Thursday, February 14: Hmm, what is today again? We seem to have forgotten. . . Oh, right—it’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re looking for sappy romance or the ultimate anti-Valentine’s Day evening, we’ve got a guide to what you need for a good time. From luxury-hotel getaways to bar parties to romantic restaurants, it’s all here. Read on for the scoop that’ll make your Valentine’s Day as good—or as bad—as you want it to be.
National Geographic Live! hosts screenings of all Oscar-nominated foreign-language films at the National Geographic Society today through Sunday. This year’s nominees are all pretty political and include the Israeli film Beaufort, about the withdrawal of troops from the Beaufort Castle area in 2000. Austria’s The Counterfeiters and Poland’s Katyn address World War II from slightly different perspectives: The former takes an inside look at Nazism through the eyes of a reluctant participant; the latter tells the story of a family torn apart by the presence of Soviet troops in Poland. Mongol, Kazakhstan’s entry, is the story of Genghis Khan. A free reception, an hour before showtime, precedes each film. Get price and time details here. For more Oscar screenings and events, click here.
Friday, February 15: This weekend is the last before the High School Musical theatrical production skedaddles out of town. Read our review to see if it’s up your alley.
Most of the brand-new permanent exhibit “Butterflies & Plants: Partners in Evolution” at the National Museum of Natural History traces the relationship between butterflies and their environment over several millennia. That part is free. But the museum charges to enter the Butterfly Pavilion—where visitors walk along a see-through passageway and watch butterflies pollinate, reproduce, and fly. Get price and time details here.
If you want to take in some romantic music this weekend, head to Twins Jazz (1344 U St., NW) to hear Felicia Carter sing. The DC native has a big, husky voice and sings lovely contemporary jazz as well as old standards. $15; 9 and 11 PM.
Saturday, February 16: Okay, so an ’80s dance night might not be the most novel thing ever, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a rollicking good time. Head over to the Black Cat tonight for its Right Round ’80s night, where you can expect to hear tunes by Cure, the Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and more. $6; 10 PM.
He’s been on VH1’s Best Week Ever and MTV’s Punk’d!, and now he’s coming to the Lisner Auditorium. Comedian Daniel Tosh brings his raunchy but relevant humor to DC tonight at 8 PM. $25.
If you’re looking for adventure, not love, this Valentine’s Day, try Ravenchase’s 3rd Annual Cupid Sucks Game (ravenchase.com), 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.
If you’re a latte fanatic, you’ll definitely want to check out the Coffee Fest at Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place, NW) this weekend. The convention showcases the best in coffee and brewing today. The most exciting part, though, is the local baristas latte art competition. Forty baristas from the area will be competing to make the most extravagant rosettas and hearts with foam. The winner gets $5,000. The finals of the latte art competion are 5:30 to 7:30 PM this evening.
Sunday, February 17: Bethesda’s Strathmore Arts Center celebrates Presidents’ Day weekend with its Discover Strathmore open house on from 11 to 4 with interactive workshops for children and adults as well as entertainment on three stages. This year’s theme, “Sights and Sounds of Washington,” salutes local talent. Performers include the Levine Jazz Quintet, the 18th Street Singers, and CityDance. Free. 5301 Tuckerman La., Bethesda; 301-581-5100; strathmore.org.
Another “Best Week Ever” funnyman hits town this weekend. Christian Finnegan will be doing standup at the Improv (9 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW) tonight at 8 PM. $15 to $17.
If you haven’t been to the Kennedy Center’s exhibit on all things Japan, you need to hit up today’s closing ceremonies at the Millennium Stage. It’s an evening devoted to Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood internationally renowned for its youth style and fashion. You can even dress up in your favorite Harajuku-inspired fashion. Free; 6 PM.
Monday, February 18: Have the day off from work? Admission to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate, is free today in honor of his birthday. At 10 AM, visitors can watch the traditional wreath-laying ceremony at Washington’s tomb. A parade through the estate grounds—featuring George and Martha impersonators—starts at 1:30. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon; 703-780-2000; mountvernon.org.