Valentine’s Day may be all about your sweetheart, but for kids, it’s all about sweets. Let your littles explore the world of baking, chocolate and cookie decorating this month with sugary events happening in restaurants, cooking schools and other tasty places across the city and ‘burbs. We promise love at first bite.

kids-table-baking

photo: The Kids’ Table Facebook page

The Kids’ Table V-Day Party
Wicker Park’s cooking school finds its way to kids’ hearts through their tummies. The proof is this bash, at which you and your sidekick can whip up a yummy, heart-shaped strawberry shortcake to celebrate the holiday of love. Pre-registration is required.

Thursday, February 13, from 2:30-3:30 p.m.
$25 per child
Ages 2-3
2337 W. North Ave.
Wicker Park
773-235-2664
Register online: kids-table.com

Pottery Barn Kids Cookie Decorating 
Shop around and then settle in for a fun morning of cookie decorating in partnership with Williams-Sonoma (you know they’ll bring the good stuff). Kids will use their imagination to create the ultimate edible masterpiece. Better snap a photo because we are pretty sure that masterpiece will quickly end up in their belly. RSVP is required.

Saturday, February 8, at 11 a.m.
Free
2111 N. Clybourn Ave.
Lincoln Park
773-525-8349
&
Oakbrook Center Mall
Oak Brook
630-368-0435
Online: potterybarnkids.com

chopping-block-dessert

photo: The Chopping Block / Susan Ryan Photography

The Chopping Block Kids’ Cooking Class: Valentine’s Treats
This cooking school is happy to indulge older chefs-in-training (ages 7-11) that are serious about sweets. They’ll learn skills, including measuring and mixing, then will create chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting — all from scratch. Pre-registration is required.

Saturday, February 8, from 3-4:15 p.m.
$30
222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza #107
River North
312-644-6360
Register online: thechoppingblock.net

Palmer House Hilton Family Baking Class
This luxurious historic hotel puts kids in the spotlight with its recently launched family baking series, which takes place in the pastry kitchen. For Valentine’s Day, the focus is its signature brownie. (Fun fact: Brownies were first created by a Palmer House chef at the request of Bertha Palmer for a snack at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893). You’ll get to take home what you bake, plus an extra bag of treats.

Saturday, February 8, from 2-3:30 p.m.
$20 per participant
7 E. Monroe St.
The Loop
RSVP required to 312-917-1738 or oscar.perez@hilton.com
Online: palmerhousehilton.com

heart-cookies

photo: ozmafan via Flickr creative commons

Wildfire Kids’ Valentine Cookie Class
Gather ’round for a few hours of baking, frosting and cookie decorating for a good cause. The restaurant’s chef will reveal tips and tricks to budding bakers. But the real icing on the cake is that a portion of the proceeds benefit Special Kids Network, a foundation of hope for kids with special needs.

Saturday, February 8, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
$15 per child
235 Parkway Dr.
Lincolnshire
847-279-7900
Online: wildfirerestaurant.com

Chicago Botanic Garden Hot Chocolate Weekend Family Class
Your kids certainly know that chocolate tastes good, but do they know where it came from? This session will explore the theme of hot chocolate and mix up concoctions that go back to ancient times. The family will learn how cacao beans turn into delicious desserts and kiddos even get to take home their own chocolate mint and chocolate pepper plant to experiment with at home.

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Saturday, February 1, from 9:30-11 a.m. & 1-2:30 p.m.
$22 per child
Ages 4-10 (adult must be present)
1000 Lake Cook Rd.
Glencoe
847-835-5440
Online: chicagobotanic.org

Kline Creek Farm Taffy Pulling Party
Experience what it was like to live on a farm in the 1890s at this DuPage Forest Preserve haven. You’ll tour a farmhouse from that era and learn how little ones whiled away the hours. Then, get gooey with molasses as you learn how to stretch and pull it into taffy. You get to take it home and share it … if you don’t gobble it up in the car.

Saturday, February 8 & 15, from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
$5 per participant
Ages 6 & up
1N600 County Farm Rd.
West Chicago
630-876-5900
Online: dupageforest.com

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Let us know in the Comments section below.

— Samantha Lande