Things to Do

43 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Hasan Minhaj Stand-Up, Cupid’s Undie Run, and George Washington Birthday Parade

Plus, a Valentine's Day-themed trivia night at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Support artists at "A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show." Photograph by Bosa Lanova.

Happy Monday, DC!

Are you looking forward to the extended weekend? From Valentine’s Day date activities to Presidents’ Day celebrations, there’s an awesome variety of events to choose from this week.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

February 12-February 18

  1. Hasan Minhaj stand-up. The first three shows of all-star comedian Hasan Minhaj’s stand-up are sold out, but one more show was just added to The Anthem’s lineup. Watch the Netflix talk show host perform his satirical storytelling live (Sat, $53+, Wharf).
  2. Cupid’s Undie Run. This fun charity run returns to DC this weekend. Runners, walkers, and dancers can register to party in their underpants for a good cause. The Cupid Run begins with a jamboree at Union Stage, followed by a mile-long jog to help raise funds for those affected by genetic disorder Neurofibromatoses (Sat, $45+, Wharf).
  3. George Washington Birthday Parade. Spend Presidents’ Day in Old Town to mark the 275th anniversary of Alexandria’s founding and Washington’s birthday. The annual George Washington Birthday Parade is the oldest in America. The community will come together for a march through the streets to show some patriot spirit with drums, music, color guards, and more. There’s also a number of historic sites and museums open on the holiday for browsing (February 19, free, Alexandria).
  4. “Tempestuous Elements” play. Interested in local Black history? Arena Stage’s production of play Tempestuous Elements follows the life of activist and teacher Anna Julia Cooper, who fought for fair education at DC’s historic M Street School (Thurs through March 17, $56+, Southwest DC).
  5. “A Spectacular Black Girl Art Show.” Dive into the works of Black women artists at a pop-up art show held at University of Maryland’s Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. The touring exhibit spotlights paintings, sculptures, and digital installations, and the event also includes food, cocktails, a DJ, and live music (Sun, $30+, College Park).
  6. Tony Sands With a Live Big Band. If you’re hoping to have an intimate evening on the town for Valentine’s Day, consider getting tickets to see singer Tony Sands live at the Hamilton. The one-of-a-kind Frank Sinatra cover vocalist will be performing classics from Sinatra’s love song repertoire accompanied by a nine-piece big band. Tickets are selling out fast so we recommend snagging a pair soon (Wed, $15+, Downtown).
  7. Trivia Night: Crazy in Love. Love is in the air at Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The gallery’s first after-hours trivia event of the year features New Columbia Pub Quiz questions that are all about romance. You can compete to win a prize individually, or as a team, by testing your knowledge on love songs, relationships, and breakups (Tues, free, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery).
  8. Black History Month at Library of Congress. Take advantage of the Library’s after-hours program, which lets you explore rare books, prints, and photographs every Thursday night. This week, you can check out special Black History Month events like a concert from Rev. Robert B. Jones, Sr., and a discussion with poet Major Jackson (Thurs, free, but timed-entry passes are required, Library of Congress).

Want More Things to Do?

The New Thing, Washington, DC, 1960s.
“New Perspective on the New Thing” exhibit. Photograph by Tom Zetterstrom. Photograph courtesy of the Anacostia Community Museum/Smithsonian Institution.

Arts and culture:

  • Observe social justice-themed works in “Confluences: Intersectional Visions of Italy” by the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington and the Georgetown University Art Galleries (through April 7, free, Northwest DC).
  • Explore the new photography exhibit “New Perspective on the New Thing” about one of DC’s historic art spaces (through March 17, free, Northwest DC).
  • Dark fairytale author GennaRose Nethercott stops by Little District Books to sign her new novel Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart (Tues, free, Capitol Hill).
  • Filmmaker Ed Zwick talks with Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday about his new book, Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions (Wed, free, Northwest DC).
  • Golden-age romance movie Casablanca is showing at Angelika Pop-Up (Wed, $13, Union Market).
  • Ethiopian-American musician and cultural strategist Meklit Hadero hosts Movement, a show about artistry and migration (Thurs, $25, Silver Spring).
  • Eight artists are showcasing a limited-run collection of works inside a Petworth home to observe the complexities of home and family (Thurs-Sun, $12 suggested donation, Petworth).
  • Actor Billy Dee Williams visits MLK Library to discuss his new memoir What Have We Here? (Thurs, free, MLK Library).
  • Attend an artist talk at Zenith Gallery and learn about their latest exhibit, “Awareness: Through an African American Lens” (Sat, free, Northwest DC).



