Things to Do

What to Do on Valentine’s Day—From Mixers to Music to Romeo and Juliet

Single but Looking

Thanks to Whole Foods Markets, it might not be not too late to find a date for Valentine’s. On February 7, four area stores are hosting a food-pairings tasting that doubles as a singles mixer. Make conversation over soup and sandwiches, cheese fondue, and chili and baguettes. Bat your eyes while enjoying surf and turf or a chocolate fountain. If you don’t leave with someone, no worries—the event includes giveaways, so chances are good that you won’t walk out empty-handed. Participating Whole Foods stores are in Georgetown (2323 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-5393), Silver Spring (833 Wayne Ave.; 301-608-9373), Arlington (2700 Wilson Blvd.; 703-527-6596), and Reston (11660 Plaza America Dr.; 703-736-0600).

Professionals in the City is hosting a Pre-Valentine’s Day Champagne Tasting on February 13 from 7 to 9 PM at Mie N Yu (3125 M St., NW; 202-333-6122). A selection of Champagnes will be served along with complimentary appetizers and a crowd of singles with schedules as packed as yours. Purchase tickets in advance for $45 here or call 202-686-5990.

If true love doesn’t find you at the Champagne tasting, try your luck at Professionals in the City’s Valentine’s Day Mixer and Singles Party, at 7 PM on February 14. This time, you’ll be at the Geisha Sushi Bar & Lounge (727 15th St., NW; 202-347-3887) sipping $4 beers and $6 Signature Geisha Cocktails. Admission is $10, but food and drinks are on you. Purchase tickets in advance here or call 202-686-5990.

This Valentine's Day, single women of DC will be pampered with a Girls Night In at the Salon & Spa at Saks Fifth Avenue (2051 International Dr., 3rd Floor, McLean; 703-269-1388). Book a service after 3 pm on February 14 and enjoy free service upgrades and munchies. With a purchase, you'll also get a free gift.  

Give a Little Love

Feeling generous? Celebrate Valentine’s Day and give something back at Cake Bar’s You Are Loved party. On Friday, February 8, head to the K Street Lounge (1301 K St., NW; 202-962-3933) at 7 PM for an evening of indulgent desserts such as liquor-infused chocolate fudge and a chocolate-hazelnut cake dripping in Frangelico. There will also be music and a silent auction for items including a gift certificate to Coup de Foudre Lingerie, a package of yoga classes, and FranScents gift baskets. Tickets are $25, with 20 percent going to the World Cocoa Foundation’s Women in Cocoa Farming Education program in West Africa.

The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will celebrate love with the Valentine Pops Gala on February 8 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner (7920 Jones Branch Dr., McLean; 703-563-1990). Starting at 6:30, enjoy cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction before the orchestra takes the stage at 9. Tickets are $300; proceeds benefit the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.

Get a new do for your big Valentine’s date and support Locks of Love with a cut at Bella Bethesda Salon (4733 Elm St.; 301-718-9111). February 8 through 15, donate ten inches of hair or more to Locks of Love and get a free haircut, blowdry, and gift certificate for a makeover at Bella Bethesda. Want more? Ten percent of product sales that week will be donated to Locks of Love.

Love-Free Zone

Head to the Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW; 202-667-7960) at 9 PM on February 13 for Mothertongue’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Slam, where DC’s female poets and storytellers will share their views on love. The next night, check out Speakeasy DC’s Valentine’s Day Story Social With Stripmall Ballads. Half open mike, half performance, this event is a time to hear and share stories and songs of love, heartbreak, and everything in between. It’s taking place from 8 to 10 PM at Sova (1359 H St., NE; 202-397-3080); $10 at the door.

If you’re looking for adventure, not love, this Valentine’s Day, try Ravenchase’s 3rd Annual Cupid Sucks Game (, a treasure hunt and footrace through DC. For $30 a person—the organizers recommend signing up with a team of at least two people—you’ll race around the city cracking codes, ciphers, and anagrams as you decode a treasure map that reveals the race’s end point. (Hint: It’s usually a bar.) If you come in first, you’ll win bragging rights, a free drink at the bar, and a to-be-determined tacky prize. The race usually takes two to three hours to complete, and if you get stuck on a clue, there’s a help line you can call for a hint. You’ll be provided with everything you need to complete the race—even Metro fare, if necessary—but you might want to bring a notebook and a pencil or pen to help crack codes. Register through the Web site a few days before the race, and you’ll be sent a clue to solve that will reveal the starting line’s location. And don’t worry—you can call the help line for that, too.

Love to Shop

On Saturday, February 9, pair date-night with a shopping excursion on Barracks Row (400-700 Blocks of 8th St., SE). Its regular neighborhood shopping event, held on the second Saturday of each month, is taking on a Valentine's theme, with shops and restaurants handing out free drinks and desserts, and discounts. There will also be meet-and-greets with local artists. Festivities run from 6 to 9 pm—and everything is free.  

