D.C. Date Ideas and Things to Do in February

This is the last stretch of winter, just before the madness of March picks up! Let's have some February fun:

Growing up, I always loved seeing the girls at the auto shows... I actually wanted to be one myself! The Washington Auto Show wraps up at the Convention Center on February 4 before rolling out in style. Tickets are only $12. Fancy a ride?

Can you handle another Restaurant Week or nah? I'm totally game for the National Harbor Restaurant Week from February 4-10. Several restaurants will feature curated lunch and dinner menus for a prix fixe price. My date recommendation: Dinner at Fish by José Andrés or Voltaggio Brothers Steak House inside of the MGM Grand. Afterwards, let's get lucky two ways - at the slot machines and in the suite. 

I happened to be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras (and All-Star Weekend) last year, and I have been wishing I had booked a trip back for Fat Tuesday festivities this year. While it may be too late to make it down to the "Big Easy", there's fun to be had at The Wharf's Mardi Gras Extravaganza on February 13 from 6-8 - and it's totally free! Bead tossing and all.... dare me to take off my top? I'm not shy!
If you want to visit The Wharf before the Mardi Gras madness, put "Curling and Cocktails" on your calendar for February 12 from 7:30pm-9:30pm. While you're in the area on either or both nights, be sure to enjoy dinner at Requin or Del Mar de Fabio Trabocchi.

There's no shortage of events for beer lovers in D.C. year round, and this month is no exception. Check out the Love Thy Beer Winter Warmer Showcase at the Silver Spring Civic Center on February 16 from 6-10pm. Tickets include light refreshments, live music, and an unlimited sampling from a line up of brews that includes winter ales, cask ales, sours, and small batch beers.
Are you team #RoséAllDay? 50 Shades of Rosé on February 16 & 17 is just the right place for you - no safe word necessary.

Brunch is hands down the best meal of any day! It's only appropriate that it gets its own festival. Brunch-fest is at Union Market in Northeast D.C. from 11am-3pm. Tickets are all-inclusive, all-you-can-taste, with a souvenir glass included! It's all good if you miss it: we could always head to the Boozy Brunch Show hosted by Bobby McKey's Dueling Piano Bar at the National Harbor on February 18th from 12:30pm-3:30pm. Can't make either? Well, there's a wait (like any good brunch): Brunch-Fest will be back in Baltimore on September 15.

The Wizards haven't been having too much luck lately with John Wall injured. They spend a lot of time on the road this month, but there are some great match-ups at home in the Capital One Arena (still sounds weird) on schedule for possible redemption. The Boston Celtics are here on February 8 and Golden State on February 28. In contrast, The Capitals are again dominating the division and have some interesting face-offs with Detroit on February 11, Buffalo on February 24, and Ottawa on February 27.
Although the Redskins have long been out of the picture this winter as far as D.C. sports - the best thing about having so many top tier teams is that when one is done... another is just beginning! The Nationals preseason kicks off on February 23. On February 25 & 27 they will host the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins at home, respectively.

The performing arts scene continues to thrive, which is one of the things that makes this last stretch of cold weather bearable. Hamlet, a classic that is great on any stage, will be at the Shakespeare Theatre Company until March 4. Over at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Familiar tells the story of an immigrant Zimbabwean family in Minnesota as they prepare for the wedding of their eldest daughter. To set the stage for the perfectly artsy date, grab dinner and head to the Woolly Mammoth Theatre's 8:00pm show of the play on Valentine's Day for a free dessert and a glass of champagne. 

As the American Ballet Theatre wraps up its enchanting performance of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream (February 1 - 4), the incomparable Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater begins its annual appearance at the Kennedy Center from February 6 - 11. Meanwhile, Hannu Lintu and Kirill Gerstein perform beautifully in Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto and Tchaikovsky's The Tempest. The NSO Pops this month is something to really be excited about: West Side Story is in the concert hall from February 14 - 17! 
Joe Biden will stop by The Anthem on February 6 to have a conversation with D.C. on his American Promise Tour; later in the month, Tyler the Creator takes over the concert venue with Vince Staples (February 25). At The Improv, Godfrey brings the funny from February 8 - 11 (and he's very funny LOL), as well as Ali Siddiq from February 15 - 18. Two of my favorites are at Blues Alley this month: Kim Waters from February 22 - 25 and Kendra Foster on February 28.

The Renwick Gallery has an immensely interesting exhibition at the moment entitled Parallax Gap, where structures have been suspended from the ceiling to create perspective illusions. Meanwhile, the Hirshorn Museum asks the question, "What does absence look like?" - and artists answer with over 70 works spanning more than seven decades. The exhibit runs alongside the debut of Pickett's Charge by Mark Bradford.