1. Turn your overalls backwards, find your brightest scrunchie, and break out your oversize cell phone for the free 1990s Valentine’s Day mixer at Dahlak restaurant (1771 U St., NW) Thursday at 10. The gay-friendly event is hosted by DJs Matt Bailer and Robert Bozick, who will spin so many alternative anthems and gangsta rap bangers you’ll think you were back in the blizzard of 1996.
2. Head to the art-and-music venue Bloombars Friday from 8 to 11 for its Valentine’s Benefit Concert and Silent Auction. Local female artists Nila, Free, the Sweater Set, Carolyn Malachi, and Capital Blend will perform in an effort to raise awareness of violence against women. There'll also be a silent auction featuring gift certificates for restaurants, spas, and artwork. Proceeds from the $10 suggested donation will go to Courtney’s House, the first shelter in DC for sex-trafficked children and young women.
3. To pre-game for Valentine’s Day, take your loved (or liked) one to learn all about animal libidos at Woo at the Zoo Friday from 6:30 to 7:30 and 8:30 to 9:30. In what the zoo calls "an honest and humorous forum," the event explores the sexual behaviors and dating habits of animals. The $10 ticket ($7 for FONZ members) includes hors d’oeuvres, a cupcake for you and your date to decorate, and a long-stemmed rose. There'll also be a cash bar. Purchase tickets here. Must be 21 and older.
4. Friday at 7 and Sunday at 2, the Freer Gallery will screen Niloofar as part of its free Iranian Film Festival. The movie, set on the Iranian/Iraqi border, follows a 12-year-old girl who dreams of being able to read and write in a village where education is for boys only. The girl meets a woman who allows her to study secretly, but her father has promised her in marriage.
5. To the Native Americans, chocolate was the “food of the gods.” Learn all about the sweet’s importance to the Maya, Aztec, and other indigenous groups as the National Museum of the American Indian presents "The Power of Chocolate" Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 to 4:30. Free.
6. Ladies, Beauty 360 (1350 Connecticut Ave., NW) is giving out complimentary lip- and cheek-makeup applications Saturday from noon to 5. Men, If your Valentine’s Day dinner date looks like she hasn’t scrubbed her face in the past 30 hours, we can’t be held accountable.
7. Dance and slide at Velvet Lounge’s Pre-Valentine’s Day Sock Hop Saturday from 9 PM to 2 AM. DJs Baby Alcatraz and Kid Congo Powers mix up old-school rock 'n’ roll, soul, and international hits. Free.
8. If your true love is old vinyl, spend Valentine’s Day digging through crates as the Black Cat hosts its DC Record Fair Sunday from noon to 6. Some of the area’s hottest DJs will be on site to spin while music lovers sift through the vault of old records at the free event.
9. Need a cure for the Valentine’s Day blues? The organization Art Soiree is hosting Single Valentine, an event at One Lounge Sunday from 7 PM to 1:30 AM. There'll be specialty cocktails, desserts ($8), and lots of singles.
10. Stick some pins in your ex at the fifth annual Voodoo Valentine’s party at Current (1215 Connecticut Ave., NW) Sunday from 10 PM to 2 AM. Whether you loathe V-Day gushiness or just feel like letting out some pent-up anger, each guest gets a free voodoo doll and stickpins, and dance music blasts overhead. If you RSVP here, admission is free until midnight.