Urban Chic (1626 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-338-5398) is hosting a Valentine’s pregamer February 12 from 6 to 8 PM. Sip Champagne and nibble treats while you shop. No matter how much you spend, you’ll get a free gift, but if it’s $200 or more, you’ll enjoy complimentary lingerie from Hanky Panky.

Couples and singles are invited to SpaJama’s Pampered Valentine’s Day Shopping Event at Kahler Hall (5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia; 410-730-3888). Enjoy massages—by yourself, with your Valentine, or with someone you meet at the event—strawberries and chocolates, free Champagne, a lingerie fashion show, and shopping. Tickets start at $35. Advance registration required through the Reservations page.

Laugh and Love

Head to the Palace of Wonders (1210 H St., NE; 202-398-7469) February 15 for Valentine’s Day After, a show with the new burlesque comedy troupe, Capitol Follies. They’ll reenact the story of Cupidity, Cupid’s alter-ego who brings the world’s share of evil to DC and watches in delight as folly unfolds. Put another way: Cupidity is to Valentine’s Day as the Grinch is to Christmas—get it? The show starts at 10 PM; tickets cost $10.

On Saturday, February 16, DC Comedy: 4 Now will put on a Romantic Comedy Showcase, hosted by Washington Improv Theater’s Jason Saenz, at the DC Improv (1140 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-296-7008). The show, a hodgepodge of standup and long-form improv comedy, will be performed at 8 and 10:30 PM—so go early and get a double dose of laughs if your aching sides can take it. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Crazy (in Love)

It's a man! It's a woman! It's—a female illusionist? On February 11, head over to the National Theatre (1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW; 202-628-6161) for Ella and Company: Call Me Madame!, a Valentine's drag show. Ella Fitzgerald (Donnell Robinson), the star of the show, has been performing in DC for more than 30 years, including at Ziegfeld's cabaret, which closed in 2006 for the construction of the new Nationals ballpark. To celebrate Valentine's Day, the starlet will be joined by team of drag performers for an evening of song and dance, and glitz and glamour. Two shows are scheduled at 6:00 and 8:30. Tickets are free, but required for entry—they'll be handed out a half hour before each performance.  

To really ignite your passion this Valentine’s Day, go to the Palace of Wonders for a special performance of Flights of Fire, DC’s own fire dancing troupe—think baton twirling but with fire. The Valentine’s Day performance, which starts at 9:30 and costs $10, is called Love’s on Fire. The troupe promises to provide “our own unique perspectives on theme of Love and we promise you a night to remember!”

Dance the night away at the Black Cat (1811 14th St., NW; 202-667-7960) on February 15 with Eighties Mayhem, the Valentine’s Day ’80s dance party. DJs Steve E.P., MissGuided, Killa K, and Krasty McNasty will share the stage—er, soundboard. Get your groove on starting at 9 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door.

History + Art = True Love

The Torpedo Factory Art Center (105 N. Union St., Alexandria; 703-838-4565) is hosting Heart Art on February 14 to showcase the work of the artists in residence. Live music by the Right Nows will set the mood, and lovebirds will be treated to free flowers and candy. Studios and Galleries will be open from 6 to 9 PM. Free.

What’s more romantic than Romeo and Juliet? A performance of the play with wine and hors d’oeuvres. Head to the Rosslyn Spectrum Theater (1611 N. Kent St., Arlington; 703-228-1850) at 8 PM for a special Valentine’s Day performance of the Shakespeare classic. Afterward, walk next door to the Hotel Palomar Arlington for a reception with wine and hors d’oeuvres. A ticket to the performance and reception costs $35. Use code YP14 when purchasing.

If history puts you in the mood for love, check out A Taste of Romance at Tudor Place (1644 31st St., NW; 202-965-0400), the residence of Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, and her husband, Thomas Peter. Starting at 5:30 PM on February 14, this twilight reception include wine and chocolate and ambient live music by Grammy nominee Andrea Hoag. Take a stroll through the historic residence and check out the black-tie costumes, jewelry, and antique valentines from the Tudor Place collection. On your way out, grab a coupon for a free Champagne cocktail with dinner at the Fairmont Hotel’s Juniper Restaurant. Tickets to the reception are $20 per couple.

At Heart to Art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art (500 17th St., NW; 202-639-1700), get your fill of food and art on February 14. Café des Artistes, the restaurant in the main atrium, will serve a romantic four-course menu that ends with a dessert of heart-shaped sorbet. After dinner, stroll through the permanent collection, which includes American, European, and contemporary art. Cost is $48 per person. Seatings are at 6 and 6:30 PM. Call 202-639-1786 for reservations.

Want more Valentine's Day advice and information—from where to dine, to where to go, to what gifts to buy? Click here for the Washingtonian Guide to Valentine's Day.