With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve put together some fun ideas on how to spend time with your lil’ sweethearts this weekend. Consider: a new play area at Seattle’s biggest gardening extravaganza, a Valentine’s Day party for the animals, a sweet run for the whole fam, a special ball for dads and daughters, a fair that’s good for your heart, and a totally awesome (and educational) day designed for kids. If you’re looking for even more pre-Valentine’s Day excitement, be sure to check out our roundup of sweet Valentine’s Day activities.



Play With Friends at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show
In addition to spectacular display gardens, how-to advice by experts, and garden accessories and gifts, this annual show will feature plenty of family activities inside the new Play With Friends activity area. Using robotocized LEGOs, drawings, and stop motion animation videos, families can imagine what the Seattle waterfront’s post-Viaduct future will look like. Wed.-Sat., 9 a.m.-8 p.m; Sun., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Seattle. $5 to $70 (12 and under free). All ages. Event details.

A Valentine’s Day Celebration with the Zoo Animals (pictured)
Celebrate Valentine’s Day (a little early) with the animals. Watch as the otters, penguins, lions, jaguars and other zoo animals devour yummy heart-shaped ice pops, herbal bouquets, and heart-shaped steaks. Plus, learn how these special treats help enrich the animals’ lives and promote natural behavior. Sat., 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Seattle. Free with admission or membership (2 and under free). All ages. Event details.

Love ‘em or Leave ‘em Valentine’s Day Dash
Put on your red and pink duds, grab your jogging stroller, and join other families for this sweet Valentine’s Day 5K and Kids Dash. The Kids Dash will take place just before the main race and each lil’ Heart Beet participant will receive a free runner’s bib and a ribbon at the finish line along with goodies and refreshments. Sat., 8 a.m.-11 a.m. Seattle. $40-$45 (Kids Dash free for kids 10 and under). All ages. Event details.


Daddy-Daughter Dance
Don your finest party clothes (and dance shoes) and travel over the rainbow and into a magical land of unicorns filled with lots of music, dancing, crafts, and refreshments. Fri., 6 p.m.–8:30 p.m. Redmond. $30 to $36. Ages 3 to 12. Event details.

Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Fair
Get in tip-top shape at this annual health fair designed for families. In addition to healthy products and services, enjoy lots of hands-on activities, a high-energy kindie concert with Harmonica Pocket (at 11:30 a.m.), a Teddy Bear Clinic, and mini seminars with docs and parent educators. Sat., 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Bellevue. Free. All ages. Event details.

Kidstock! 2014
We know this event is not exactly on the Eastside, but it’s too good not to include. Kidstock! 2014 will feature musical and theatre performances (think The Not-Its!, Tim Noah, Alex Zerbe Juggling, and Thistle Theatre), arts education workshops, and activities designed just for kids like face-painting, bouncy houses, and a costume photo booth. Sat., 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Edmonds. Free. Registration required. All ages. Event details.

Will you be enjoying a Valentine’s Day activity this weekend with your pint-sized sweetie? Let us know in a comment below.

–Kristina Moy

Photo credit: Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo