Valentine’s Day was originally a Christian holiday celebrating Saint Valentine. It takes place each year on February 14th and now signifies love, romance, and appreciation. The holiday is not officially recognized on any calendar, but it’s celebrated in countries all over the world. This day of love helps bring a little light to the winter months, so why not make it fun to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids along with your partner?
While couples may be vying for a dinner reservation, families can enjoy this celebration of love together and have some fun with it. Start your own traditions that include everyone, and set good examples of love and meaningful relationships. We’ve created this list of 18 activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day with kids. Try one or two of these to surprise your kids, or talk through the list as a family and pick out a few things to incorporate into your holiday this year.
Why You Should Love Adventures From Scratch
An Adventures From Scratch book from Let’s Roam makes the perfect valentine! In addition to our Date Edition, created to help couples keep things adventurous and interesting, we’ve created a version just for families. Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition boasts on-the-go challenges, in-home adventures, and more. With over 50 activities to scratch off, this special book will have you uncovering ideas all year!
18 Activities Perfect for Valentine’s Day with the Kids
If you’re looking to plan the best Valentine’s Day with your whole family, try some of these ideas that kids of all ages will love. Incorporate the whole family in your activities and enjoy this little holiday by creating new traditions.
1. Bake some heart-shaped goodies.
Valentine’s Day is known for sweet treats, like candies and cupcakes. Consider gathering the family together and baking special treats for the people in your life. Find some fun cookie cutters in the shapes of hearts, cupids, or lips. Make sugar cookies that the kids can decorate with sprinkles and frosting. You can deliver these to mailboxes and doorsteps throughout the neighborhood to spread the love a little.
2. Prep some DIY Valentine’s Day cards.
Handmade valentines cards are the best kind because they’re from the heart. Bring all the art supplies and construction paper to create cards for friends, family, or classmates. You can pick and use markers, crayons, paints, and stickers to create beautiful notes of love and friendship. It might be easier to purchase the premade valentines from the store, but homemade cards are incredibly meaningful.
3. Pick out small gifts for the kids.
Just like you would purchase a special treat for your valentine, think about getting a little something for your kids for Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers, plush toys, or just a little box of chocolates. You can make them feel special and loved for this holiday. Include a little handwritten card to make it extra special.
4. Learn to say “I love you” in new languages.
Children have some introduction to foreign languages in schools, but it’s not as much as in some other countries where kids are bilingual. One way to introduce more language to your kids is to bring education into your home by using the holidays to learn fun phrases that you can practice all day. Valentine’s Day is all about love, so use this holiday as a way to learn the word for love in a few different languages.
See if your kids can learn how to say “I love you” in a few different languages and practice throughout the day. Other fun words you could practice would be heart, kiss, and candy. Ask your kids what languages they would be interested in. You never know what languages your kids know about and are introduced to by friends at school or things they watch on television.
5. Set up a Valentine’s Day scavenger hunt.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a scavenger hunt where everyone has to solve puzzles and clues to find little treasures. You can use free printables online or create your own clues. Set up paper hearts throughout the house and yard. Each one should lead to the next with a puzzle to solve or with hints. It’s fun to get the kids working together or create a little friendly competition. The last stop should include some fun Valentine’s gifts and candies that the whole family can share and enjoy together.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can bundle up and take advantage of some of the organized scavenger hunts put together by companies like Let’s Roam. Work together as a family and explore your own neighborhood or city.
6. Take the kids on an ice cream date.
Valentine’s Day can become a special occasion for the whole family by changing the routine a bit. Many people don’t think about ice cream in the wintertime, but you can take the whole family to your favorite ice cream spot and not worry about the long lines in the summertime. Splurge on the fancy flavors and crazy toppings. Don’t think twice about the sugar rush that everyone will have afterward!
If you don’t have a favorite ice cream parlor in town, pick up all the goodies and have a sundae-building contest at home. It obviously doesn’t need to be ice cream either, you can visit a donut shop, bakery, or any other special treat that the family will love. Pick up the kids from school or bring them for a breakfast treat. Just add a sweet little surprise to the day.
