose from).

• This weekend, the wife and I are going on a date we do every year: seeing “It’s A Wonderful Life” at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse. There’s a wine tasting with holiday music beforehand, you get free passes to future movies if you come in costume or a Christmas sweater, and the proceeds go to Children’s Hospital. I’ll admit that after so many viewings, the movie tends to drag a bit in the middle, but if your date doesn’t tear up when everyone’s singing Auld Lang Syne, you know you don’t want anything else to do with them.

Water-skiing Santa and margaritas at Rosa Mexicano at National Harbor.

• This may sound cheesy, but why not do a volunteer date and work together at a soup kitchen or such one afternoon? You’ll feel better about yourself, especially around the holidays, for “giving back,” and you’ll definitely impress your date (plus maybe screen them). You could go to Miriam’s Kitchen in Foggy Bottom to feed scores of needy people, then reward yourself with a yummy meal at a place where you wouldn’t feel underdressed. Maybe Bobby Flay’s new burger joint?

• First I would whip up a batch of my hot winter sangria (One bottle of red wine, two cups of spiced apple cider, and half a cup of Grand Marnier, served hot with orange slices and a cinnamon stick) and pack that to go in a heat-proof thermos with a couple of to-go coffee cups. Then we would start at the Capitol Christmas Tree and stroll to the National Christmas Tree, stopping into all the fancy hotel lobbies to check out their decorations and warm up. All the while we will be inconspicuously enjoying our delicious “coffee.”

• How about going to “Ice” at the Gaylord, then taking the water taxi over to Old Town for a horse-and-carriage ride, and finish up with a hot drink at Chart House overlooking the water.

• I would plan an advent calendar date, which may be adjusted depending upon casual to serious and per length of dating time. Here’s how it would work. Create an advent card with however number of windows you want to give/ have the other person open (for example, it could be 2 for a weekend or 24 for someone with whom you are serious and who loves the holidays, for example). By the way, the card can be nondemoninational, so you could do this with someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Behind each window name a place or an event: Could be ice-skating at the National Gallery ice rink, hot toddies at Off The Record, visiting the National Arboretum, morning at the Downtown Holiday Market. This could be easily tailored to suit one’s individual tastes and budgets (high end to [mostly] free).

By  |  03:15 PM ET, 12/16/2011

Categories:  Holiday | Tags:  Holiday 2011

 
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