D.C. Date Night: The Ballet

Updated July 7, 2020.

It’s date night! My sweet husband proposed to me six years ago today (on Friday the 13th), so I thought this would be the perfect day to post about our recent Nutcracker matinee date in D.C.! Christmas is in full swing in the District, and that means lots of fun date ideas! I asked my husband to take me to see The Nutcracker at Warner Theater this year, and he kindly agreed!


Steve and I chose a matinee because we’re like a little old couple. But really, matinees are great! If you don’t like the date you still have the whole night ahead of you. If you do like the date, you have more time to extend the date! And best of all, you can get brunch! If you’re headed to The Nutcracker like us, or if you just want to give your date a legendary D.C. experience, make a reservation for Old Ebbitt Grill!

The best dining spot before The Nutcracker! I love a date on theme!
My Brioche French Toast with Vermont Maple Syrup and Bacon
Steve’s Shrimp and Grits

I recommend making your reservation for at least one and a half hours before the start time of the ballet. If either of you tends to run late or is particularly talkative, make it for two hours before! Old Ebbitt is only three blocks from the Warner Theatre, so we had no trouble getting there.

The Ballet

The ballet is such a fun date idea because it’s more original than the simple “dinner and a movie” date. One of the benefits of this type of date is that you don’t have the pressure of needing to make conversation the whole time. Get your tickets on the Warner Theatre’s website or at their box office.

Don’t forget to take a photo together!

Pro Tip: Venues in D.C. may require a bag check for security purposes, as was the case at the Warner Theatre. Plan to arrive at least 15-20 minutes ahead of time to make sure you don’t miss the beginning of the ballet!

Ready for The Nutcracker!

Ballet Tips: Look Like a Pro

  • Google the synopsis of the play.
  • Know in advance that there is no talking in ballet (onstage or in the audience!).
  • Pay attention to the athleticism. Don’t try those jumps at home!


If the date is going well, suggest dessert or coffee! Cafe du Park is an impressive D.C. restaurant inside one of D.C.’s most beautiful hotels, The Willard Intercontinental. Their desserts are decadent and beautiful, and if you go to the matinee, you’ll be able to walk right in without a reservation between the lunch and dinner rushes!

A good date night always includes dessert!
Vanilla Ice Cream and Paris Brest with Nutella Filling!

Pro Tip: If Cafe du Parc is not quite in your budget, there is also a coffee shop and bakery inside the restaurant at street level! Grab a pastry and a warm beverage and sit at one of the intimate tables by a window. Or take them to go and walk by the White House Christmas Tree, just a couple of blocks away!

Transportation Tips

To make sure your date goes as flawlessly as possible, here are some tips to help you make that positive impression you want!


If you’re parking, Google “Parking near Warner Theatre” and have a plan. Find out which parking garages are closest and how much they cost. Additionally, download the ParkMobile App, and go into D.C. in advance to test it out and make sure you know how it works. Always arrive early in case you have to drive around the block a few times, and always have a backup plan!

Walking instead of driving? Make time to walk by some of D.C.’s magical Christmas trees!
Read on: The Best Christmas Trees in D.C.


If you and your date will be taking Metro, you’ll look like a real winner if you provide a pre-loaded SmarTrip card for her to use instead of her own! Just don’t forget to load it with enough money for the whole date, and check the WMATA website for planned station closures in advance.

Read on: Your Ultimate Guide to D.C.’s Metro Rail


Alternatively to driving or Metroing, you could always Uber! It might be less expensive than Metro, and it’s certainly a more refined experience.

Want more date night ideas?
Check out 18 Great D.C. Dates for Every Budget!

Need more things to do, eat, and see? Check out my Washington, D.C. Page!

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