7. Organize a “favorite things” party.
Valentine’s Day is all about spreading love. See if your kids are interested in hosting a “Favorite Things” party with their closest friends. It’s a fun reason to get people together and gives them a chance to share a few special treats. The way it works is that each invited guest picks something small that they love, and they bring a few of that same item wrapped to give others. Each person will take turns sharing about their favorite thing with the whole group and then once everyone has had a turn, people get to start selecting gifts that they will take home.
This is a fun way to exchange little Valentine’s Day gifts with friends and share things that you love. Your kids will love the chance to be the hosts of a party with their friends, and you can help them organize the gift exchange. It’s best to set a dollar limit ahead of time with the other guests and ensure that everyone leaves with the same number of gifts they came with.
8. Shoot arrows at Cupid.
Cupid is a popular icon for Valentine’s Day and for love in general. If you want to set up a cute Valentine’s game or activity, there are some fun ways to incorporate Cupid and his arrows. You can set up some hearts on the wall and put numbers on each one. Smaller hearts should have larger numbers. Use those as scores and challenge kids to hit the hearts with nerf arrows. You can blindfold them and play it like a pin the tail on the donkey.
You can increase the intensity if you pick up a t-shirt with a cupid on it. Take turns having someone in the family wear it and try to avoid getting hit with any arrows. Or give Cupid the arrows and have them chase the rest of the family around. This could be a fun way to use up some energy and get a few great laughs from everyone.
9. Have a tea party.
Do you have young children that are delighted by the simplest things? Have a little Valentine’s party for your kids and some of their favorite toys. You can make some special tea, like Kool-Aid or juice boxes, and use toy teacups (or real ones if you have them.) Set up the typical tea snacks, like sandwiches and cookies, and don’t forget to remind everyone to dress up a bit for the event.
Children love when their parents engage in their favorite activities with them, so by including their toys in a holiday tea party and hanging out with them, you’ll give them a memorable experience. Once your kids get a little older, you can check out local restaurants that offer tea service. Having a fancy afternoon date somewhere new might be the perfect way to spend Valentine’s day with your kids.
10. Create Valentine’s Day crafts.
Get creative and make some crafts that are themed around Valentine’s day. There are so many ways to dive into the theme of love. Conversation hearts are fun to incorporate into crafting. You can have kids come up with their own messages and add them to cut-out hearts that look like candy hearts.
Creating little love bugs is another fun craft idea. Utilize old toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls and transform them into small bugs with eyes, pipe cleaner ears, and whatever colors you want to decorate them with.
A bouquet of flowers is another fun craft you can do with paper and other materials around the house. These DIY gifts would be perfect for dropping off with neighbors or friends to let them know they are special to you and spread a little love and kindness. Other fun options include watercolor hearts, DIY wreaths to hang on the door, and even handprint/footprint art for babies. Any excuse to get out the art supplies is worthwhile.
11. Invite the kids to dinner and a movie.
Popular date ideas can be repurposed easily to include the children and turn the date into a family activity. A dinner and movie night is a perfect example and would make for an easy Valentine’s Day activity for everyone. Choose a restaurant you all love and order takeout so you don’t have to cook, and then choose a movie that everyone would enjoy.
Many Disney princess movies fit the theme of love, but you can also choose something new for everyone. Gnomeo and Juliet is a play on the classic romantic play by Shakespeare. Older kids can watch teenage favorites, like Little Women, The Princess Bride, or Little Rascals. Whatever movie you decide on, just make sure everyone leaves their phones outside of your “theater” and make some popcorn or grab some snacks.
12. Have a fondue night.
Fondue is a fun way to celebrate any special occasion, but it works especially well on a cold winter’s night. Fondue is traditionally cheese melted in a pot over a heat source. It’s shared with other people, and you use sticks to dip bread, vegetables, meat, or other snacks into the cheese to snack on. Gather the family around the table, add the cheese, and experiment to see which snacks taste the best.
You can swap the cheese for chocolate if you want to add a fun dessert. This will definitely get the kids involved. Add marshmallows, fruits, and other sweet treats to your sticks and dip them into hot, melted chocolate. You’ll feel instantly transported to a ski chalet somewhere in Switzerland. Plus, if you buy a fondue set, you’ll be encouraged to have fun with this more often.
