Things to Do

February in Washington

February’s the month of love, presidents, and lots of wine. Check out what events are happening around the area.

Throughout February: Abraham Lincoln’s 200th Birthday
Many events will take place at museums and historic locations throughout DC in celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The National Archives will display the original Emancipation Proclamation. Ford’s Theatre will hold a Monday-night speaker’s series about Lincoln and launch the new Ford’s Theatre Experience, which includes interactive exhibits, a theater presentation, a tour of the Peterson House, and more.

January 26 to February 1: Bethesda-Chevy Chase Restaurant Week
Get lunch and dinner deals at dozens of restaurants in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. A two-course lunch ranges from $12 to $20, and three-course dinners are $25 to $35. 

February 4 through 8: Washington Auto Show
See more than 700 new cars, trucks, and sport-utility vehicles from more than 42 domestic and import automakers at the Washington Convention Center. Details about daily events, displays, and exhibitors will be updated on the event’s Web site as the dates get closer.

February 7: Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails Author Talk

Tom Wheeler, author of Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mails, will lead a discussion at the National Postal Museum on how Abraham Lincoln taught himself to use the telegraph. While parents discuss the book, children are invited to a workshop to hear the story of how an 11-year-old girl influenced Lincoln’s presidential campaign by writing letters. Children will then be able to write a letter to the President Obama and participate in other activities. Registration is required for the children’s event. Call 202-633-5533 or e-mail

February 7 and 8: Chocolate Lovers Festival
Celebrate chocolate at this festival featuring tastings, a chocolate art exhibit, children’s activities, a craft show, and more. Some of the events are free, while other have a fee. A portion of the proceeds goes to a to-be-determined charity.

February 7, 8, and 9: Full-Moon Hike
Sign up for a five-mile hike through the moonlit National Arboretum grounds on any of these nights. A guide will note points of interest and seasonal highlights. It’s held rain or shine and takes place on hilly and uneven terrain. Arboretum members $15, nonmembers $19; registration required.

February 14 and 15: International Wine & Food Festival
More than 200 wineries will participate in this year’s festival at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Sample wines, attend a wine seminar, and more. Tickets are $85 to $150.

>>See our Guide to Valentine's Day in Washington

February 14: George Washington’s Birthnight Banquet and Ball
Head to Gadsby’s Tavern Museum for the 274th annual celebration of our nation’s first president, George Washington. Enjoy food, drinks, dancing, and historical reenactments. Guests are invited to wear period costumes, though they’re not required. Tickets are $100.

February 15 through 22: DC Fashion Week

Tickets for DC Fashion Week will be available starting December 8, 2008. Most events are open to the public, but some require tickets. Enjoy a networking party and trunk show and see an array of couture collections at locations throughout the city.

February 19 through 22: Washington Boat Show
Get a head start on summer by perusing a selection of family boats, motor yachts, fishing boats, and more. Adult admission $10, children ages 6 to 12 $5, under 5 free.

February 21 and 22: Brookside Nature Center Maple Sugar Festival
Learn how maple syrup is made by watching sap drip from trees. Watch it boil down to syrup, then sample the final product. Noon to 3 PM; no reservations required.

This article is part of’s Visitors’ Guide. For more articles like it, click here. If you’re visiting in a different month, check out our City Schedule for events happening throughout the year.