February 2018 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.
February 2018 Events in Northern Virginia
Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week, Jan 26 – Feb 4
For 10 days and two weekends, more than 60 Alexandria restaurants offer a $35 three-course dinner or a $35 dinner for two during Alexandria Winter Restaurant Week. More than 30 restaurants will also offer lunch deals at $10, $15 or $20 per person in addition to the dinner specials.
Chocolate Lovers Festival, Fairfax, Feb 2 – 4
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 an evening liquid chocolate tent. There are also activities, entertainment, and open houses at historic buildings throughout the downtown. Saturday 10:00 – 7:00; Sunday noon – 4:00.
11th Annual Freezin for a Reason, Reston, Feb 3
The good folks of Reston and beyond will gather at Lake Anne Plaza for the 11th 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 12:00 with music, activities, and a warm-up, and the polar dip is at 2:00. All participants who raise at least $100 get an “I DID IT” event t-shirt. The event is free to spectators but make a donation if you can.
John Carlyle’s Birthday Celebration, Alexandria, Feb 4
Step back into the 18th century to commemorate the 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.
Super Bowl Watch Party, Tysons Biergarten, Feb 5
If you’re looking to get out of the house and join in some Super Bowl viewing fun, Tysons Biergarten is hosting a Super Bowl Watch Party featuring a Wing Eating Competition at half time. The Watch Part is free; $20 to register for the competition. 6:30 – 10:30.
Family Day: African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space, Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum, Feb 10
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.
Historic Occoquan Chocolate Walk, Occoquan, Feb 10
Sample chocolate goodies as you explore the streets and ships of this historic mill town. With over 35 shops participating this makes for the perfect pre-Valentine’s day afternoon. Guests can also register for a chance to win a necklace of fresh water dyed Chocolate Pearls. 11:00 – 4:00.
Chinese New Year Festival, Falls Church, Feb 10
The 11th annual Chinese New Year Festival features a day of live music, dragon and lion dances, children’s games and crafts, delicious Asian cuisine, Chinese language workshops, and the popular dragon parade. This year, students 12 and under will be invited on stage, reciting two ancient Chinese poems. Admission is free; 10:00 – 6:00.
Wolf Trap Guided Tours, Vienna, Feb 10 and 17
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 10 at 11:00 pm; Feb 17 at 2:00 am. Free.
Animal Sweetheart Dance, Hidden Pond Nature Center, Feb 10
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 – 5 years old; $8; 10:00 – noon.
Astronomy Nights, Riverbend Park, Feb 10 and 24
Meet at the visitor center at Riverbend Park to explore a variety of astronomy topics. End the evening around a campfire and roast marsh-mallows. The program runs from 5:00 to 7:00; $10 per person.
Maple Syrup Boil-Down, Colvin Run Mill, Feb 11
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.
Valentine’s Day, Feb 14
Not a specific event, but here are some of the romantic places we love in Virginia and Washington DC. Outdoors or in, classic or quirky, we’ve got ideas for a day of love and fun. 21 Romantic Places in Virginia and Washington DC
President’s Day Weekend, Feb 17 – 19
In addition to the special events listed below, the long President’s Day weekend is a great time to explore presidential history in Virginia. We’re lucky to have these Virginia Presidential Sites to Explore on President’s Day Weekend. In fact, these historic sites are worth visiting all year long.
Washington’s Birthday Weekend, Mount Vernon, Feb 17 – 19
Special activities honor and celebrate George Washington all weekend long, with free admission on President’s Day, February 19th. Activities include dancing demonstrations, character performances, and birthday cake. 9:00 – 4:00 daily.
Celebrate Chinese New Year at Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax, Feb 17 – 18
Celebrate the Year of the Dog at Fair Oaks 15th Annual Lunar New Year Festival. More than 200 performers will participate, representing such countries and regions as China, Korea, Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Polynesia, Tibet, and Turkey. The whole family will enjoy traditional Chinese dragon dances; music and international dance performances; martial arts demonstrations; children’s crafts; multi-cultural displays; and a special lantern festival. Free; 1:00 – 5:00 daily.
George Washington Birthday Parade, Alexandria, Feb 19
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.
George Washington 286th Birthday, Mount Vernon, Feb 22
Mount Vernon also celebrates George Washington’s actual birthday with free entry to his beloved estate. Join in special wreath laying ceremonies throughout the day. Enjoy a patriotic concert and observe a moving ceremony honoring new citizens. Join “General Washington” for a slice of birthday cake (while supplies last). This is a perfect opportunity to check out the new Be Washington interactive exhibit and the updated 4D Theater.
31st annual Chocolates Galore & More, Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Feb 23
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 – 11:00 pm.
Mardi Gras Parade and Ball 2016, Clarendon, Feb 13
The 19th 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. The parade will be followed by a Mardi Gras Ball with live jazz and New Orleans-style food and contests. The parade is free; follow the link to purchase tickets to the ball. 7:00 pm.
Ongoing February 2018 Winter Fun
With fewer festivals and big events going on, you may need to plan your own February 2018 winter fun. Here are some ideas for winter outings that offer brisk adventures or cozy escapes, depending on what the weather brings.
Take a Winter Hike, Various Locations
Unless we’ve had heavy snow or rain, winter is a great time to explore local trails. These winter hikes and strolls are enjoyable except when conditions are especially snowy or water-logged. A little snow on the ground is not a problem with most of these destinations, but wear good hiking boots and check ahead for inclement weather closures.
Take a Spin at a Local Ice Skating Rink
The return of chilly temps puts us in the mood for a wintery outing, and Northern Virginia ice skating rinks offer healthy winter fun for every age, whether you prefer to skate indoors or out. Each ice skating destination offers smooth ice, happy music, and nearby fun, so why not try them all?
Sometimes the cold weather curtails our desire for outdoor sports, but cabin fever pushes us to get out of the house. Whether you have kids along or not, we’ve rounded up a few warm winter outings that offer a change of scene close to home.
Winter cold puts a dent in our outdoor activities, but we still crave a beautiful view and a chance to commune with nature. One of our favorite options for a winter outing is to visit one of the many excellent Virginia wineries and soak up nature with a glass in hand.
Escape on a Weekend Getaway
We’ve rounded up two batches of overnight getaway lodging in and near Northern Virginia that offer a perfect respite from the winter doldrums. From historic inns, to comfy hotels, to a private mill house, we have options for every taste. Browse our lists to plan your perfect winter escape:
Whatever February 2018 events are on your list, we hope you’ll have time to explore and enjoy the Northern Virginia area. Know of more fun February 2018 events? Please share your tips in the comments below. Thanks and Happy 2018!
Featured photo credit: Tisara Photography