10 Ideas to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Kids

Valentine's Day is less than two weeks away.  Before kids, my husband and I  usually celebrated with dinner out followed by a few drinks at our favorite watering hole.  Now that we're raising three boys and have busier schedules it's difficult to find time to get away as a couple.  February 14 also happens to be Ash Wednesday this year so our family will kick off the Lenten season at Mass.  To make the best of our time together, here's a list of ten ideas to celebrate Valentine's Day with kids:

1.  Living Room Picnic

Get out the blankets, plastic champagne glasses, pink and red paper plates and have dinner on the floor.  Involve the kids in the meal planning.  My boys love cheese and crackers, grapes and strawberries and sandwiches cut into heart shapes.  Sparkling white grape juice is usually the beverage choice in case of spills.

2.  Pajama Dance Party

My kids love nothing more than a pajama dance party.  My oldest is usually the DJ and my middle loves to trick his dad into doing silly dance moves. I've taught them the Macarena.  They showed us how to Floss (Yes, that's what it's called, and it takes a heck of a lot of coordination.):



My favorite part of our dance parties is when my littlest tries to mimic his brothers. They tried to teach him how to twerk!  We laughed so hard our stomachs hurt.

3. Dress Nerdy and Go Bowling

I think this would be hilarious.  Put on the dorkiest outfit you own, style your hair in a crazy way, don some nerdy glasses (we have some from Halloween costumes over the years) and hit the bowling alley.  The reactions from the other bowlers would be priceless!  I'm still trying to convince the Huz to do this, but my kids are all for it!

4.  Fondue Night

Our local buffet place has a chocolate fountain and my boys think it's the best invention ever.  They got a kick out of dipping marshmallows and fruit into the delicious milk chocolate.  Why not recreate this at home?  You don't need a fancy fondue pot if you've got a slow cooker.  All you need is a pound of chocolate chips, heavy cream, milk, vanilla and of course, dippers!  We love using marshmallows, pretzels, strawberries, chunks of Rice Krispy treats and Teddy Grahams (graham crackers). Check out my favorite fondue recipe here.

5.  Black Out Night

That's right...no electronic devices allowed.  In a world that is constantly connected to social media, email, and texts, sometimes it's necessary to unplug so you can connect with the ones you love. Look at old pictures and photo albums together.  Read a book as a family.  Make a family bucket list.  The options are endless!  

6.  Build a Fire and Roast Marshmallows

Who says s'mores are only for summer?  If you've got a wood-burning fireplace you're all set!  Not only do we toast marshmallows, but the boys love getting out the metal skewers and roasting hot dogs, too!  

7.  Family Game Night

Playing board games is a wonderful way to spend unhurried time together and we love friendly competition. Our favorites to play are Farkle, Yahtzee, Spoons, Uno, Cranium, and Monopoly.  Of course, we have to throw in Candyland for the little one!  The boys love seeing Mom and Dad get their butts kicked, too!

8.  Video Game Night

We try to limit how much screen time our boys have during the week.  We've got a Wii and an Xbox and they'd play all day and night if we let them.  Every so often the Huz and I will challenge the kids to a Wii bowling or ping pong match.  It's a great way to connect and get them off their butts!  

9.  Family Craft Night

Last year I asked the boys to help me decorate the house for Valentine's Day.  They had the best time making paper chains with red, white and pink construction paper.  My middle child also asked to use my Cricut machine to cut out hearts and words to assemble homemade valentines. The oldest took it a step further and suggested writing five things we love about each other.  They melt my heart. This year we'd like to try making birdseed hearts!  

10. Pizza Night

It's easy to order pizza from a local restaurant, but why not make your own?  I bought a few mini pizza stones a year ago and the boys love making their own pizza crust.  They load them up with cheese and their favorite toppings and last year we managed to roll the dough into a heart shape. My youngest insists on being in charge of the measuring cups and is usually covered in flour by the end of the night, but their pizza creations are delicious! 

Whatever you do on Valentine's Day we hope it's filled with lots of fun and lots of love!  How do you plan to celebrate?

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