Though there’s nothing wrong with home delivery and a Nora Ephron marathon on Valentine’s Day, there are more fun ways to spend your time. Singles, cynics, and spurned lovers can head to DC-area bars and restaurants for free drinks, all-day happy hours, pizza parties, and the chance to swap your ex’s clothing for booze.
1332 F St., NW
Penn Quarter’s new ping pong bar hosts a “Love Pong” party on Friday, February 8 from 8 PM to 2 AM that welcomes singles, couples, and friend groups alike. V-Day kitsch includes a faux wedding chapel, pro players in bride and groom costumes, a tarot card reader, and themed cocktails.
Nellie’s Sports Bar
900 U St., NW
Nellie’s famous all-you-can-eat drag brunch will take on a Valentine’s Day theme this weekend (Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 AM). The bar’s performers will bring both love and hate-themed songs. Watch the show while sipping pink drinks, or if you’re in the mood, pounding red Jell-O shots ($42 per person).
Salon Betty at Union Market
1309 5th St., NE
Salon Betty comes to Union Market on Tuesday, February 12 for a “Play Doh Make & Smash” session from 6:30 to 8:30 PM ($39 per person). Ticket-holders will learn to make candy hearts and other Valentine’s-themed goodies out of play-doh from NYC-based the Dough Project. After, take a photo and then smash it for a little Valentine’s Day catharsis. Also included: a beverage provided by Buffalo & Bergen.
717 6th St., NW
This art deco bar in Penn Quarter knows that, for some, the holiday of love might require day-long drinking. It’s all-day Lonely Hearts Club on Thursday, February 14 will include $15 bottles of Champagne, $5 martinis, and $3 Bud Lights.
Cotton & Reed
1330 5th St., NE
“Pizza & rum > Chocolate & roses” is the philosophy of this rum distillery’s Punch Crunk Love party, now in its third year. Drop by starting at 6 PM for rum cocktails, Timber Pizza, and fun times.
City Tap Kitchen & Craft
Dupont and Penn Quarter locations
All evening on Valentine’s Day, those looking to rid themselves of an ex’s clothing can bring items to the bar for donation to Martha’s Table. In return for your good deeds receive a free cocktail.
2009 14th St., NW
While patrons in the cocktail bar’s first-floor lounge can canoodle by candlelight, party people in the second-floor parlor will celebrate “Profane Love” starting at 6 PM. Purchase a drink ticket to score a discount.
Black Cat DC
1811 14th St., NW
This year marks the 20th (and last!) Valentine’s Day Rock & Roll Dance Party hosted by 14th Street’s storied music venue. Get down to rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and more mixes by local DJs such as Baby Alcatraz, Smile Now Cry Later, and DJ Glenn.
Hank’s Oyster Bar (Dupont)
1624 Q St. NW
The Dupont seafood spot will become the “Lonely Hearts Club” for four evenings beginning on Valentine’s Day. Bartenders will collect clothing to donate (yours or your exes) and and offer cocktails such as “Vodka Costs Less Than Dinner for Two” and “Single Person’s Awareness Day (S.A.D.).” Singles looking to practice self-love are encouraged to write love letters to themselves (or others) on paper hearts that will be posted around the restaurant.
Crumbs & Whiskers
3211 O St., NW
Similar to last year, vindictive guests at Georgetown’s cat cafe can scrawl their ex’s name into a litter box while visiting the felines (a $5 donation to Homewood Trails Animal Rescue is required). At the end of the month, Crumbs & Whiskers will livestream the animals relieving themselves on the names of boyfriends and girlfriends past.
2100 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Bring a photo of your ex to destroy in a paper shredder at the bar of The Fairfax hotel, which is also pouring $5 drafts and wines for the holiday along with a fruity themed dessert called The Broken Heart.