We've got some totally non-cheesy suggestions on how you can actually have fun this February 14, regardless of your relationship status. Want to shout "Down with love!" at an over-the-top Anti-Valentine's Day party? Check. Want a festive shindig where significant others aren't SO significant? Check. We've even got an itinerary for those who just want to enjoy their own heart's desire. Who knows? 2013 might be the year you actually catch the love bug.
Grab some pals and get down at Chad America's annual Valentine's Day Rock & Roll Dance Party, a classic dance-fest that's been going strong at the Black Cat for 14 years. Even better? It's totally free.
When: Thursday, February 14, at 8 p.m.
Where: Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW; 202-667-4490.
Ten percent of the total sales from Benevolent Media's Loving Market pop-up will benefit organizations devoted to combating domestic violence and improving the lives of D.C. sex workers. The pop-up will offer apparel, jewelry, and discounted class passes for Epic Yoga; buy a $20 ticket to the cocktail reception afterward and enjoy small bites, drinks, and love songs.
When: Saturday, February 16. Pop-up from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; cocktail reception from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Epic Yoga, 1323 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-833-5914.
Cheese, handmade macarons from DC Patisserie, chocolate figs, and fancy bubbly sounds like a recipe for an amazing Valentine's Day, right? Head to Union Market for Righteous Cheese fromager Carolyn Stromberg's "Chocolate, Cheese and Baller Bubbly" class, where you'll sample four artisanal cheeses with four different glasses of Champagne and sparkling wine, along with unique chocolate treats.
When: Wednesday, February 13th at 7 p.m.
Where: Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE; 202-556-1866. Tickets are $69; advanced registration is required.
As part of the Freer Gallery's 17th annual Iranian Film Festival, film buffs will get to experience Iranian romantic comedy, a genre rarely seen outside of the country. We're curious to check out No Men Allowed, and see how it compares to the American rom-coms we know and love.
When: Friday, February 15, at 7 p.m.
Where: Freer Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW; 202-633-1000.
Photos: Courtesy of Soulcall Paul/Jocelyn Weiss, Righteous Cheese
For the Anti-Valentine's Day Crowd
Worried that you'll be surrounded by tons of shmoopy couples if you go out to dinner on Thursday? Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church is partnering with local restaurant forum Don Rockwell to host a special singles-only dinner party. For $40 per person, you'll feast on a four-course, V-Day themed menu from chef Will Artley, who recently competed on Food Network's Chopped this past fall.
When: Thursday, February 14, from 6-9 p.m.
Where: Pizzeria Orso, 400 South Maple Avenue, Falls Church; 703-226-3460.
For real talk about the highs and lows of romance, pick up a $25 ticket for SpeakeasyDC's Sucker for Love, the live storytelling organization's annual Valentine's-themed show. There are three performances this year, and Saturday's ticket price includes admission to Dance Place's annual dance party.
When: Thursday, February 14, through Saturday, February 16, at 8 p.m.
Where: Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE; 202-269-1600.
More brave souls are baring their true-love tales for the D.C. chapter of Mortified, a national performance series devoted to embarrassing childhood experiences. During Wednesday's Doomed Valentine's show, expect to simultaneously cringe and cry-laugh listening to stories about awkward love letters and disastrous high-school crushes.
When: Wednesday, February 13, at 7 p.m.
Where: Town Danceboutique, 2009 8th Street NW; 202-234-8696. Tickets are available online for $13.65 or $15 cash at the door.
Bar Pilar is shaking things up for it's traditional Anti-Valentine's Day party, adding a three- or four-course dinner for lovers, friends, and foodies in the upstairs dining room, complete with by-the-bottle wine specials. Downstairs, you'll find cocktail specials with lovelorn names like "Hemingway's Ex-Wife" and specials on wines by the glass. The oh-so-clever name for the party? Whined and Dined, alluding to diners upstairs and whiners downstairs. The first 100 guests will receive a "break-up" fortune cookie with a pithy one-liner inside.
When: Thursday, February 14.
Where: Bar Pilar, 1833 14th Street NW, 202-265-1751.
If burlesque is more your speed, Black Tassel Boolesque is putting on an off-kilter tribute to love with Black Heart Burlesque: An Anti-Valentine's Day Show.
When: Thursday, February 14, at 9 p.m.
Where: The Bier Baron Tavern, 1523 22nd Street NW; 202-293-1887. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door.
Washingtonian magazine is throwing a massive Singles Soiree/Anti-Valentine's Party on Thursday, bringing live music, a DJ, and a photobooth to Penn Social for the event. Tickets include two free drinks, appetizers, and giftbags — hopefully with swag from sponsor South Moon Under.
When: Thursday, February 14, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Penn Social, 801 E Street NW; 202-697-4900. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.
Photos: Courtesy of Pizzeria Orso, Mortified
For Some Self-Pampering
On Valentine's Day, get limber at a Pilates Barre evening class at Mind the Mat's new upstairs studio in Del Ray. Then settle in with some java and dessert to catch the end of Not So Modern Jazz Quartet's set at St. Elmo's Coffee Pub.
When: Thursday, February 14, at 7 p.m.
Where: Mind the Mat, 2214 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, 703-683-2228; St. Elmo's Coffee Pub, 2300 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, 703-739-9268.
Stop by Dupont Circle's ArtJamz painting studio and bar, where you can channel your creative energy into creating a masterpiece that'll liven up your apartment. A few friends and some glasses of wine will turn this into a serious party.
When: Thursday, February 14, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.
Where: ArtJamz, 1742 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-709-8078. Sessions are $35 per person.
The decor at three-story Russian eatery Mari Vanna is especially sweet and girly, with sparkly chandeliers, antique details, and cute tchotchkes everywhere. So, make this your spot for the ultimate girls' night out, with blinis and caviar for dinner, then dancing at the restaurant's upstairs disco.
Where: Mari Vanna, 1141 Connecticut Avenue NW; 202-783-7777.
Take a mini dessert tour in Georgetown as a Valentine's Day treat-to-self. Start by ordering a sacher torte or a napoleon at Cady's Alley Euro-chic mainstay, Kafe Leopold. Afterwards, pick up some fancy chocolates at J. Chocolatier or Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates to keep the indulgence train rolling.
Where: Kafe Leopold, 3315 M Street NW, 202-965-6005; J. Chocolatier, 1039 33rd Street NW, 202-333-4111; Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates, 3235 P Street NW, 202-465-4368.
Photos: Courtesy of ArtJamz, Mari Vanna/Travis Vaughn