Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: LEGO Build, Silly Valentine's Fun & 15+ More Things to Do Around DC

A LEGO building competition, new stuff at the National Portrait Gallery and Valentine’s Day fun for all ages is on tap this weekend around D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

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Happy Super Bowl weekend to all who celebrate. Restaurants and sports bars across the region are getting ready to host watch parties and food deals — kickoff planning by checking out Where to Watch the Super Bowl Around DC.

Just in case the candy aisle didn't tip you off — it's almost Valentine's Day! Here are our ideas for over-the-top fancy dates and lovely free dates because, as the wise J.Lo said, love don't cost a thing.

Things to Do in Washington DC

Free pick — Abe Lincoln life-sized portrait (National Portrait Gallery): One of three known life-size portraits of the 16th president will be put on display starting Friday. You can see the 9-foot painting alongside a tactile display intended for those with vision impairments: a cast of Lincoln's hands and face.

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Through Saturday, Kennedy Center, $49): The modern dance company will return to the Kennedy Center from Feb. 7-12 with Ailey’s most famous composition, “Revelations.” The performance aims to celebrate the company’s rich history and bring people together through the power of dance.

Free pick — Free Bluegrass & $2 Beer All Night (Thursday, doors 6 p.m., Union Stage): Go for local bluegrass bands, stay for cheap beer.

Free pick — Portraits of Remarkable Black Women (Friday to Sept. 10, National Portrait Gallery): Beginning Feb. 10, the National Portrait Gallery will present all 75 portraits from Brian Lanker’s 1989 book project “I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.” Portrait subjects include Althea Gibson, Odetta, Cicely Tyson and Oprah Winfrey.

“The High Ground” at Arena Stage (Friday to April 2, Arena Stage, $82): More than a century after the Tulsa race massacre, this unexpected love story focuses on a Black soldier who stands at the top of Tulsa’s Standpipe Hill, watching the destruction take place below and dealing with the trauma afterward. The show will run until April at Arena Stage.

Cupid's Undie Run (Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., Union Stage, $45+): It's not every day you get to run about a mile through D.C. in your undies — and even rarer to do it for a good cause. The fun run benefits people coping with neurofibromatoses.

Free pick — DC Black History Film Festival (Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Alamo Drafthouse Cinema DC Bryant Street): Catch screenings of short films, then feature-length documentary "Bo Legs: Marvin Arrington, Sr., an Atlanta Story" starting at 5 p.m.

Free pick — Frederick Douglass Birthday Celebration (Saturday, 2-4 p.m., Capital Turnaround, free): The National Park Service marks the famous abolitionist’s birthday in fitting style with an oration contest, light-hearted debate and musical performances. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. for pre-program activities including live music from DC Strings, exhibitors and more.

Free pick — Rock the Rink at The Wharf (Saturday, 2-6 p.m., free): Catch the Caps game against the Bruins on a jumbotron starting at 3:30 p.m. Anyone who wears a Caps jersey can get $5 off ice skating — plus there will be giveaways for hockey fans.

Story District's Sucker for Love (Saturday, doors 6:30 p.m., the Lincoln Theatre, $25-$45): It's the storytelling group's 15th Valentine's Day special.

Mortified Doomed Valentine’s (Saturday, 8 p.m., Black Cat, $25): The Mortified podcast is all about embracing and laughing at your most embarrassing teen moments — what better time to do that than Valentine's?

Dacha Beer Garden Super Bowl Sunday Funday (Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., free entry): If you're looking for a doggy-filled Super Bowl watch party, you've found your match. Following a brunch happy hour with $5 mimosas (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and a puppy social hosted by District Dogs (1-3 p.m.), this outdoor beer garden in Shaw will show the big game. Food and drink specials from 6-9 p.m. include $5 Absolut vodka drinks, $14 boots of Dachnik and $1 wings. (Here are more Super Bowl Sunday watch parties and specials.)

Last chance — An Italian Impressionist in Paris: Giuseppe De Nittis (Though Sunday, The Phillips Collection)

Things to Do in Virginia

Free pick — Brick Factor LEGO® build competition (Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Springfield Town Center): Watch LEGO builders compete to become the Master Model Builder at LEGO® Discovery Center Washington, D.C. Kids will also have a chance to build their own creations, meet the Commanders’ mascot Major Tuddy and former Washington player Tim Hightower.

Sweet Honey in the Rock (Saturday, 7 p.m., The Aldean McLean Community Center, $30-$45): The Grammy-nominated ensemble group is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra plays Marvel’s “Black Panther” (Saturday, 8 p.m., The Music Center at Strathmore, $22.50-$70): Take a musical journey to Wakanda.

Free pick — Valentine's Day Festival (Saturday, 1-6 p.m., Shipgarten in McLean): You'll find live music, beer samples and a special cocktail menu at this kid- and dog-friendly outing.

Things to Do in Maryland

Love Thy Beer (Friday, 6 p.m., Silver Spring Civic Building 1, $20-$75): Winter ales and lagers are the stars of the show here. Sample dozens of Maryland-made beers while enjoying live music and light food.

Chouquette activities (Chouquette facility in Gaithersburg): Make your own chocolate treat or do a deep-dive chocolate class.

Men of Distinction Black History Step Showcase (Friday, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, $5): Bowie High School’s Men of Distinction will perform a step showcase to celebrate Black History Month. The show will include talents such as Xclusive step team, the Winter Guard and more.

Cupcake Decorating Class with Celebrity Chef Mr. Bake (Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Le Fantome Food Hall in Riverdale Park, $40): Kids can decorate some lovey-dovey Valentine's Day cupcakes. The earlier session is for kids 5-11, while bakers 12 and up are invited to the later session.

Free pick — Puppy Bowl Watch Party (Sunday, noon to 4 p.m., Bark Social North Bethesda): Bring your furry friend to watch the Puppy Bowl while howling over drinks, prizes and food. Don't miss the corgi race!

Make reservations now — Savor Bethesda Restaurant Week (Feb. 16 to 26): Grab $10, $20 and $35 dining deals at dozens of restaurants, including Caddies on Cordell, Cubano's, Dog Haus Biergarten, Momo Chicken and Grill, Pho Viet, PLANTA and Spanish Diner.

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