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Valentine’s Day is a big deal for a lot of people, while others like to pretend it doesn’t exist. If your wallet is hurting from the holidays, but you still want to make a splash with your bae on the most romantic night of the year, check out the following inexpensive and unexpected date ideas that will impress even the most skeptical Valentine in your life.


Make Your Own Card in Golden Triangle

February 9

If you’re going for a more low-key Valentine’s Day and just want to exchange cards with your sweetie, there’s nothing better than a handmade creation from the heart. Join the Golden Triangle Business Improvement District and their friends at Shop Made in DC for a free, drop-in card-making event led by a professional local artist. Put on your crafting hat and get to work on your very own collaged card for your significant other (or even just a special friend). While you work, sample wines from City Winery, a soon-to-open new establishment in Ivy City, and chocolates from Harper Macaw and Chocotenango. RSVP soon, because the first 30 participants to sign-up will get a free drink ticket for a glass of beer, wine, cider, or cocktail!



Go on a Run in Your Underwear

February 10

DC’s annual Cupid’s Undie Run is a fun and flirty way to spend Valentine’s Day whether you’re coupled up or want to go with a group of friends. The nation’s largest pantsless party is not only the sexiest jog you’ll ever go on—it’s also a fundraiser to help find a cure for neurofibromatosis. Kick off the event with drinks, dancing, and mingling with other participants, then get to steppin’! After the run, shake your booty on the dance floor and celebrate your victory.



Spot the Nudity at the American Art Museum

February 10-11

This is the sexiest scavenger hunt ever (and no, that’s not an oxymoron). The Smithsonian invites you to “take an unblushing look at nudity in art,” with pieces that include a tempting she-devil, a topless horsemen, a seductive Eve, and more. Use your smartphone to follow the clues and spot all the naughtiness in the American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. You’ll never look at a painting the same way again.


Listen to Other People’s Bad Date Stories

February 13

Even if you’re in a relationship, everyone knows that dating in DC is hard. This event is perfect for both couples and singles alike, because who doesn’t get a kick out of listening to others’ bad date stories? The show is part of a monthly storytelling series at Town Danceboutique that features a mix of first-time storytellers and regulars who take the stage to share their twist on the night’s theme with a seven-minute true story.

Learn the Art of Body Language

February 14

Haven’t you always wanted to know how to read someone just by looking at their face or how they cross their arms? This Valentine’s Day, a deceptive analysis expert will help you become fluent in the art of body language. Learn how to spot hidden emotions in facial expressions, the best way to convey that you’re interested in someone (or not), and even how to tell if your partner is lying to you. Arrive early, because before the show, you can enjoy a complimentary cocktail and sweet treats, have your lip print analyzed, and pick up a few basic lock-picking skills that can come in handy for things like, say, handcuffs.


Play Some Dirty, Sexy Trivia

February 14

This trivia night is rated R for raunchy, and it’s like none you’ve ever been to before. Come as a couple or a single ready to mingle and test your knowledge of all things sexy. You can even get a group together and form your own team, but be sure to come up with a hilariously inappropriate team name.


Tour Harper Macaw’s Chocolate Factory

Saturdays at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

Nothing says Valentine’s Day more than chocolates, so this year, take your boo on a tour of the Harper Macaw factory to learn about the chocolate-making process (and taste some of the sweet stuff yourself at the end). Tours are only $10 per person and last an hour, so you definitely get some bang for your buck (see what we did there?).

Go Ice Skating Outdoors

Various dates

Few things are more romantic than gliding hand-in-hand with your beloved around a winter wonderland. Take advantage of the many outdoor ice rinks DC has to offer by strapping on your skates and sharing a steamy cup of hot chocolate when you’re done. The fees are low (usually less than $10 for admission plus skate rentals), and you’ll be itching to warm up with your honey after a few laps around the rink.