Non-Restaurant Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Not into the prix-fixe thing? We’ve rounded up more creative options around town.

By: Chelsea Boone, Hannah Lauterback

February 8 through 17, Perchance to Dream Theatre presents Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night at Fort Fringe. A traveling troupe of circus style performers use music, puppets, and magic in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic. Tickets ($10 to $15) are available online.

Get wild at the National Zoo’s fifth annual Woo at the Zoo. The February 9 event features presentations where you can learn about the mating habits of animals. Tickets are $30 per person ($20 for FONZ members) and include a commemorative glass, a complimentary drink, and hors d’oeuvres. There’s also a cash bar.

Check out naked women and men without your other half getting mad at a Naked at the Art Museum scavenger hunt on February 10. Search the American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery’s nude pieces for answers to various questions and take part in a little friendly competition. If you’re the lucky duo that finishes first, you’ll go home with a prize. More details and tickets ($24.50) are available online.

Disney on Ice comes to the Washington Harbour Ice Rink on Tuesday, February 12, at 4:30 PM. Children can skate with the characters from the show, sample hot chocolate, and receive a special Disney on Ice Valentine’s Day card.

To accompany the exhibition “Angels, Demons, and Savages,” the Phillips Collection presents A Valentine’s Day Trilogy February 13 through 17, with short vignettes inspired by Pollock, Ossorio, and Dubuffet. Head to Tryst at the Phillips before the show starts for a Prosecco-based Pretty in Pink cocktail or the spicy beer-and-sangria fusion Heart on Fire. A tour starts at 6:30 PM and the performance starts at 7; tickets are $20.

Join the Washington Ballet for L’Amour (Love, Baby . . .) at Sidney Harman Hall. Featuring three stories inspired by romance— Dangerous Liaisons, Opposites Attract, and Under Covers—the show explores all different aspects of love. Wednesday the 13th through Sunday the 17th. Tickets are available online.

On V-Day itself, catch a movie, a comedy show, and a bonus wine-tasting at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for just $8. Even better: The movie is The Princess Bride. Shows start at 7 and 9:50 PM; tickets are available online.

Love is all you need, at least according to the folks of Art Soiree’s Love Power. Whether you’re single, crushing hard, or in love, head to Powerhouse on Valentine’s Day at 9 PM for a night of music, art, movies, and dancing, all inspired by the power of love. Tickets are $20 online or $30 at the door.

An alternative to an overpriced Valentine’s Day dinner is lunch—made by you. CulinAerie hosts an Intimate Valentine’s Lunch: Foods of Love cooking class, where couples can make foods known for having aphrodisiac properties. The class runs from noon to 2 and is $150 per couple.

Head to Artisphere’s Dome Theatre on February 14 and watch Doris Day and Rock Hudson fall in love in the Oscar-winning film Pillow Talk. Tickets are $8, and the show starts at 8 PM.

This Valentine’s Day, float over the Virginia countryside with Blue Ridge Ballooning. The private flight ($895 per couple) includes a picnic and photos of your flight.

Skate the night away at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden February 14. For $16 (plus a $3-per-person skate rental) you can glide across the ice while looking at magnificent sculptures and jamming to ’80s R&B, boogie, and slow jams.

Enjoy an evening of Russian love at the Hillwood Museum with sweet and savory bites, cocktails, and Hillwood’s newest exhibition, “Pageant of the Tsars: The Romanov Coronation Albums.” Exclusively on Valentine’s night only, explore the mansion and greenhouse and view objects of love displayed throughout the evening. 6 to 9 PM; $75.

Add some arts and culture to your Valentine’s Day experience this year by watching a free performance at the Kennedy Center. February 14, students from Juilliard play classical works as a part of the Conservatory Project.

Try something different this Valentine’s Day with “Burlesque-A-Pades in Love Land” at the Birchmere in Alexandria. The show, back for its seventh year, features burlesque performer Angie Pontani. Tickets ($29.50) are available via Ticketmaster.

Need a laugh this V-Day? Comedian Corey Holcomb performs a Valentine’s Day show at the Lincoln Theatre. Tickets ($30 to $40) can be purchased here.

This Valentine’s Day at Georgetown’s Tudor Place, sip afternoon tea (noon to 2), or enjoy cocktails in the conservatory (5 to 7). Enjoy wine, Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and musical entertainment. Tickets ($12) are available online.

Enjoy live performances and support a good cause at Busboys and Poets’ third annual Matters of Heart R&B benefit showcase. Tickets are $10 per person, and the lineup consists of poets, a comedian, singers, and a live band. Proceeds will benefit the DC Rape Crisis Center.

The Torpedo Factory is opening its doors for free on Valentine’s evening. Browse three floors of open studios and galleries, snack, and converse with artists. Make handmade Valentines at the DIY creation station and steal a kiss in the photo booth. Come early—the first 100 guests receive a free carnation from Helen Olivia Flowers. Doors open at 6 PM; more information is available on the website.

February 14 through 16, SpeakeasyDC presents Sucker for Love, the sixth annual Valentine’s love fest of stories about the pleasures and perils of romance. Saturday’s performance gets you into Dance Place’s Valentine’s Day dance party, featuring DJ Glowstick. All shows start at 8 and are $25.

There’s a thin line between love and hate, and you can find out just how thin that line is at the Crime Museum with its special “Crimes of Passion” exhibit. February 14 through 16, couples will be handcuffed together (upgrade to furry handcuffs for $1) as they tour the museum and learn about true stories such as the “Valentine’s vampire.” In addition to the handcuffs—which you get to keep—couples will receive a delicious romantic treat. Tickets ($45 per couple) are available online.

Amazing Race meets When Harry Met Sally meets Casablanca in DC’s Valentine’s Scavenger Hunt, Great Race, and Challenge on February 16. Open to both singles and couples (you can request to be put on a team targeting either singles, couples, or a mix), you’ll race around Washington finding Valentine’s Day-themed items and competing in challenges ranging from Champagne tastings to spin the bottle. The event starts at 11:30 AM and costs $20; register online.