Valentine’s Day events for singles: At Dacha’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Party, you can take your frustrations out on a heart-shaped piñata, write a screed on the “Letters to Your Ex” wall or sip cocktails like the Stupid Cupid. (Bring your dog, because they make everything better.) “Not a Love Story, a Story About Love” takes over Jackie Lee’s with a Polaroid photo booth; crafting, including making origami flowers; an open mic for reading love poems or breakup letters; and a burlesque performance by Honi Harlow. Tickets ($25 for one person, $40 for two) include champagne and a chocolate-covered strawberry. Looking for love? Shopping for a date? The hilarious and sometimes awkward Pitch a Friend returns to Franklin Hall. Well-meaning people create “Shark Tank”-style three-minute pitches about why you, the public, should date their single friend, who then participates in a brief Q&A session. In between presentations, there’s music, drinks and a performance by drag king KC B. Yoncé. Tickets are $30. DJ Shea Van Horn of Mixtape spins dance music at Red Bear Brewing’s Valentine’s Bear Bust, a free party where there’s a $35 bottomless beer and cider option. Though longtime Black Cat and Showtime bartender Chad America swore that the 20th edition of Chad America’s Valentine’s Day Rock and Roll Dance Party would be the last, it’s back for a 21st year at Showtime. The stellar lineup of DJs, including Soul Call Paul, Mad Squirrel and Baby Alcatraz, spins doo-wop, ’60s girl groups, R&B and early rock with no cover.
If you need a Valentine’s Day drink: The Brewers Association of Maryland’s annual Love Thy Beer festival brings 28 craft breweries from across the state to the Silver Spring Civic Building for a night of unlimited sampling, including limited-edition “Cupid’s Curse” beers. Tickets are $55, or $75 for early-access VIP passes. The stellar menu at Maxwell Park has a “Return of the Mack” theme for February, featuring the Shaw wine bar’s favorite bottles from previous months. The varying pour sizes invite sharing, and because the wine bar doesn’t take reservations, everyone has an equal chance of getting seats. For fans of rare craft beer, ChurchKey’s Old Flames night is simply one of the deals of the year. Around 100 vintage bottles from the likes of Dogfish Head, the Bruery, Oxbow and Hoppin’ Frog are half-price all night long. The Guilty Pleasure beer and chocolate pairing at Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring is exactly what it sounds like: Order a flight of house-brewed beers and you can have them paired with a flight of chocolates from local chocolatier Zivaara. (This deal runs Thursday through Sunday.)
Saturday, Feb. 15
Frederick Douglass birthday celebration at various sites in Washington: Frederick Douglass is famed as an abolitionist and a crusader for racial equality, but his role as a supporter of women’s suffrage isn’t as well known. (For example: Douglass was one of only 32 men to sign the Declaration of Sentiments at the famous Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y.) Celebrate Douglass’s 202nd birthday with a look at suffrage, particularly the role played by African Americans, through actors portraying Douglass and Elizabeth Cady Stanton; family arts and crafts activities; tours of Douglass’s Anacostia home and the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument on Capitol Hill; performances; and guest speakers. The day kicks off with a ceremony at Anacostia High School at 10:15 a.m., and a shuttle bus will run between participating sites in Anacostia, beginning at noon. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
Bowie Symphonic: “Blackstar” at the Music Center at Strathmore: David Bowie died shortly after the 2016 release of his 25th and final album, “Blackstar,” so he never performed those haunting songs live. Conductor Evan Ziporyn is now offering fans a chance to hear his take on Bowie’s final work, a reworking of “Blackstar” as a cello concerto, which was released as an album on Jan. 10. Famed avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser will lead the Ambient Orchestra (featuring musicians from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music) through Ziporyn’s arrangement of “Blackstar,” in which Beiser’s cello alternates between filling the role of lead vocal and guitar. Given the jazzy, experimental nature of Bowie’s final work, it’s a fitting way to pay tribute to the otherworldly musician. 8 p.m. $29-$69.
Presidential Family Fun Day at the National Portrait Gallery: It’s a long weekend, and you’re looking to get the kids out of the house. The National Portrait Gallery teams up with friends for this year’s Presidential Family Fun Day in the Kogod Courtyard. Among the hands-on workshops and activities: President Lincoln’s Cottage will bring crafts, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will offer demonstrations, and the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents will pose for photos. Take a break from the music and dancing and head up to the “America’s Presidents” exhibition for special tours, trivia games and a story time inspired by Kehinde Wiley’s portrait of President Barack Obama. (While most activities take place only on Saturday, the story time takes place between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.) 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.
iLe at Ivy City Smokehouse: Puerto Rican songstress Ileana Mercedes Cabral Joglar got her start in the reggaeton family trio Calle 13, which racked up 21 Latin Grammys over a decade, thanks to biting social commentary that was as wise as it was danceable. Joglar set out on her own with 2017’s “iLevitable,” which won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album and demonstrated that her talents could stand on their own. The 30-year-old singer’s latest, “Almadura,” digs even deeper into transforming the traditional music of Latin American and the Caribbean into vital, funky anthems. 7 p.m. $25-$30.
