Things to do in the DC area: Valentine’s Day events, Mardi Gras … and more!

There’s so much to do in the D.C. area in the coming days, and WTOP has you covered with our weekly roundup of area events worth anticipating.

Check back every Thursday for a roundup of Things to do in the D.C. area.

Guests at the upcoming Profs & Pints “Love Lecture” will be able to discuss and learn about the philosophy of love, sex and friendship. Leading the lecture is Laura Papish, associate professor of philosophy at George Washington University, with the event spanning across two days, at Penn Social in D.C. on Monday, Feb. 12, and at Graduate Annapolis in Annapolis, Maryland, on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Papish told WTOP that the event should be relevant to both those in and out of relationships as well as those who even may be “anti-relationship.” The event will have two components: the first will involve discussion on the current conceptions of love, different types of love and how love is depicted in the media, while the second will incorporate philosophical resources into the discussion in order to gain some critical distance on perceptions of love.

Papish also told WTOP that there will be live musical segments during the event with her husband Chris playing the guitar.

Other local pro- and anti-Valentine’s events in the area can be found below.

First up, Story District is hosting “Sucker for Love” at Lincoln Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 10. For those in search of hilarious and heartfelt true stories about all things romance, don’t miss this storytelling event. Story District is also hosting “Worst Date Ever: A Valentine’s Day Contest” on Feb. 14 at the Howard Theatre, where local daters will share true stories about their worst dates.

Ahead of Valentine’s Day, get your shopping in order at the Whole Lotta Love market. On Sunday, Feb. 11, She Loves Me in D.C. is hosting a market that will include flash matching tattoos, a build-your-own earring bar and more.

Another market worth considering is the Valentine’s Day Vintage Market at The Midlands on Tuesday, Feb. 13. Shop till you drop with vintage clothing, accessories and home décor. This event is solely for those 21 and over.

George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, is also hosting a pop-up market with local artisans and makers. The event is on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

D.C. art space J Studio is hosting a Galentine’s Day-themed art making party on Sunday, Feb. 11. The studio will provide art supplies, including 3D-printed conversation hearts and optional resin finish. The event is BYOB. The same event on Friday, Feb. 16 is sold out.

Seeking more creative outlets? Shaw’s Tavern in D.C. is also hosting a candle-making Valentine’s Day-themed experience on Friday, Feb. 9.

For the National Portrait Gallery’s first trivia night of the year, the theme is all things love. The event on Tuesday, Feb. 13 is free, with registration encouraged.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Serenata in D.C. is asking guests to make Valentine’s Day cards that will be shared with the La Cosecha community. Those who participate will be able to enjoy happy hour pricing on a cocktail of one’s choice. For every card received, Serenata is donating $2 to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

If in search of anti-Valentine’s Day happenings, consider Arlington’s Museum of Contemporary Art event on Friday, Feb. 9, where guests will be able to write goodbye letters to exes and then burn the paper. DC Fray is also hosting a laid back anti-Valentine singles mixer on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

Here’s what else is happening in the D.C. area.


Awkward Sex … and the City
In this event on Friday, Feb. 9, taboo subjects are the sole subject of comedians who tell tales about their sex lives in a safe space (a.k.a., The Black Cat). Only those who are 21 and over are allowed in. Tickets cost $20.

Mardi Gras at The Wharf
With a parade, live music and food and drink specials offered, the good times will roll at a Mardi Gras celebration at The Wharf on Saturday, Feb. 10. The event starts at 3 p.m. with fireworks at 6:30 p.m.

Lunar New Year
To celebrate the Year of the Dragon, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is hosting a family-friendly Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday, Feb. 10, with music, crafts, demonstrations, lion dances and other performances. The event is free with registration encouraged.

Lundi Gras Party
For $15 per ticket, celebrate Mardi Gras a day early on Monday, Feb. 12, at St. Vincent Wine. This event will include hurricane cocktails, Creole gumbo, Mardi Gras beads and live music from Black Masala.


The Originals: All Native Comedy Night
As part of SPRUNG!, a five-day comedy festival, the Silver Spring Black Box in Silver Spring, Maryland, is hosting an evening of Native American comedians with a Q&A at the end. Tickets for the event on Thursday, Feb. 8, cost $30 for general admission.

“Hansel and Gretel” at Glen Echo Park
For family-friendly fun, the classic German fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel” is being performed using marionettes at the Puppet Co. Playhouse in Glen Echo, Maryland. There are several showtimes through February, including Feb. 8 through 11 and 15 through 18.

“Next to Normal” at Round House Theatre
Now extended through March 3, the “Next to Normal” production is running at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland. The Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical is about a “stressed-out overachiever” who is “about to snap” and an architect who is determined to keep everything “normal.” Listen to WTOP’s Jason Fraley speak with director Alan Paul.


African American Film Series
For Black History Month, the Ellen Coolidge Burke Branch Library in Alexandria, Virginia, is hosting a film series throughout the month. On Feb. 8, “Banker” is being screened, about two entrepreneurs in the 1960s who fight for housing integration and equal access to the American dream.

“Romeo and Juliet” at Synetic Theater
Synetic Theater in Arlington, Virginia, is hosting this Shakespeare classic, starting Feb. 9 and running through March 14. Tickets range from $35 to $65.

Mongolian Concert
On Feb. 9, enjoy the mesmerizing fusion of dance and music in this performance at Capital One Hall that celebrates Mongolian culture. The Tysons, Virginia, concert has tickets that start at $40 for this one-night-only event.

Tribute to The Beatles
This Saturday, Feb. 10, Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, will host a tribute to the first time The Beatles performed on American television. WTOP’s Jason Fraley has the deets.

Have an event you’d like featured in WTOP’s Things to do in the DC area weekly guide? Fill out this contact form to have your event considered.

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Michelle Goldchain

Michelle Goldchain’s reporting has focused primarily on the D.C. area, previously working as Editor of Curbed DC for Vox Media and Audience Growth & Engagement Editor for Washington City Paper. She is the author of "D.C. by Metro: A History & Guide.” She also reports for Artsplained on YouTube.

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