Originally Published 1.31.2011

You deserve some time alone with your honey–why not make Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse? Just a couple of hours without the kids can bring you closer, and you’ll remember why date nights are so important. If you’re flying single this year, gather some friends for dinner and come back to the little ones feeling refreshed. Here are some venues offering drop-off child care on the weekend before Valentine’s Day and the day itself, making Valentine romance and renewal possible.

Valentine Kids’ Night Out at the Exploratorium
Your museum membership comes with its perks, including the chance to send up to 4 kids age 5 and older to a fun-filled night at the San Francisco museum while you follow through on those special Valentine’s weekend dinner reservations. Kids will have four-and-a-half hours to enjoy both supervised group activities and free play, while their parents get four-and-a-half hours to gallivant around town. The cost is $40 per child, plus $25 for each additional child under the same membership. Add $5 extra per child for a pizza dinner. Don’t forget to sign up by February 9 to reserve your spot for this February 12th event. Located at 3601 Lyon Street in San Francisco. Read more.


Romantic Parents’ Night Out, courtesy of Habitot
You don’t need a membership to send your kids on a night of exploration, studio art, circle time, and storytelling at Habitot Children’s Museum in Berkeley. The museum is hosting a special Parents’ Night Out on Monday, February 14, in addition to their 4th Fridays sitting. It’s four hours, so with careful planning, you can catch both dinner and a movie between 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and pay just $30 per child you drop off. (Siblings get a discount price of $20) The cost covers pizza, juice, and water, and a qualified caregiver for every six kids age 2 to 7. (Younger kids will be considered if their sibling is present.) Book your reservation at 510-647-1111, ext. 14, with Lydia. Located at 2065 Kitredge St. in Berkeley. Read more.

Valentine’s Day Party at Kids Park If you live near San Jose,  make a date with your Valentine for Monday, the 14th, and send your kids to the shoeless play environs of Kids Park, which works with the State of California Community Care Licensing to offer flexible care resources for parents. You’ll have time to play while your kids enjoy the games, cookie-decorating, and card-making at Kids Park’s Valentine’s Day Party. The cost for up to ten hours of care is $45, and care on the 14th lasts from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kids Play is located at 5440 Thornwood Drive and 2558 Stevens Creek Blvd. #100 in San Jose. Read more.

Tree Frog Treks Kids Play Night
Every Saturday, Tree Frog Treks’ hosts a Kids Play Night, for children 4 and up, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. On February 12, you can drop off your kids for a fun and educational evening. While you’re enjoying an adult night out, your kids will be able to do creative hands-on science and art projects and interact with lizards, frogs, snakes, and tortoises. Pizza and healthy snacks are also provided. The cost is just $30 for the first child and $25 for each additional sibling. Tree Frog Treks is located at 2114 Hayes Street in San Francisco. Read more.

Peekadoodle Kids Club Date Night Drop Off
Get a jump on the rest of the romance-seekers and celebrate Valentine’s Day on Friday, Feb. 11, while your kids enjoy activities and play in Peekadoodles enchanting playspace.  Pizza and juice, stories and lullabies get them set for a stress-free pickup at 9—they’ll likely nod off on the drive home! The cost is $40 for members and $50 for nonmembers, and the event is appropriate for walkers ages 18 months through six years. Read more.
P.S. Dying to watch the Superbowl this weekend without little ones crawling all over you? Peekadoodle’s doing drop-off childcare for the big game!

Drop In at Play-Well Marin
Love can certainly blossom in the daylight hours—so how about a Valentine’s Day afternoon? Make your plans with the significant other, and while you’re gone, your kids age 5 and older will be psyched to choose from thousands of LEGO, K’NEX, Fischer-Technik, Capsela, ZNAP, and other building toys at Play-Well TEKnologies in San Anselmo. The cost is just $10 per hour between 10-6. And yes, they’re open Valentine’s Day! (Pleasanton parents: contact the Play Well in your area for their specific rates and schedule: 925-484-1547.) Located at 216 Greenfield Avenue in San Anselmo. Read more.

—Renee M. Rutledge