I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions. So it was really nice to spend some quality time with my husband at National Harbor for date night this past weekend.
Usually, I write about adventures as a family, but this time, I’m hoping our little jaunt out will inspire you to book a sitter and head over to National Harbor for a night (or afternoon) of fun.
We arrived at National Harbor around 5 p.m. on a Sunday, when things were starting to wind down. We were ok with that though as a casual, low-key night was just the ticket. There was one store in particular I wanted to hit up before they closed for the day — Marbles: The Brain Store.
The store is a hands-on experience, full of games, puzzles and other gadgets that will get your brain moving. The young man running the place was clearly having fun, and getting hesitant customers to have fun playing the games. If you are looking for a unique holiday gift, you must visit this store.
Next up — dinner at Thai Pavilion. We were greeted by very kind staff who led us to a cozy table, and then started with vegetarian spring rolls while we considered the options and laughed at how much fun it was to order without worrying about what the children would want.
The menu at Thai Pavilion is extensive, with options from sushi/sashimi to soups and salads as well as noodle and rice-based meals. After our appetizer, we moved on to the main course. I enjoyed the classic Pad Thai, while my husband got his spice on with the Panag Tofu.
After dinner, we were surprised with a fall preview of a new dessert that Thai Pavilion is unveiling very soon. The name is still being worked out, but the recipe is a done deal: a coconut ice cream, lightly fried and drizzled with chocolate. Scrumptious doesn’t even begin to describe this dessert. It was light, airy and just the right amount of sweetness to cap a perfect dinner.
With at least 30 options for dining at National Harbor, there’s bound to be something that will tickle your fancy.
Since it was a beautiful fall evening, after dinner, we choose to take a romantic stroll around National Harbor. We walked along the river to The Capital Wheel. I’ve only been on the Wheel once before and that was during the daytime. Riding in the evening was a nice change, as we were able to see the sparkling DC skyline.
We arrived around 8 p.m. and had a short wait (20 minutes) before we hopped into one of the fully enclosed, futuristic, climate controlled gondollas. Pop music while waiting, then inside, incongruously, but also perfectly right, The Blue Danube, the famous Strauss waltz that will remind older riders of the space station scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Fun fact: there are 1.6 million fully programmable LED lights on the wheel with a spectrum of 16.4 million colors. We lost count, but want to go back again. If your spouse misses the moment, suggest that you time your trip on the Capital Wheel at dusk so you can enjoy the twilight’s last gleaming from high above the river. The ride lasts anywhere from 12-15 minutes and tickets are $15/adults, $13.50 for military/senior, $11.50 for children ages 3 to 11 and free for under 2. You can purchase your tickets at the ticket booth on site or online.
There really are so many options for hanging out with your special someone at National Harbor. If you want to make it a sweet night, stop in to SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier for exquisite chocolate that is handcrafted locally. We sampled a mix of Bonbons and Truffles and we all agree that these savory chocolates are worth a visit and would make a meaningful gift for the upcoming holidays. As a side note, if you find yourself in Gaithersburg, they offer tours of their factory.
Need a few more ideas for the rest of October? National Harbor has Thursday night Date Night on the Potomac – grab a picnic dinner and head to the plaza for Movies on the Potomac through November 5th. There is also a Farmers Market every Saturday and Sunday and produce is from Miller Farms in Clinton, Maryland.
So what are you waiting for? Get a sitter and head out for a fun evening at National Harbor!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by National Harbor. All opinions are our own.