Free: Valentine's at Two Downtown Landmarks

Swing 'n dine at Grand Central Market or take a free tango lesson at Union Station on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

The evening of the fourteenth day of February shares much in common with its spiritual, or perhaps holidaytual, cousin, the final night of December.

The long, short, and whole truth of it? We stack a lot of expectations onto Valentine's Day, in the way that we can ask New Year's Eve to be the sparkliest, glitteriest, most memorable night of the year.

What's the answer, then, to finding a festive time, one that's slightly dressy and a touch swank, without stacking a whole load of tangly emotions onto the fraught-with-expectations occasion?

And all for free, too?

For Angelenos in 2017, that may be as simple as heading downtown. Both Grand Central Market and Union Station will feature heartsy happenings of the dance-filled sort, and they're pay-nothing deals, unless, of course, you want to buy some bites or sips.

The themes? Swing and tango, respectively.

Grand Central Market is the scene for straight-up swing dance, courtesy of Jonathan Stout and His Campus Five featuring Hilary Alexander, while live orchestra Tangótico will play at Union Station (and tango pros Carlos Barrionuevo and Mayte Valdes will perform).

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There's a free tango lesson, too, to enjoy, at 8 p.m. on Feb. 14 at Union Station. And as for Grand Central Market? It brims with bites, and several local eateries will features special Valentine's treats. (So show with cash.)

Call both events full of promise but devoid of those expectations that can cloud our most fancy holidays. That they're free, too, helps out on that end, so swan away, in Union Station's famous Ticketing Hall, or near Hill Street at Grand Central Market, on Valentine's night.

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