20 Best Things to do in Washington DC at Night

It has happened again, you find yourself in a new city, and whether you are there for business or personal reasons, you have no idea what to do tonight, and you do not want to spend another evening alone in a DC hotel. But lucky for you, there are a plethora of fun things to do in DC at night. But with so much life and activity in this historic city, where should you begin? This list of things to do in DC at night covers everything from historical landmarks, walking tours, craft beer and food experiences, even a ghost tour of The White House.

Relax and let this list take you on a journey through downtown DC nightlife where you are sure to experience the best that DC has to offer, including the best concerts, plays, music, drinks, and food. And for the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free diners, there are plenty of options in these many diverse cultural cuisine experiences. 

Things to do in DC at Night


1. Lincoln Memorial

If a historical destination is on your list, this iconic memorial is a must-see when looking for fun things to do in DC at night. This historical landmark features the intricately detailed seated statue of the nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. This monument is even more breathtaking at night when the inside of the monument is illuminated and the spectacle of this iconic destination is captured in its expansive reflecting pool.  

Phone: +1 202-426-6841
Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington DC, DC 20037
Website: www.nps.com


2. National Mall

This outdoor attraction is at the center of the most important national monuments in the United States Capitol. This park features extensive, stone walking paths that invite visitors to explore historical landmarks and experience some of the best natural features DC has to offer including the iconic cherry trees that delight visitors each spring with their lush, pink blooms, making this another of the many fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-426-6841
Address: Constitution Ave Nw, Washington DC, DC 20565
Website: www.nps.com


3. Arena Stage

For a night on the town taking in the local culture, Arena Stage is the place for great entertainment. Featuring popular titles like Arena Civil Dialogues, Right to Be Forgotten and Newsies, there is something for any theatre lover. Get your tickets soon because this will surely be one of your favorite fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-488-4377
Address: 1101 6th St. SW, Washington DC, DC 20024-2691
Website: www.arenastage.com


4. Korean War Veteran’s Memorial 

When exploring the many historic landmarks that DC has to offer, the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial tops the list. This landmark features a triangular field displaying life-size statues of American soldiers during the Korean War. The impact of these effigies increases as visitors approach the “Pool of Remembrance.” Open until midnight, year-round, this important memorial offers a realistic and informative depiction of United States history and is a welcome addition to the list of things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-426-6841
Address: 10 Daniel French Dr. SW, Washington DC, DC 20002
Website: www.nps.com


5. Blues Alley

This jazz cafe is a great place for a date night and a chance to experience local jazz musicians. This intimate, all-ages jazz cafe offers the best in rising stars and is sure to delight the jazz lover while satisfying every appetite with a wide variety of appetizers and entrees like crab cakes, baked salmon and blackened catfish. With so many great things to offer, Blues Alley tops the list of romantic things to do in DC at night for couples. 

Phone: +1 202-337-4141
Address: 1073 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-3635
Website: www.bluesalley.com


6. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The next landmark on the list is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This landmark features pristine landscaping and intricately crafted, stone walkways that lead to an expansive, black marble wall that is inscribed with every soldier lost or missing in action who served during the Vietnam War. This destination is just another of the many educational features located in the heart of DC. This memorial is open 24 hours a day, making it a welcome addition to the list of things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-426-6841
Address: 5 Henry Bacon Dr. NW, Washington DC, DC 20242
Website: www.nps.com


7. DC Improv Comedy Club

Looking to add a little more humor to your date night? This local comedy club has something for everyone on your night out with local comedy newcomers and icons like Michael Rapaport and Chingo Bling. This small venue is the perfect romantic thing to do in DC at night for couples with its intimate atmosphere, great food, and fantastic entertainment.

Phone: +1 202-296-7008
Address: 140 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20036-4001
Website: www.dcimprov.com


8. National Portrait Gallery 

If you’re looking to explore the art scene of downtown DC, your first stop should be the National Portrait Gallery. This gallery features an expansive display of portraits depicting some of the most influential people in history such as the Obamas, Leonard Bernstein, and Alexander Hamilton. This destination is an interesting addition to the list of fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-357-2700
Address: F St. NW, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, DC 20560
Website: www.npg.si.com


9. Sip of DC Tour

This tour escorts you and your companion through downtown DC as you experience the unique flavors of local craft beers. This is one of many fun things to do in DC at night for the over 21 crowds, and this tour shows you all the nightlife charm of the local DC community. Start your night out right as you explore the many local brewing companies in DC. 

Phone: +1 202-759-8687
Address: 801 F St NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Website: www.citybrewtours.com


10. Ford’s Theatre

This next destination on the list is part of the museum and entertainment. At Ford’s Theatre, you can explore the scene of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and learn more about the nation’s history. Afterward, take in a show at this historical stage. Some of their most recent shows include Guy N’ Dolls and A Christmas Carol, making this an entertaining and family-oriented addition to the many fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-347-4833
Address: 511 10th St. NW, Washington DC, DC 20004-1499
Website: www.fords.com  


11. Fado Irish Pub

This next fun thing to do in DC at night for the over 21 will take you on an authentic pub adventure. The founders of this establishment want all of their visitors to enter their restaurant for the food and leave with a story to tell. Featuring a full menu including Harp battered fish tacos, the Fado Pub burger and shepherd’s pie, this restaurant is sure to create a night to remember. 

