WASHINGTON — It can be the best of times, it can be the worst of times.
Let’s face it — whether you’re planning something for your significant other, spending the day with other loved ones or just wallowing in your singleness this year, Valentine’s Day and the planning leading up to it can be stressful.
The typical dinner and movie is overplayed and overpriced. Staying in and binge-watching Netflix … humdrum.
Luckily, there are a host of Valentine’s Day activities in the D.C. area this year — and some that are not exclusively for those who are coupled up. Find some of the more uncommon ways to spend your Valentine’s Day with the gallery below.
For the bitterly single
Have you ever had a few drinks and cried while looking at photos of your ex? Me neither.
But for the rest of the folks who have, The SALLY at The Fairfax at Embassy Row has a great solution that will help “let the memory of your ex go to shreds.” Just don’t forget to bring your ex’s photos.
Single at The SALLY: Shred Your Ex runs from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Valentine’s Day and features a bar-top shredder for those dreaded ex-photos and offers $5 on-tap beers and wines. Anyone who orders two shared plates (no judgment if they’re both for you) will receive a complimentary dessert called “The Broken Heart.” Also featured: “The Heartbreaker” cocktail with prosecco, cherry liqueur, cherries and vodka.
Photo shows a seating area at the Sally at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. (Courtesy Jim Tetro)
Courtesy Jim Tetro
For the doughnut lover
Sometimes, fellas, flowers alone won’t fit the bill. If you’re looking for something sweeter for your sweetheart, District Doughnuts has partnered up with D.C.-area florist Ash to Oak for the perfect gift: a box of doughnuts wrapped in a beautiful ribbon, a personalized note and a flower or bouquet of flowers. The Box of Chocolates includes four chocolate doughnuts selected by Chef Christine while the Conversation Hearts Minis option is a dozen mini doughnuts with various glazes and topped with a colorful conversation heart topper.
Ash to Oak bouquets paired with a box of doughnuts are photographed. (Courtesy District Doughnut)
Courtesy District Doughnut
For the fearless lovers
“ My Bloody Valentine” event is a self-guided tour through Shocktober’s haunted, 32-room Paxton Manor in Leesburg, Virginia, during the weekend after Valentine’s Day. The theme? A Valentine’s Day Dance Massacre that is sure to spook you into your lover’s (or friends) arms. Leesburg-based Tarara Winery is partnering up with the event to produce the featured “My Bloody Valentine Wine.” The event benefits The Arc of Loudoun, a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities.
The event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 15 and 16.
Tickets are sold online or at the door. Discounted tickets are only available online.
(Courtesy Shocktober/Morgan Payne)
Courtesy Shocktober/Morgan Payne
For the happily single
Those celebrating Single Person’s Awareness Day will be happy to find the return of Lonely Heart’s Club to Hank’s Oyster Bar. It won’t be a pity party in the Dupont Circle bar and restaurant. In fact, patrons can write anonymous love letters to themselves (or others) on paper hearts that will be posted throughout the room. Continue the self-love with signature cocktails like “I’m the One,” “Vodka costs less than dinner for two,” “I tolerate you” and more.
Got leftover clothing from your ex? Bring them over to the party for a charitable donation to Martha’s Table.
Courtesy Hank’s Oyster Bar
For those in the mood to “Macarena”
Whether single or coupled up, DC Fray is hosting the dance party that will throw it all the way back to the 90s. The event’s website says it’s more than just a dance party, but an immersive show that will have “live performers navigating you through your own high school movie.” There will be a live DJ, a cash bar and appetizers.
The dance party kicks off at 7 p.m. at Saint Francis Hall. Get your tickets online.
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz, File)
For the deeply in love
Prince William County residents who are head over heels can ring in the wedding bells at the Historic Old Manassas Courthouse.
Located in Old Town Manassas, the courthouse is the fifth county courthouse and county seat in Prince William County. The courthouse and county seat were moved to Manassas in 1897 and the building was used as the county courthouse until 1982, according to Prince William’s County website.
President William Howard Taft stood on its ground to kick off the 1911 Peace Festival festivities, which marked the 50th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas.
Prince William County Clerk’s office will be performing weddings and vow renewals on Valentine’s Day. Couples wanting to schedule a time can contact the Public Service Center at 703-792-6036.
(Courtesy Prince William County)
(Courtesy Prince William County)
For the seeking singles
They say you shouldn’t rush love. But when Valentine’s Day is only a day away, what else is there to do than hit up a “ Find my Valentine” single’s party? Mr. Smith’s of Georgetown will be hosting such party at 6 p.m. Wednesday — just in time for you to find a date for the next day. The event’s website boasts more than 100 singles between the ages of 23 and 40 will be in attendance all ready to mingle at the piano bar. Hors d’oeuvres will make their rounds starting at 7 a.m. Tickets are only available online.
(Courtesy Mr. Smith of Georgetown)
Courtesy Mr. Smith's of Georgetown
For those who need to laugh it off
Awfully hilarious bad date stories link us all together in this lovely human experience.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12, eight brave individuals will grace the Black Cat stage to share some of their stories. The Valentine’s Day Storytelling Contest is hosted by Story District, which has been heralded as the “gold standard in storytelling” by The Washington Post. A separate performance on Valentine’s Day will take place in the Lincoln Theatre.
Tickets are still available online for the 9:45 p.m. showing.
For the artists
Grab your lover or your friend and get ready for the fifth annual Valentine’s Day Sip and Paint party. Derrick’s Paintbrush will host intermission games, music and painting. Drinks will be available for purchase. The event is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital in Southeast D.C.
Can’t make it on Valentine’s Day?
Kaleidoscope canvas will host a Sip and Paint on Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the purchase of a ticket also comes with a free glass of wine.