What’s more exciting than cracking open a box of chocolates? Partying with the whole family! (And then cracking open a box of chocolates.) Get your little loves in on the Valentine’s Day action by celebrating at joyful themed events. You’ll have a blast with heart-themed crafts, twirls across the dance floor, mountains of treats and much, much more. Scroll down for the sweetest happenings around town.

XOXO Playdate at Sod Room

photo: Sod Room / TK Photography


XOXO Valentine Playdate
Spend a glorious morning indulging your sweet tooth at the sweets table and playing alongside your cuties at Sod Room. Local artist Nora Balayti will be on hand to create a one-of-a-kind cartoon valentine of your little ones and TK Photography will host a pop-up studio to capture the love.

Sunday, February 8, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
$20 per adult & 1 child, $15 each additional child, $6 each additional adult
Sod Room
1454 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd Floor
South Loop
Online: sodroom.com

Make a Vase Party
Flowers are an essential ingredient in a perfect Valentine’s Day, so spend a special afternoon at the North Side art studio making a clay bud vase to house your sweet-smelling treat.

Sunday, February 1, 2-4 p.m.
$25 members, $30 non-members
Lillstreet Art Center
4401 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Online: lillstreet.com

Valentine’s Day Tea & Play Party
Come with pinkies up for a dazzling tea party accompanied by craft activities, cookie decorating, Valentine crafting and plenty of opportunities for exploration in Little Beans Cafe’s mini city-themed playspace.

Friday, February 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
$15 per child
Little Beans Cafe
1809 W. Webster Ave.
Lincoln Park
Online: littlebeanscafe.com


photo: Purple Monkey Playroom

Valentine’s Day Party With the Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland (a fabulously costumed entertainer from Lookingglass Friends Entertainment) plays host as you craft the night away with ample opportunities for playtime and stories with a side of snacks and pizza.

Friday, February 13, 6-7:30 p.m.
$25 per adult and 1 child, $10 each additional person
Purple Monkey Playroom
2040 N. Western Ave.
Online: purplemonkeyplayroom.com

Card-Making With Your Dolls
Girls 8 and up are invited to make a date with their American Girl doll creating handmade cards and matching envelopes using stickers and decorative paper.

February 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
American Girl Place
835 N. Michigan Ave.
Online: americangirl.com

Make-a-Mosaic Party
Pour your heart into creating a truly unique Valentine using handmade grout and fun mosaic elements, make cards and fill your tummies with refreshments. The art pros at Unicoi Art Studio show you how.

Saturday, February 14, 1-3 p.m.
$15 per project
Genesis Creative Center
2525 N. Elston Ave.
Online: unicoistudio.com


photo: Sweet Mandy B’s 


Cupcake Decorating Class
Your pint-sized chef will spend an hour learning to prepare and decorate a special Valentine cupcake to take home, show off and gift to their love (or gobble up themselves).

Monday, February 9 & Wednesday, February 11; 10:30-11:30 a.m. (ages 2-3), 3:30-4:30 p.m. (ages 4-10)
$20 per child
Sweet Mandy B’s
1208 W. Webster St.
Lincoln Park
Online: sweetmandybs.com

Cookie Decorating With a Big Buffet
Spend a day on the farm decorating heart-shaped cookies and hand-crafting Valentine’s Day cards at the Magnolia Bakery. Leave with your cookie beautifully packed, making a perfect gift for a loved one. Come early for breakfast or stay to lunch at the kid-friendly buffet. Fudge, truffles and taffy apples will also be available for purchase.

Saturday, February 14, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
$3 per card
Lambs Farm
14245 W. Rockland Rd.
Online: lambsfarm.org

Rabbit and Deer Still 3 photo: Facets Multimedia / Rabbit & Deer


Family Film Series: Best Buddies and Sweet Treats
Your little ones are probably still in the love-equals-cooties stage, so join indie movie house Facets Multimedia in celebrating friendship with animated short film stories about furry friends, tangoing cows and sweet cupcakes.

Saturday, February 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Facets Multimedia
1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Lincoln Park
Online: facets.org

Story Time in the Park
Love bugs ages 3-5 come ready to snuggle for story time, crafting and Valentine card creating. Share in a special sugary treat once the crafting is complete.

Thursday, February 12, 10-11 a.m.
$10 per child
Cantigny Park
1S151 Winfield Rd.
Online: cantigny.org


photo: I Love Nature Dance @ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum


I Love Nature! Valentine’s Day Dance
Get your heart racing on the dance floor and enjoy exclusive after-hours access to Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. There’s also dinner, mocktails and desserts. While you’re there, visit the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven and create Valentine’s Day accessories from green materials.

Saturday, February 7, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
$20 for children 4-18, $10 for children 3 and under, $40 for adult members, $45 for adult non-members
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Dr.
Lincoln Park
Online: naturemuseum.org

Enchanted Prince and Princesses Ball
Prince and Princess ages 2-6 from far and wide are invited by royal decree to don their fanciest attire for a night of dancing, games and fun.

Friday, February 6, 6:30-8 p.m.
$15 resident, $22 non-resident
Enchanted Prince and Princess Ball
Woodridge Community Center
2600 The Center Drive
Online: woodridgeparks.org

Daddy Daughter Dance 
Step out for an evening of daddies and daughters dancing cheek to chest.

Saturday, February 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
$10 per person
Sheil Park
3505 N. Southport Ave.
Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com


photo: Chicago Park District

Tots Valentine’s Dance With Inflatables
Boys and girls ages 3-5 are invited to dance their sillies out with music, games, inflatables, food and a boatload of fun.

Friday, February 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Skinner Park
1331 W. Monroe St.
West Loop
Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com

Valentine Disco Bash 
Break out your favorite Saturday Night Fever gear and show baby how to do the hustle. No worries, for those who’ve forgotten how to hustle: Disco lessons will be served up alongside light refreshments.

Saturday, February 14, 3-5 p.m.
$2 per person
Indian Boundary Park
2500 W. Lunt Ave.
West Ridge
Online: chicagoparkdistrict.com



Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation’s Be My Valentine Family Event
Get the ball rolling with a brunch buffet, then boogie to tunes from DJ Kareem, rock out with Little Miss Ann, make jewelry, enjoy a mini makeover and play arcade games. It’s family fun for a good cause.

Sun., February 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
$85 per adult, $65/child per child (in advance); $100 per adult, $80 per child (at the door)
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago Hotel
160 E. Pearson St.
Online: lynnsage.com

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day? Spread the word in the Comments below!

— Maria Barnes