Love is love, but you don’t love your spouse, your child, your parent, or your pet in the same way. Valentine’s Day is the holiday to celebrate love, but it doesn’t just have to be romantic love (like how kids join in with giving valentines at school). If you’re spending Valentine’s Day with your kids, you may want to include them in the celebration even though they don’t have a romantic partner.
When you’re a partnered parent, it can be tough to find moments of romance with your partner any day of the year between diaper changes and whining about vegetables, but this is especially true with the pressure to have a lavish date on Valentine’s Day when babysitters are hard to find. Like with any holiday, you can make it your own. If a candlelit dinner isn’t in the cards, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate your family’s love, not just as a couple.
Make a garland, mobile, wreath, or card out of paper hearts, or adapt just about any craft to include the color red. There are endless Valentine’s Day crafts out there for any age that will let you have quality family time around the table.
Go out for a cooking class as a couple or a family or cook something all together in the kitchen at home. Either way, this is a fun activity that can be adapted to any age and makes meal prep a lot more fun than a usual day. Incorporate heart shapes into your meal, like a heart-shaped pizza!
Buy a fondue set or even a chocolate fountain in advance to break out for this holiday. It will feel like a special occasion with your new accessory. And you can turn anything red or pink with food coloring (like pancakes) and use cookie cutters to turn anything into hearts (like toast).
Have the kids serve you a meal
Have the kids play waiter and do it up with aprons and notepads at Chez Valentine’s. If you can’t go out for dinner as a couple, let your kids play restaurant and they’ll have fun acting fancy, and you and your partner can have that served dinner without a babysitter.
Let the kids give you both foot massages to pamper you, and you can paint their nails, too. You don’t have to go to the spa for some relaxation!
Ice skating is a classic date that also works as a family activity. February is a peak season for this pastime, and if your children are old enough to walk they may be ready to rent some skates and give it a try. It’s a nice way to get out of the house all together.
Watch family videos
If you have a wedding video, make a tradition of watching it each Valentine’s Day to remember the love that created your family. If you have home video clips on your phone, you could edit them to together to screen a mini movie of family memories for everyone to watch together.
Take a garden stroll
Do you have a park or botanical gardens near you? Take a family walk together to enjoy each other’s company and the beauty of nature around you. Maybe the kids can even run off to play within sight for you and your partner to have some quality time to talk while you walk.
Make a scrapbook
Take out some photos (or have prints made in time for Valentine’s Day) and reminisce over the memories as you paste them into a scrapbook together. Kids will love adding stickers or other embellishments to contribute.
With these Valentine’s Day ideas for parents, you can bring the whole family together. While date nights and couple time are important, you can always go out another time when reservations aren’t so hard to get. The love between all members of your family is all special, and your kids will love being included in the holiday they see being celebrated all around them with Cupid decorations and heart balloons. Let them know that love isn’t just about romance and couples, but that all love is special, including yours for them.
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