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Posted at 4:33 PM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Valentine's Day: Get by with a little help from your friends

By Lavanya Ramanathan

Painting is a noble -- and, thankfully, solitary -- pursuit at ArtJamz, making it a perfect destination for the Valentine's-averse. (Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

If you're single, even your regular haunts can feel off-limits on Valentine's Day, when couples wage a full-scale occupation of every booth and barstool in the city. Instead, grab five of your buddies and do something new.

The best way to avoid all PDA? Go somewhere the absence of romance is palpable and the group fun factor is high -- somewhere like the DIY art event, ArtJamz. The paint-drink-and-mingle parties give participants a canvas, a raw space to paint in and a perfect excuse to hit on -- ahem, appreciate the talents of -- your fellow artistes. Back-to-back ArtJamz events are slated for Feb. 11-12 at the yet-to-open Lincoln restaurant. Register here.

All you'll encounter on the D.C. Metro Chocolate Tours are "women and the men they bring with them," according to founder David Goldstein. Translation: They make a perfect girls' day out. On Valentine's weekend, the company is unveiling a new tour, one that takes you on down the tree-lined sidewalks of Georgetown in search of a sugar high. (Why are we predicting a cupcake pit-stop?) In all, three tours are offered Feb. 12-13; register here.

Would you rather do something that won't take weeks at the gym to burn off? Something warm? You could always spend the weekend playing a little black-light mini-golf, volleyball or going rock climbing indoors.

If you're a newly single, skip therapy and hit the Bottom Line's annual "Shred Your Ex and Find Your Next" bash on Feb. 12, which yes, gives you a chance to ceremonially destroy mementos of your ex, then meet someone who's also looking to upgrade.

On Valentine's Day, Speakeasy DC and Two Pear Productions are reviving last summer's Capital Fringe offering "Logic, Luck and Love," a game show of a storytelling event that features two men and two women each examining what makes us love -- and what makes us hightail it in the other direction. The audience takes sides, and you can bet it gets funny.

Wrap up your week with a little post-Valentine's bonding time with your besties. Get tickets now for what's sure to be total silliness at the AFI: It's hosting sing-along screenings of "Grease," complete with cheesy animated subtitles -- not that you'd ever forget the lyrics to "Hopelessly Devoted to You."

By Lavanya Ramanathan  | February 1, 2011; 4:33 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Valentine's Day 2011  
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