With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve got some fun ideas on how to spend time with your lil’ sweeties. Consider: a playtime at an interactive garden, a knee slappin, toe tappin’ concert, a Valentine-themed day at the zoo, a magical performance by the folks at Studio East, a super-fun story time with puppets, and a Chinese New Year celebration. If you haven’t seen The Frog Prince yet (a must-see musical for the entire fam!), you can catch it this weekend at the Kirkland Performance Center. And if you don’t have a sitter lined up for Valentine’s Day, consider Parents’ Night Out on Saturday. Kiddos will spend a super-fun evening experimenting with science while you celebrate Cupid’s holiday a few days early.


The Northwest Flower & Garden Show PlayGarden
In addition to spectacular display gardens, how-to advice, and garden accessories and gifts, this annual show will feature plenty of family activities inside the PlayGarden. You and your kiddos can participate in garden-themed projects, dig in the dirt, and take in a plethora of musical performances by Caspar Babypants, Nancy Stewart, Your Imaginary Friends Jana Vitols and Greg Ruby, and Lisa Taylor with the Creepin’ Critters while learning together about gardening, nature, and birds. Wed.-Sat., 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sun., 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. Seattle. $5 to $20 (11 and under free). All ages. Event details.

Kids Rock Series: Johnny Bregar (pictured)
Head to the Mount Baker Community Center and let Johnny Bregar and his amazingly talented Country Dawgs take you through a rootsy-jazzy-bluesy joyride of family-friendly songs! We guarantee you won’t be able to keep your feet from stompin’ or your hands from tappin’ to the tunes. Sat., 10:30 am – 11:30 am. Seattle. $6 to $12. All ages. Event details.

Valentine’s Day Animal Enrichment
Celebrate Valentine’s Day (a few days early) the wild way! Watch the otters, red pandas, snow leopards, gorillas, and other zoo animals devour yummy heart-shaped ice pops. Then, learn how these treats help enrich the animals’ lives, promote natural behavior, and keep them stimulated. Sat., 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. Seattle. $8.50 to $11.75 (2 and under free). All ages. Event details.


Monkey Magic
This weekend, the folks at Studio East are bringing a colorful collection of Chinese folk tales to story-theatre form. Through music, mime, and various types of drama (think comedy, adventure, and poetry!), watch as a charming lil’ monkey (with magical powers!) helps defeat the villains. Fri., 7:30 pm; Sat., 2:30 pm & 7:30 pm; Sun., 2:30 pm. Kirkland. $12 to $14. Ages 5 and older. Event details.

Auntie Lena’s African Stories
Celebrate Black history with a collection of African stories told by Auntie Lena and her friend Possum and see how Auntie Lena uses her drum and the audience to call up songs and stories from the story tree. Sat. and Sun., 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm. Bellevue. $8 to $9. Ages 4 to 8. Event details.

Chinese New Year Celebration at Sponge
If you missed the celebration in Seattle last week, you’ve got another opportunity to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the folks at the Sponge location in Bellevue. To kick off the Year of the Dragon, kiddos will make and decorate Chinese dragon puppets, sample traditional (good luck!) foods, and listen to a special story about Chinese zodiac animals. Plus, native-speaking teachers from Sponge will offer New Year-themed mini language classes in Mandarin. Sun., 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Bellevue. Free. Reservations recommended. All ages. Event details.

–Kristina Moy