February 2017 events in Northern Virginia include Valentine’s and President’s Day celebrations, restaurant deals, family fun, and more. Whether you love winter’s chill or can’t wait for warmer times, you’ll find fun local events to keep you entertained during our shortest month.
Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, Jan 30 – Feb 5
During Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week, more than 200 restaurants, including many in Northern Virginia, offer 3-course brunch or lunch for $22, and 3-course dinners for $35 (per person, beverage, tax and gratuity not included). Follow the link to search by cuisine and neighborhood or to check for your favorite dining spot.
Chocolate Lovers Festival, Fairfax, Feb 4 – 5
The annual Chocolate Lovers Festival returns to Fairfax with chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Begin the day with a pancake breakfast at the Fire House (8:00), then join in activities for all ages throughout the weekend. Highlights of the festival are the Taste of Chocolate, where you can view and taste (for a fee) chocolate concoctions at the Old Town Hall, and a new liquid chocolate tent. There are also activities, entertainment, and open houses at historic buildings throughout the downtown. Saturday 10:00 – 5:00; Sunday noon – 4:00.
Wolf Trap Guided Tours, Vienna, Feb 4 and 19
Stand on a world-class stage, learn how a theater runs, and get a sneak peek at where the stars get ready. Backstage tours at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts are limited to 30 participants. Feb 4 at 2:00 pm; Feb 19 at 11:00 am. Free.
John Carlyle’s 296th Birthday Celebration, Alexandria, Feb 4
Step back into the 18th century to commemorate the 296th birthday of Alexandria town founder, Col. John Carlyle. The historic Carlyle House will celebrate with enactors representing Col. Carlyle, his family and friends, and members of the First Virginia Regiment mingling with modern visitors at one of Alexandria’s finest and oldest houses. The event will include a special birthday treat. Free; noon – 4:00.
Maple Syrup Boil-Down, Colvin Run Mill, Feb 5 and 12
The sap is rising and the maple trees are tapped. Now it’s sugaring time. Bundle up, brave the weather, watch and learn as sap is boiled down into sweet syrup over an open fire. Sample the delicious combination of maple syrup over fresh baked cornbread, while supplies last. $5 per person, no reservations needed; noon – 2:00.
Super Bowl Sunday, Multiple Locations, Feb 5
If you’re looking to get out of the house and join in some Super Bowl viewing fun, Northern Virginia magazine has rounded up a list of game day celebrations.
Pop-Up Roller Rink, Leesburg, Feb 10 – 14
Grab your Valentine for a Skate Date in the Village. A free pop-up roller skating rink will be springing up in the Village at Leesburg over Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy merchant specials, surprise treats and a new spin on date night. Horse-drawn carriage rides will be available on Valentine’s Day, 4:00 – 9:00. Free; 1:00 – 9:00 daily, except Sunday to 5:00.
10th Annual Freezin for a Reason, Reston, Feb 11
The good folks of Reston and beyond will gather at Lake Anne Plaza for the 10th Annual Freezin for a Reason Virginia Polar Dip. The crowds are large, the costumes are crazy, and the cause is great. All funds benefit Camp Sunshine, a year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, and jumpers raise over $100,000 each year. The event opens at 12:30 with music, activities, and a warm-up, and the polar dip is at 2:00. Jumpers pledge a minimum of $100 for the chance to freeze, but the event is free to spectators (make a donation if you can).
Animal Sweetheart Dance, Hidden Pond Nature Center, Feb 11
Little ones can join in the fun with dancing, refreshments, crafts, and live animals to entertain at the annual Animal Sweetheart Dance. For children 3 – 6 years old; $8; 10:00 – noon.
Alexandria Restaurant Week, Alexandria, Feb 17 – 26
During Alexandria Restaurant Week more than 70 restaurants will offer a $35 three-course dinner for one, or a $35 dinner for two. In addition, more than 30 restaurants will offer $10, $15 or $20 per person lunch specials. Options from fine dining to casual favorites are located throughout the city. Follow the link to browse menus and book your reservation through OpenTable.
Astronomy Festival, Riverbend Park, Feb 18
Star-gazing through telescopes and ancient constellation stories around the campfire provide an evening of family fun at Riverbend Park. Other activities and games, plus hot chocolate and snacks available for purchase, add to the fun. The event, $6 online, $7 at the door, will be cancelled if it’s raining or snowing. 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Washington’s Birthday Weekend, Mount Vernon, Feb 18 – 20
Special activities will honor and celebrate George Washington all weekend long, with free admission on President’s Day, February 20th. Activities include dancing demonstrations, character performances, and birthday cake. 9:00 – 4:00 daily.
