Sassy Marmalade suggested both of the following activities in her "What to do if you're in D.C." Thanksgiving Edition post, and I thought they were such fantastic ideas for dates that they could use another mention.
WINTER DATE #1: ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo
ZooLights is a fun, no-pressure activity. You literally just walk around and ooh and ahh over sparkly objects.
It's also equally appropriate for a first, fifth, or fiftieth date. It's a nice change of pace for established couples looking for something different to do, and it takes the pressure off those just getting to know each other by adding structure and providing an easy topic of conversation.
Not only that, it's completely free, so if you spent all your savings buying shiny new things on Cyber Monday, you can save a few bucks by hitting up ZooLights. Just make sure you treat your date to a hot chocolate afterward to avoid the appearance that you are a broke Kevin Federline type.
WHEN TO GO:
From now through December 11, ZooLights runs from 5-9 P.M.Friday through Sundays nights.
From December 11-January 1, ZooLights runs every night except for Dec 24, 25 and 31.
WINTER DATE #2: Ice-Skating at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden
I will caveat this suggestion with the following plea: for the love of all that is holy, please do not suggest ice-skating for a first date. It's too much of a time commitment and you might be putting your date on the spot by suggesting something unfamiliar. If it were me, I would want to do a fun activity like ice-skating on a third date, when I knew I liked the person enough that I could get over the embarrassment of falling on my ass in front of him.
As with ZooLights, you avoid the pressure for constant conversation, and there's no better way to get hands-on with your date than precariously gliding on ice amid equally uncoordinated strangers. One time, I went ice-skating with a guy, and made it the whole way without falling. Until the very end, when I slipped while standing still and holding on to the ledge of the rink. Nancy Kerrigan, right here. The point is, despite my clumsiness, it was a lot of fun and one of the most memorable dates I've had thus far. Though not as cheap as ZooLights, admission plus skate rental will only run you about $11 a person.
WHEN TO GO:
From now until mid-March, the rink is open from Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 10 a.m.- 11 p.m, and Sundays from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.