A Happy Valentine’s Day can extend beyond you and your partner to become a family affair! We’re here to show you how to spend this heartfelt holiday with your little cupids in tow. From family bike rides and unicorn crafts to cooking classes and canoodling with camels, we’ve found a bushel of ways to express your love via family-friendly Valentine activities. Scroll down for the details.

If You Prefer to Go Out …

photo: Carrie P. via Yelp 

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!

Date: Feb. 10
Time: Starts at 6:30 a.m.
Cost: Varies

Tidelands Park
2000 Mullinix Dr.
Coronado, CA 92131
Online: valentinesday10k.com

Valentine’s Pop-Up Shop & Playdate
Come socialize, shop, & play at a Valentines Themed Playdate! There will be a Mommy & Me Art Project by Fillthatspace, Valentines Mini Photoshoots, 2 Usborne storytimes, & Childrens Yoga by Aloha Kids Yoga. There will also be sensory tables by Brander Blooms & Moms With Groms. This event is completely free, but if you’d like to purchase a Framed Mommy & Me Art Project, you can prepay at the door or use this link: https://bit.ly/2FzjWHp To reserve a spot for your mini shoot, please use this link: https://www.britmitchellphotography.com/events-1/pop-up-shop-play-date-valentines-mini-shoot Enjoy Mimosa specials for the moms and free cotton candy for the kids with food purchase! Please register so event organizers know how many kiddos are coming!

Date: Feb. 12
Time: 11-2
Event details: Click here.

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Valentine’s Whale Watching
Have a whale of a time on the ocean spotting whales and dolphins during Valentine week. Set sail aboard the 50-foot streamlined catamaran (that seats 45 people). Moreover, this catamaran is optimized for viewing marine animals with both a covered and open area as well as seating throughout.

Dates: Feb. 13, 15, 17 & 18
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Cost: $29/adult; $19/child, 3-12 years old; $10/child, 2 and under

Oceanside Adventures Luxury Cruises
256 Harbor Dr. South
Oceanside, CA 92054
Online: oceansidewhalewatching.com

photo: Mint Studio

Unicorn Valentine Craft at Mint Studio
Let your little sweeties get crafty making unicorn Valentine sticks and unicorn mason jars at Mint Studio. Young artists can sign their stick with a special love note. Even more, the adorable unicorn mason jar can hold the sticks or be used as a pencil holder at home.

Date: Feb. 10
Time: 4-5 p.m.
Cost: $22/child, 7-12 years old

The Forum at Carlsbad
1923 Calle Barcelona, #277
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Online: mintstudiosd.com

photo: Everyday California

BOGO Whale Watching Kayak Tour
Ocean-obsessed families will love this deal: Everyday California is running a special this week for Valentine’s Day that’s the perfect family-friendly way to celebrate love. From Mon.–Fri., Feb. 11-15, they’re offering BOGO on kayak bookings with the code “VDAY.” These kayak tours are timed with whale watching season and provide the perfect chance to see migrating grey whales up close with the whole family. In addition to whale watching, Everyday California hosts daily kayak tours and provides stand up paddle boarding and surf rentals—another great way to spend Valentine’s Day for the adventurous family.

Online: everydaycalifornia.com/collections/tours/products/whale-watching-tours

Valentine’s Day Library Story & Craft
Feel the love at the library with stories and activities. Your little cupid can create a heart card for someone special. Further, check the library near you for special Valentine’s events.

Date: Feb. 12
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Free; grades K-3

Dove Library
250 Carlsbad Village Dr.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Online: carlsbadca.gov

Mobile Heart Craft at Lakeshore Learning Store
Find love in the air when your little cupid makes this hanging heart mobile for your home. You can even sneak in shopping for a Valentine treat while your kiddo creates.

Date: Feb. 9
Time: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Cost: Free, ages 3 and older

Hazard Center
7510 Hazard Center Dr.
San Diego, CA 92069

San Marcos
702 Center Dr.
San Marcos, CA 92069
Online: lakeshorelearning.com

photo: Pretend City

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Pretend City
Pretend City has so many festive activities to celebrate this loving holiday. Little cherubs can build a heart tower or try their hand at a heart lacing craft. Moreover, stay for storytime where they’ll read the book If You’ll Be My Valentine and make a Valentine card for someone special.

Date: Feb. 14
Time: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: Museum admission

Pretend City Children’s Museum
29 Hubble
Irvine, CA 92618
Online: pretendcity.org

photo: kisss via pixabay

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 Disney’s 101 Dalmatians 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.

Date: Feb. 8–14
Cost: Varies
Online: visitoceanside.org

Family Fun Valentine Treats at Sur La Table
Get hands-on with your half-pint baking jam-filled hand pies and dipping cereal treats in melted chocolate. Plus, create from-scratch pizza dough for the festive heart-shaped pepperoni pies. The class is 2 and a half hours and filled with plenty of sweet fun.

Date: Feb. 14
Time: 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Cost: $49/person; ages 8 and older

Sur La Table
Various San Diego locations
surlatable.com

photo: Oasis Camel Dairy

Find Love at Oasis Camel Dairy Farm
Indulge your family’s love of animals at this local farm in Ramona. Over the weekend before Valentine’s Day, go see the camels, lambs, animal show, petting zoo and more. It’s a hearty and memorable adventure with the crew in tow.

Dates: Feb. 9 & 10
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Cost: $12/adult; $8/child, 4-14 years old; free for 3 years and under

Oasis Camel Dairy Farm
26757 Old Julian Highway
Ramona, CA 92065
Online: cameldairy.com

Valentine’s Day Card & Cookie Decorating at Little Italy Food Hall
Head to Little Italy Food Hall for some family fun the Sunday before Valentine’s Day. Enjoy heart-shaped cookie decorating from Frost Me Cafe and Bakery (while supplies last) and Valentine’s Day card-making from 2-4 p.m. on the Little Italy Food Hall patio. Bring your loved ones, create some cards with your kids and enjoy some delicious cocktails on the Piazza! This is a free event. No tickets required.

Date: Feb. 10
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Cost: Free

If You Prefer to Stay In…

photo: Travis Grossen 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). Your kids 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 for 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 offering.

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 end with a big hug for mom and dad.

— Ginger Anderson, Beth Shea and Nikki Walsh

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