George Washington 285th Birthday, Colonial Beach, Feb 19
Celebrate George Washington’s 285th birthday where America’s Founding Father was born, the George Washington Birthplace National Monument on Virginia’s Northern Neck. A first person 18th century interpreter, James Cameron, will be portraying John Robinson, a free African American who knew and associated with most of the prominent Virginians of the time, including George Washington. Visitors will also enjoy period music and birthday cake. Free; 11:00 – 2:00.
George Washington Birthday Parade, Alexandria, Feb 20
Celebrate the 285th anniversary of George Washington’s birth at the nation’s largest George Washington Birthday parade. The one-mile route through the streets of Old Town Alexandria attracts nearly 3,500 participants and honors one of Alexandria’s favorite sons. Additional events throughout the month of February include a Cherry Challenge among Alexandria’s best restaurants, free admission to historic sites, popular walking tours, and an 18th-century banquet and ball. Parade is free; 1:00 – 3:00.
Free Entrance to National Parks, President’s Day, Feb 20
The US National Park Service is hosting 10 fee-free days in 2017, and President’s Day is the second Free Entrance Day of the year. It’s the perfect time to visit National Parks in the Northern Virginia area and save a few dollars in the process. George Washington surveyed Great Falls Parkas a young man, so that would be a fitting place to celebrate a President with no admission fee.
Family Day: African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space, Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, Feb 25
Celebrate the significant contributions African Americans have made to flight and space exploration despite the overwhelming obstacles they had to overcome. Enjoy presentations, hands-on activities, and stories. Learn about African American astronauts, pilots, and scientists of the past and present and their accomplishments. Free admission, $15.00 parking; 10:00 – 3:00.
Winter Life of Civil War Soldiers, Sky Meadows State Park, Feb 24 – 26
Wintertime for Civil War soldiers often meant a welcome break from combat, but long days in winter quarters and focus on organization and training. Experience this often overlooked, yet significant aspect of a soldier’s life as the Independent Volunteer Rifles recreate the winter of 1861-62 camp of instruction of the 40th Virginia Infantry. $5 park admission; 10:00 – 4:00.
30th annual Chocolates Galore & More, Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Feb 24
Indulge in rich chocolates, exquisite desserts and mouth-watering hors d’oeuvres from the DC region’s finest restaurants at this annual event, which is the largest fundraiser for Loudoun’s YMCA. Enjoy free-flowing champagne, a silent auction, dancing and a chance to pick your favorites for the People’s Choice awards. $50; 7:00 pm
LoCo Ale Trail FeBREWary Finale, Leesburg, Feb 25
Sample craft beer from 16 Loudoun breweries, meet with brewmasters and DC101 staff, enjoy music and local food trucks as Loudoun celebrates the LoCo Ale Trail– the largest craft beer trail for any county in Virginia. Each brewery will be pouring its version of this year’s LoCollaboration brew, a milk stout, as well as one of its own favorite brews. $40; noon – 3:00 or 4:00 – 7:00.
Dr Seuss’ Birthday Extravaganza, Hidden Oaks Nature Center, Feb 25
Naturalists share the tales of ‘Yertle the Turtle’, ‘Gertrude McFuzz’ and more and show that real woodland creatures share some of the same talents. Meet live animals and make crafts. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $7; 2:00 – 3:30.
Hollywood’s Biggest Night at Angelika Theater, Mosaic District, Feb 26
Want to join the glamour on Academy Award night? Dress in your finest and walk the red carpet at Angelika Theater’s Watch Party. You’ll enjoy gourmet concessions, contests, and prizes. Entry is free and first come first served, but there are only 300 places so arrive early. The fun begins at 7:00 pm.
Mardi Gras Parade and Ball 2016, Clarendon, Feb 28
The 18th Annual Clarendon Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is the largest in the DC area. The Mardi Gras Parade is a family-friendly event, with thousands of local residents and visitors lining the parade route along Wilson Boulevard from North Barton Street to Washington Boulevard. For the 2nd year the parade will be followed by a Mardi Gras Ball with live jazz and New Orleans-style food and contests. Free; 7:00 pm.
Ongoing Winter Fun
Didn’t find an event that suits your mood? Check out these other ideas for fabulous winter fun and romance.
- Take in a Sensational Virginia Winery View
- Visit A Local Ice Skating Rink
- Take a Winter Hike
- Escape on a Weekend Getaway
- Cozy Up on a Warm Winter Outing Close to Home
- Visit 5 Historic George Washington sites in Northern Virginia
- Shop at a Northern Virginia Winter Farmers Market
If you know another fun February 2017 event in Northern Virginia, let us know if the comments below. Wherever your month takes you we wish you a happy February 2017!
Featured photo credit: Tisara Photography