Phone: +1 202-789-0066
Address: 808 7th St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-3718
Website: www.fadoirishpub.com


12. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Located in the heart of downtown DC, The Smithsonian Natural History Museum has one of a kind pieces of world history. Explore the nature section featuring extinct and exotic displays of some of the most unique creatures in our planet’s history. Then, explore the seemingly endless maze of cultural artifacts from some of the most well-known cultures in human history. This impressive destination is one of the many fun things to do at night in DC. 

Phone: +1 202-633-1000
Address: 10th St. and Constitution Ave, Washington DC, DC 20560
Website: www.naturalhistory.com


13. NuVegan Cafe

Looking for a night on the town but want to maintain your healthy lifestyle? The restaurant wants to “challenge your perception of vegan food” by providing healthy options while also introducing its visitors to vegan comfort foods like mac and cheese, crab cake sandwiches and jumbo cinnamon rolls. Whether you are looking for a healthy meal option or want to explore new flavor profiles, NuVegan Cafe is an important addition to the many fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-232-1700
Address: 2928 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-3828
Website: www.ilovenuvegan.com


14. Washington DC Guided Night Tour

Historic landmarks can be overcrowded in DC. To beat the crowds, try a guided night tour. This small, three hour, a guided tour will take you to all of the most popular monuments in DC including the Lincoln Monument, The White House, and the Jefferson Memorial. You will see the most famous national monuments from the comfort of a 30-person coach. This night tour is best shared with that special someone and is just one of the many things to do in DC at night for couples. 

Phone: +1 855-835-0502
Address: 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20004
Website: www.usaguidedtours.com


15. U.S. Marines Sunset Parade

Start your night off with some fresh air and a glimpse of the U.S. Marine Corps in all their glory. This Parade displays some of the best men and women serving in the Marines, all against the backdrop of a dazzling sunset and the many monuments in downtown DC. This is a great way to begin a night on the town and another entry on the list of fun things to do in DC at night. 

Phone: +1 202-433-6060
Address: Marine Barracks, 8th, and I Streets, Southeast, Washington DC, DC 20390
Website: www.barracks.marines.mil.com


16. Taberna del Alabardero 

For authentic Spanish cuisine, Taberna is a must. This restaurant is a great place to spend an evening and another stop on the list for romantic things to do in DC at night for couples. This restaurant offers private dining and an expansive menu including paella, fideua, and tapas. With tastes to suit any diner, this Spanish restaurant will excite your palate. 

Phone: +1 202-609-8127
Address: 1776 I St NW, Washington DC, DC 20006-3700
Website: www.alabardero.com


17. Private White House Ghost Tour

Take a private tour of The White House and learn about the many ghost stories of this historic building. This is a unique and fun thing to do in DC at night, featuring stories like Admiral Decatur’s duel, The Ghosts of The White House and Haunted Hay Adams Hotel. With so many chilling tales, this is a great way to learn some history as you uncover the mysteries of The White House. 

Phone: +1 202-370-1830
Address: Lafayette Square, Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, DC 20001
Website: www.freetoursbyfoot.com


18. Carpe DC Food Tour

This walking tour of DC’s local flavors is the perfect way to start your evening in DC. With five locations spread within one mile of each other, you are sure to experience the best in a variety of cuisines including American, Ethiopian and Jamaican. While traveling to each destination, you can explore historic communities and murals painted by local street artists. This is another fun thing to do in DC at night that will leave you with a full stomach. 

Phone: +1 888-697-2693
Address: 1213 U St NW, Washington DC, DC 20009
Website: wwwcarpedcfoodtours.com


19. The 930 Club

If you want a night of great music, dancing, and an energetic crowd, look no further than this fun thing to do in DC at night for the over 21. The 930 Club offers a true nightlife experience in downtown DC. See the best in local bands and rising stars while you taste some great comfort food including many vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options. 

Phone: +1 202-265-0930
Address: 815 V St NW, Washington DC, DC 20001-3020
Website: www.930.com


20. Thunder Burger & Bar 

If you want great food, atmosphere and the perfect place to spend a date night, Thunder Burger has everything you want. This is one of the many fun things to do in DC at for couples, and this cozy burger bar has so many gourmet burgers like the Signature Thunder Burger, Ventura Highway, and Portobello Road. Pair your burger with a local craft beer or wine. 

Phone: +1 202-333-2888
Address: 3056 M St NW, Washington DC, DC 20007-3727
Website: www.thunderburger.com



Now that you know about the many fun things to do in DC at night, you are ready for a night on the town, so grab a friend and show them all that DC has to offer in shows, theatre, food, and drinks. Whether you are looking for food, entertainment, or historical experience, this list will guarantee a night away from your hotel room. No matter what destination you choose, these venues will provide enriching experiences, historical locations, and provide plenty of stories to show off your knowledge of the diverse cultural experiences waiting for everyone in downtown Washington DC. 

Post Author

Marina Yoveva

Marina Yoveva

Originally from Bulgaria, Marina caught the travel bug about 10 years ago with her first trip to Italy. Ever since there she has been obsessed with learning new cultures, languages and sharing her experiences and travel expertise online. Her favorite country for traveling to so far is Spain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.