What are you doing this weekend? We offer you a starting point:
FRIDAY, FEB. 17:
- Enjoy an evening of the French Short Film Festival at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens (4155 Linnean Ave. NW). Go early to explore the mansion and French art (5:30-6:30 p.m.) before catching three French shorts. Call 202-686-5807 for reservations. 6:30 p.m.
- In "Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom," Rebecca MacKinnon discusses the political, personal and economic opportunities made possible by social media, and urges caution against restrictions on digital freedom. She discusses her book at Politics & Prose (5015 Connecticut Ave. NW). 6 p.m.; event free; book is 20 percent off $26.99 during February.
- Discovery Station's Titanic Casino Night includes a black jack, craps, roulette, board games and more, plus heavy hors d'oeuvres and featured beverages. You'll also find a 50/50 cash raffle, and silent and live auctions. It's happening at the Homewood Suites by Hilton (1650 Pullman Lane, Hagerstown, Md.) to benefit Discovery Station, which has a popular Titanic exhibit. 6-10 p.m.; $35 in advance; $40 at the door. Admission includes $25 in "funny money" to use for silent auction items. More info here (PDF).
SATURDAY, FEB. 18:
- Part 1 of the AMC Best Picture Showcase returns this weekend. Catch four of the nominees for the Best Picture Academy Award: "War Horse," "Moneyball," "The Tree of Life" and "The Descendants" in one bleary-eyed day. Four theaters (two in Virginia; two in Maryland) host. $30 one-day pass for four films; order tickets here.
- The Virginia Wine Showcase brings 300+ wines from all over the Commonwealth to the Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Va.). You'll also find culinary seminars, chocolate pairings, and food tastings. Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; $25 before Feb. 17 at midnight; $30 after; free parking in the Crystal City Shops Underground.
- Tudor Place (1644 31st St. NW) was home to six generations of one family -- and also to both free and enslaved workers. A tour, Out of Sight: Life and Works of Enslaved and Domestic Servants, reveals the history of the home's workers from 1816 to the modern day, with personal stories and tours of rooms. 10:30 a.m.; $10.
SUNDAY, FEB. 19:
- If you ever wanted an excuse to be a little sloshed in the a.m., The Big Hunt (1345 Connecticut Ave. NW) and DCBeer will make your morning. The two are teaming up to sponsor a series of beer education (beer-ducation?) events, including High Tea at the Hunt: An Introduction to Breakfast Stouts. Learn about breakfast stouts and what to look for when tasting a beer. Indulge in five different stouts and their pairings, including being Founders (a breakfast stout) with a Crunkcakes breakfast stout cupcake with maple bourbon frosting and chocolate bacon crumble. 3-5 p.m.; $30.
- You’ve heard of the Grammys, but what about the Wammies? The 26th Annual Washington Area Music Awards are being held at State Theatre (220 N. Washington St., Falls Church). Join as they acknowledge DMV musicians and their career achievements. 8 p.m.; $35.
- Go play real-life "Clue," Big Easy-style, during Murder at Mardi Gras: A Masked Murderer Unveiled! The annual Krewe of Midas Masquerade Ball is a "mix and mingle" mystery event at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE). Each attendee will have a character and clues to share with other guests, because the Krewe of Midas’ King Pierre DuPre has been strangled with a set of Mardi Gras beads. Go undiscover the truth about his demise! 5-8 p.m.; $20; cash bar. Call 202-544-1059 to order tickets.
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