photo: Pixabay

Quiet candlelit dinners may be a thing of the past, but love has multiplied since your cherubs entered the picture and we’re telling you where to enjoy Valentine’s Day-themed events and activities as a family. Whether you want to hit the town and spread that lovin’ feeling, or you want to put more love in the air at home, read on for festivities that will be a bullseye for your little cupids.

If You Prefer to Go Out …

photo: Mint Studio

Mint Studio
Mint Studio has so many lovely Valentine-themed events to look forward to. Check their February calendar so you can save the dates––and note that the fun starts as early as Feb. 4th! Events include making Valentines for Meals on Wheels, a mother/daughter matching jewelry workshop, making Valentine’s Day flower arrangements, a father/child date to make flowers for mom, DIY Valentine’s Day boxes, gifts and cards, a kid’s Valentine’s Day party, a date night event where kids can craft and eat at Mint Studio while parents go out––and more!

online: mintstudiosd.com/February event calendar

photo: Visit Oceanside Conference & Visitors Bureau

Oceanside Valentine’s Week
The city of Oceanside celebrates Valentine’s Day in a big way with a full week of fun. One of the highlights is the enormous 25-foot heart-shaped balloon that will be making appearances at the love-centric events which include: a showing of Beauty and the Beast at the Movie by the Pier, horse and carriage rides, a beachside Ferris wheel ride, a Valentine Family Fun Bike Ride and more! Click here for additional event details, times and locations.

Feb. 8 – 14
Cost: Varies

Various locales throughout Oceanside
online: visitoceanside.org/oceanside-valentine-week/

photo: Sweet Petite Confections

Make Sweets for Your Sweetheart Chocolate Making Class
Sweet Petite Confections is celebrating the day of love and friendship with a “Make Sweets for Your Sweetheart!” themed chocolate making class. Secure your spot at this reservations-only class to learn the art of making fantastically flavored chocolates and bark over the course of two hours while creating nearly 1.5 pounds of confections. During this class, students will create a tray of filled chocolates with guest-favorite flavors like salted caramel and peanut butter cup as well as cabernet caramel and spicy serrano ganache made by chocolatier Michelle Lomelin. Students will also select from more than two dozen ingredients as they personalize a chocolate bark – with options including freeze dried raspberries and strawberries alongside savory pretzels, potato chips, nuts, candied bacon and more! Parent-child teams are welcome to attend!

Feb. 10th 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Cost: $40

Sweet Petite Confections Shop
3582 A Mt Acadia Blvd.
San Diego, Ca
online: sweetpetiteconfections.com


Coronado Valentine’s Day 10K, 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run
Enjoy San Diego’s most scenic run in beautiful Coronado. Start at Tidelands Park and run under the Coronado Bay Bridge and along Glorietta Boulevard. The Valentine’s Day Run on Coronado has a 10K, 5K and 1 mile fun run. The post race party will be held at McP’s Irish Pub and Grill located at 1107 Orange Ave. in Coronado. After the race, stop by to enjoy breakfast and cold beer!

Feb. 11th 6:30 a.m.

Cost: Varies

Tidelands Park
2000 Mullinix Dr.
Coronado, Ca
online: www.valentinesday10k.com

photo: Birch Aquarium

SEA Days: Ocean Love at Birch Aquarium
Just after Valentine’s Day you can keep feeling the love at the SEA Days event at Birch Aquarium. Discover Science, Exploration & Adventure. Love is in the air – and the ocean – this month. It’s the time of year when whales are calving, birds are nesting, and fish are spawning. Join in the fun to learn about ocean “love” from experts at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Feb. 17th, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cost: Included with admission $14/kids; $18.50/adults

2300 Expedition Way
La Jolla, Ca 92037
Open 9—5 Daily
online: aquarium.ucsd.edu

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Pretend City
Pretend City has so many festive activities to celebrate this loving holiday. Little cherubs can play pin the arrow on the heart or participate in an art studio session with the theme Hearts, Cupids, and Roses – oh my! to learn about the symbols that represent Valentine’s Day. Story time will feature the book The Kissing Hand and kids will get a heart on their hand to remind them that their family’s love is with them always.

Feb 14th 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost: Included with museum admission.

Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble
Irvine, Ca
online: www.pretendcity.org/event/celebrate-valentines-day-4

If You Prefer to Stay In…

photo: Laura Ockel via Unsplash

Serve Up A Themed Meal
A four-course, special meal… with kids? Why not! Break out the fancy china and candles and create a memorable meal at home for the whole family. Make it festive by serving only red foods for dinner (pasta, tomato soup, berries, steak). Your children will undoubtedly feel loved by being included in this grown-up experience.

A Love Note … or 25
Surprise your loved ones the morning of Valentine’s Day with personalized notes hidden all over their room, each one with a short snippet on why you love them and are thankful for them. Tape them to the door, roll notes in socks, hide them in pants pockets and stick a few in fun places like their hairbrush.

Spread Love Around the Neighborhood
After you shower your family with love, encourage them to do the same to others. Give each person a supply of red or pink flowers, and have them pick people to give a single flower to. Neighbors, their teacher, a friend’s mom, senior citizen or grandparent will all blush when given this thoughtful item.

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Scavenger Hunt
For a low-budget yet big impact idea, plan a scavenger hunt for your kids to follow clues to a small treat or token. Local blogger Rachael from Adventures in Wunderland does this each year for her kids, and has done all the work for you by offering the clues for download on her blog. Your kids will have to think a bit as they follow hints from the dining room to the kitchen and then ending with a big hug for mom and dad.

How do you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family? Share with us in the comments!

— Ginger Anderson and Beth Shea

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