Things to Do

Valentine’s Day, Cooking Workshops, and the Lunar New Year: Things to Do in DC, February 11-15

Plus: Getting gushy.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hey folks!

We’ve got cooking workshops, Valentine’s Day, and the Lunar New Year.

Learn about lie detectors from experts at a Spy Museum event.

Here’s what you should check out this holiday weekend:

Who do you trust?: So you’re in love. But how do you know if it’s real? Obviously, by learning how to spot a liar. The Spy Museum’s Valentine’s Day virtual happy hour will dig into the history of lie detection, from polygraphs to reading body language. It’s valuable knowledge, but let’s hope you never have to use it. Thursday 2/11 at 5 PM; Free, register here (required).

Make a spread: Impress your friends, family, or date with a DIY food board with help from a workshop hosted by Shop Made in DC. Taylor Kate Elkow of Buttercream & Burrata will lead two lessons this weekend with food kits you can pick up or get delivered. On Saturday, celebrate Galentine’s Day with a special brunch board (mimosas included); on Sunday, join Elkow for a Valentine’s themed charcuterie board workshop. Brunch: Saturday 2/13 at 2 PM; $100, buy tickets here. Charcuterie: Sunday 2/14 at 6 PM; $100, buy tickets here.

MIA: “Where Are the Women?” is an online education summit aimed at addressing the underrepresentation of women in American history curricula. From creators of the PBS series Unladylike 2020, the National Women’s History Museum, and other education organizations, the event features panel discussions, presentations, and interactive Q&As with professors and historians who are working to change the gender disparity in history classrooms. Saturday 2/13 at 1 PM; Free, watch it on YouTube here.

Cook with a pro: Chefstreams hosts virtual cooking classes with prominent chefs for foodies who want to up their cooking game. You get a grocery list and detailed recipes so you can cook and follow along as you watch. This month, there are three events spotlighting DC chefs. Learn how to make endive salad and roasted chicken with Matt Baker, the Michelin-starred chef behind Gravitas, this weekend. Later sessions will feature Nick Stefanelli of Masseria and Officina and Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit. Saturday 2/13 at 6 PM; $40, buy tickets here.

Date idea: If your typical date night includes dinner and a show, you can recreate it at home with a virtual classical concert from the National Philharmonic at Strathmore. In “Music That Feeds the Soul,” five chamber musicians will perform comfort-focused songs, including compositions by Eleanor Alberga, Johannes Brahms, and Rebecca Clarke. Pair the show with a special Valentine’s Day menu from Beuchert’s Saloon (must order by Friday 2/12 at 5 PM). Sunday 2/14 at 2 PM; Free, learn more here.

Get silly: Are you tired and overworked? You might be needing some playtime. (Yes, adults need it too—why else do you think I’ve been addicted to Among Us?) The local organization Let’s Play America is throwing a virtual Mid-Winter Play Day with events for all ages, including zumba, sock puppet-crafting, storytime (in English and Spanish), and karaoke. Sunday 2/14 from 1 PM to 5 PM; Free, learn more here.

Valentine’s Day: Looking for last-minute plans or gift ideas? We’ve got a guide to how to romantically celebrate Cupid’s favorite day around DC.

Lunar New Year: Ring in the Year of the Ox with crafts, food, and other fun virtual events this weekend.

Flying in style: Air Force One is getting a major upgrade. The jets that carry the president will soon be replaced to improve the security and technology of “the flying White House.” Go behind the scenes of the makeover with The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress, a new documentary from National Geographic, and see the big reveal. It will air on the National Geographic channel on Monday 2/15 at 10 PM.

In bloom: If you think cherry blossoms are overrated, there’s a different kind of flora that you can enjoy right now—Japanese plum trees. The pink flowers are blooming in the next few weeks and you won’t have to fight a crowd for a good ‘gram pic.

Something fun: 

Getting gushy.
Do you have any romantic (or decidedly non-romantic) plans this weekend? It’s tough to get into the Valentine’s Day mood in the midst of *gestures wildly* everything happening, so I went looking for some heartwarming inspiration in Washingtonian’s archives. Of course, we’ve got hilarious dating stories, like that time a guy scheduled six dates in the same night and they all found out about each other. (The women ditched him and got drinks together instead.) Last year, we published accounts of other nightmare dates and—it happens—genuine meet-cutes. We’ve also done sweet interviews with couples around DC who shared their first impressions and when the love bug hit. My favorite highlight is this proposal story from Jose Alberto Uclés and Tom Noll: “With iconic drag personality Ella Fitzgerald making the intros, I surprised Tom, ring in-hand, in front of friends and tons of strangers. The place went wild clapping and the DJ played Beyoncé’s ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ as everybody danced and we got bubbly.”

One of the most touching stories I’ve read is this 2018 longread about the young couple who fell in love after receiving heart transplants the same day. In their 20s, Taylor Givens and Collin Kobelja faced harrowing health complications that ultimately brought them together, and Susan Baer’s story beautifully illustrates how they overcame terrifying challenges to love and support each other. Love exists! I’m not crying, you’re crying. 

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at rcartagena@washingtonian.com.

Update: A previous version of this story mentioned that Congressman Jamie Raskin would participate in the Mid-Winter Play Day event. Though he was originally set to appear, he is no longer attending. 

Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.