Love is all around! Are you ready to craft, bake and explore with your little love? Enjoy a stroll through the Redwoods, a whimsical tea or a cooking making class for two. Read on to find an event near you to celebrate the season of love!

photo: Laura Ockel via unsplash

San Francisco

The Presidio Sock Hop
Lace up your dancing shoes! The Presidio Officer’s Club hosts a free sock hop to celebrate the season of love on February 9. Learn the swing and enjoy the live music with your dancing crew.

When: Sat., Feb. 9, 7-10 p.m.
Where: Presidio Officer’s Club, 50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Cost: Free, but registration requested.

Penguin Valentines
Celebrate Valentine’s Day Academy-style as we gift our penguins heart-shaped tokens of affection during their daily feedings on three special days. African penguins normally make nests by burrowing and collecting any available material to line their nests—today, that includes felt valentines. They are collected mostly by male birds, then offered to the females or placed in nests to encourage breeding. As novel items, the hearts help reinforce the penguins couples’ bonds.

When: Tue.-Thurs., Feb. 12-14 at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Where: California Academy of Sciences
Cost: Included with admission

photo: Andrew Malone via flickr

East Bay

Family Sweetheart Dance
Put on your dancing shoes and bring your little someone special to the Family Sweetheart Dance! Music, dancing, refreshments and photo booth fun included, put on by Rec and Park of El Cerrito. Open to all ages. Purchase tickets online or by calling 510-559-7000.

When: Sat., Feb. 2, 6-8 p.m.
Where: El Cerrito Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane, El Cerrito, CA
Cost: $7/per person; $20/family of four

A Botanical Valentine’s Day Tea
Alices and Mad Hatters alike will delight in this botanical tea party in honor of Valentine’s Day. Explore fragrant edibles, see how they grow and what they are used for, and make fresh tea and herbed finger sandwiches. Kids can also make valentines from pressed botanicals to take home. Advance registration required, so register here for the 10 a.m. class and here for the 1 p.m. session.

When: Sat, Feb. 10, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Where: UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley, CA
Cost: Includes garden admission. $24/adult, $20/child
Ages: All ages

Storytime with Kristi Yamaguchi
Supermodel Maggie Rizer will host a special Valentine’s celebration at her new high-fashion boutique, M, featuring a special book reading in M’s children’s nook by Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic gold medalist and New York Times best-selling children’s author. After the reading, guests can shop and enjoy hosted bites provided by Slanted Door. All jewelry at M will be 15% off from Febraury 7-14. 15% of all boutique sales during the same time period will benefit Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation.

When: Tues., Feb. 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: M By Maggie, 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd, San Ramon, CA

Valentine’s Vixens
Fall in love with foxes at this program where you get to meet and even touch (if you wish!) some Fennec Foxes.

When:  Sat., Feb. 9, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: Lindsay Wildlife Experience, 1931 First Ave., Walnut Creek, CA
Cost: $15 for non-member adult, $13/non-member child
Ages: All ages

Rockridge Ice Cream & Gelato Tour
This one-hour guided walking tour is the perfect way to end your Valentine’s Day with your loved ones. It takes kids of all ages through Oakland’s Rockridge area to explore a variety of ice cream desserts—along with a little history as to how we came to enjoy them.

When: Thu., Feb. 14, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Starts at Dreyer’s Ice Cream Parlor & Cafe, 5925 College Ave, Oakland, CA
Cost: $20/adults, $15/kids 12 and under
Ages: All ages

photo: San Jose Library

Peninsula/South Bay 

Crafts at Michael’s Kid’s Club
Grab your kids and head to the local Michael’s craft store for their kid’s club Valentine’s craft activity. Little makers will have fun making Valentine’s Day Cards. See website for classes available near you. Each class lasts 1.5-2 hours.

Where: Michael’s Craft Store
Cost: $2-5/child

Valentine Cookie Craze at Cucina Bambini-Los Gatos
Make and decorate sugar cookies with your little sweetheart at this cookie workshop. Make frosting from scratch and decorate them in a Valentine’s Day theme.

When: Wed., Feb. 13, 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Cucina Bambini, 22 South Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos, CA
Cost: $80/adult-child pair, $25/addition person.

Romance in the Redwoods 
On this easy two-hour walk, you will learn about the courtship behaviors of some of the park’s most fascinating plants and animals. Discover how banana slugs, redwood trees and more celebrate love in the wild.

When: Sat., Feb. 16., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
Where: Big Basin State Park, 21600 Big Basin Way, Boulder Creek, CA
Cost: free, $10 parking

photo: randnotizen via flickr


Valentine’s Teddy Bear Tea
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a bear hug at the annual Belvedere Tiburon Library Teddy Bear Tea! Children will enjoy savory treats and cocoa while making their own bear!

When: Sat., Feb. 9, various seatings from 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Where: Belvedere Tiburon Library, 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon, CA
Cost: $35 each; Table of 10 for $350
Ages: All ages

—Kate Loweth, Sabrina Martire & Melanie Ulate