DJ D-Nice at the Kennedy Center’s Club at Studio K: From his 1980s work with Boogie Down Productions through DJing this year Super Bowl and Essence Festival, D-Nice has a serious hip-hop résumé. Expect him to take you on a journey at the Kennedy Center’s free hip-hop dance party. (Arrive early, though, as space is limited.) 7:30 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Feb. 16
Amanda Shires at Sixth & I: Last year, singer and fiddle player Amanda Shires unveiled a project she’d been plotting since 2016: the Highwomen, her country supergroup with Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Natalie Hemby. This year, the Texas native is thinking about letting fans in on her creative process, releasing songs as she finishes them, rather than waiting to complete her next solo album. “I like the idea of having a living record as you go,” says Shires, who dropped the swirling, indie-rock-influenced single “Deciphering Dreams” last week. 7:30 p.m. $29.50-$35.
Chili cook-off at Midlands Beer Garden: A collection of fine establishments along Georgia Avenue NW will gather to see whose chili reigns supreme. This is the third year that restaurants and bars along this main drag will cook up their finest pot, with participants including Heat Da Spot, the soon-to-shutter DC Reynolds and NuVegan Cafe, as well as the host bar. All visitors have a chance to cast a vote for the best in show and make their voice heard — for example, whether you’re pro- or anti-bean. 2 to 4 p.m. Free.
Old Glory DC home opener at Cardinal Stadium at Catholic University: If you got hooked on rugby following Old Glory DC’s inaugural game last week in New Orleans — or even if you still don’t know what a scrum is — you’ll get a chance to see a whole showcase of the sport this weekend. Old Glory DC, Major League Rugby’s newest team, makes its home debut against the league’s two-time defending champion Seattle Seawolves at 3 p.m. But before that match, there will be two games played between four of the best women’s collegiate and amateur teams, starting at 11 a.m. Gates open at 11 a.m. $25-$160.
Eric Nam at the Fillmore Silver Spring: At the top of the last decade, Eric Nam headed to Seoul to compete on a Korean music competition show. Soon, the Atlanta-born son of Korean immigrants was abandoning a career as a consultant to embark on a career as a TV host, reality show participant and K-pop singer in his parents’ home country. Nam is now focused on his musical pursuits, releasing his first all-English album, “Before We Begin,” in November. Across the album, the 31-year-old’s gentle voice pairs nicely with anything pop, from dance tracks and teary-eyed ballads to rom-com anthems and R&B diversions. 8 p.m. $48.
Monday, Feb. 17
George Washington’s Birthday celebration at Mount Vernon: It’s only fitting that the biggest birthday bash for George Washington would take place at his own estate. During this annual celebration of the first president, admission to Mount Vernon is free for everyone. The day’s wide-ranging programming includes a ceremonial wreath laying at Washington’s tomb; syrup tastings; and a performance from the Old Guard Fife & Drum Corps. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
George Washington’s Birthday Celebration in Old Town Alexandria: Old Town Alexandria’s colonial character comes to the fore during its celebrations of George Washington. In addition to the country’s largest Washington-themed parade, which kicks off at 1 p.m., there are concerts in the Market Square, beginning at 11 a.m.; free tours of historic sites, including Gadsby’s Tavern and the Lyceum; and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution in the Old Presbyterian Meeting House’s churchyard. Don’t miss the specials at Old Town shops and bars: Murphy’s Irish pub will serve birthday cake with a toast at 3 p.m., and offer $2.88 Guinness from 3 to 7. Various times and locations. Free.
Profs & Pints at the Bier Baron Tavern: While some will spend the day celebrating one of our Founding Fathers, Denver Brunsman, associate professor of history at George Washington University and lecturer at Mount Vernon, will take the stage to extol the women in George Washington’s life. Brunsman will chronicle the influence and tales of those closest to Washington, including his mother, Mary Ball Washington — who reared George and five siblings alone — and those in the president’s inner circle, including socialite Elizabeth Willing Powel. 6 p.m. $12-$15.
Presidents’ Day Tour of the National Museum of Health and Medicine: The National Museum of Health and Medicine is one of D.C.’s more unusual museums — and the only one where you’re going to see a bullet that killed a president. Run by the Army, this Forest Glen museum traces the history of military medicine from the Revolutionary War through current conflicts in the Middle East, though some of its more memorable items have nothing to do with the Army, including the bullet that took Abraham Lincoln’s life. While the museum is open for self-guided tours throughout the year, it occasionally offers free docent-led tours of its collection. There’s no need to RSVP — just show up. 1 p.m. Free.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Rudi Greenberg and Chris Kelly