  • An expert discusses how psychology approaches unusual sexual behaviors at this Profs and Pints DC lecture (Tues, $14, Penn Quarter).
  • Have lunch at the Mount Vernon Library to hear a lecture from Philadelphia Museum of Art curator Carol Soltis about her project for State Department to research, authenticate and establish the provenance of a painting of George Washington (Tues, $30, Mount Vernon).
  • Don’t miss a Black History Month choral tribute to freedom leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Sun, $25+, Kennedy Center).
  • The House of Comedy & Jazz will host a Black-history-themed trivia game. Groups can compete for cash prizes, and there will be live music after the game (Sun, $25+, Annapolis).
  • Visit Mount Vernon for a complimentary day of Presidents’ Day activities and sightseeing (February 19, 22, free, Mount Vernon).


Theater and shows:

  • Experience the Shakespearean romance of Romeo & Juliet portrayed by Synetic Theater (through March 24, $35, Arlington).
  • Share your talent at Spit Dat open mic night (Mon, free, Penn Quarter).
  • Ain’t Too Proud narrates the legacy and music of Motown’s The Temptations (Tues-Sun, $45+, Kennedy Center).
  • Have A Date With John Waters for Valentine’s Day (Wed, $44+, Baltimore).
  • The Washington Ballet blends jazz with dance to pay homage to icons such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, and many more (Wed-Sun, $30+, Kennedy Center).


Music and concerts:

  • DC9 Nightclub features local punk quintet Loud Boyz for their 20th birthday celebration; while the show is sold out, tickets are available from third-party sellers (Mon, $20, U Street Corridor).
  • Award-winning songwriter Kevin Ross celebrates Valentine’s Day at The Birchmere (Wed, $65, Alexandria).
  • Deap Vally and Sloppy Jane rock out at Black Cat (Wed, $22+, Shaw).
  • Unwind after work at a free Valentine’s Day concert  (Wed, free, Union Stage).
  • Greg Pattillo plays the beatbox flute in concert with the U.S. Air Force Band (Thurs, free, Alexandria).
  • Listen to the soothing R&B melodies of Eric Roberson for Valentine’s Day (Wed, $39+, Kennedy Center).
  • Vocalist and poet Jamila Woods sings self-love melodies at Howard Theatre (Fri, $27+, Howard Theatre).
  • Go-go group Rare Essence play an all-ages concert (Sat, free, limited tickets available at the door, virtual, Kennedy Center).
  • Celebrate four years of Go-Go’s designation as “The Official Music of Washington, D.C.” at The Go-Go Honors (Sun, $100+, Southwest DC).


Bites and beverages:

  • Have a Galentine’s Drama Queen Dinner at Lyle with a special performance by Miss Leggs Benedict (Thurs, free entry, Dupont).
  • Travel back in time to the 1920s at Morris American Bar’s immersive speakeasy experience at Union Station (Sat, $65+, Union Station).


Get involved:

  • Party, eat from food trucks, and sip beverages from Lost Generation Brewing Company at the HAAPI Lunar New Year Celebration. The ticket proceeds will help support 1882 Foundation (Mon, $48, Chinatown).
  • Play a game of trivia at Whitlow’s to benefit Rural Dog Rescue (Sat, donations welcome, U Street corridor).


Things to do with kids:

  • Learn about space and science at NASA’s Unfold the Universe Youth Workshop (Wed, free, Greenbelt).
  • A bilingual Cinderella musical entertains kids at Imagination Stage (Thurs through April 7, $12+, Bethesda).
  • Celebrate the Capitals hockey team at Rock the Rink at The Wharf. Come dressed in your fan gear to earn discounted ice-skating admission (Sat, $13 admission, $8 skate rental, Wharf).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.