13. Enjoy breakfast in bed.
Breakfast in bed is a beloved tradition for many different holidays. It’s a common Mother’s day treat, but why not expand the reach of this indulgence? Make a plan ahead of time with your kids to surprise your husband or wife, or you can work with your partner and surprise your kids with breakfast in bed.
Put together a nice little spread with fruit salad, coffee, juice, and maybe even heart-shaped pancakes or waffles. If you are horrible in the kitchen, sneak out early, run to the donut shop, or grab some pastries. Either way, the point is to surprise someone you love with a relaxing morning where they get to lounge in bed in their pajamas and enjoy a slow, tasty breakfast. Include a little love note or a small vase of flowers to really make the morning memorable. Kids will love a change in routine.
14. Create a love chain.
Paper chains are easy to make and are popular during the holiday season to share things we are grateful for. These can also be fun for Valentine’s Day, but family members can write love notes instead of gratitude. Whether your kids want to say “I love you” to their siblings, their pet, or maybe their favorite toys, you can encourage them to share their love and admiration with words or drawings on small pieces of construction paper.
Utilize the days leading up to Valentine’s Day and challenge each family member to write 14 love notes (or less, depending on how long you want your chain to be.) It’s great for kids to learn to share feelings and spread love and kindness.
15. Treat everyone to a spa day.
Many couples spend Valentine’s Day pampering themselves with a romantic spa day. This idea can work for the whole family too. It might not be as romantic, but kids will love trying something adults love, and the parents will enjoy a little self-care and pampering.
Turn your living room/bathroom into a spa with simple supplies. Stock up on healthy snacks, like fruits and vegetables, and make up a pitcher of cucumber water or a bottle of sparkling juice. Once you have the snacks locked in, consider what “treatments” you want to enjoy. Retail stores like Walmart and Target sell sheet masks, gloves, and socks with built-in moisture, so stock up and try them out together.
There are also a huge number of concoctions you can make with ingredients you probably already have at home. Scrubs can be made with brown sugar and olive oil to help smooth skin. Set up a bowl and a towel and pour steaming water into the bowl with some essential oils for a steam facial. Just be careful no one puts their face in hot water. Pull out nail polish for at-home manicures and pedicures to complete the experience.
16. Do a Valentine’s Day photoshoot.
Can there ever be too many photos of your kiddos? Consider using Valentine’s Day to organize a fun-themed photoshoot. Maybe you were too busy to send holiday cards this year and want to spread a little love in February instead. Find an empty wall or backdrop in your home and add some balloons, cut-out hearts, or letters. Invite the kids to help set it up with anything they have that signifies love.
If you lack the supplies to make an elaborate backdrop, there are plenty of other options. One fun idea you can do every year is set up a tripod and a self-timer on your camera, pose the family together and hold your hands up to make heart shapes. These would be fun to look back on as the kids grow.
17. Have a themed family dinner.
Family dinners are probably already part of your weekly routines, but holidays can give you an excuse to have some fun with it. Set the table and make it a fancy occasion with candles or flowers on the table. Most importantly, incorporate the holiday into your food.
For Valentine’s Day, one fun idea is a red and pink dinner. Those are the holiday colors, and you could use so many fantastic foods. Start with a snack of red peppers and tomatoes, make a main course of red sauce pasta or enchiladas with red sauce, and finish with a classic red dessert, like red velvet cake or strawberry shortcake.
You can also utilize the shape of a heart in your dinner plans. Pizzas are a popular family dinner night option. Instead of ordering pizza delivery, pick up the ingredients to make the dough and have an interactive cooking night for everyone. See who can create the best heart-shaped pizza and let everyone choose their own toppings.
A final option is picking each family member’s favorite food (something they love) and serving it up. It might be a bit random, but that will make it fun for everyone, and they will appreciate seeing their favorites on the table.
18. Tell a love story.
Consider sharing a love story with your kids regarding bedtime storytime. Think about your own love story or possibly one from other family members or loved ones. Sharing examples of real relationships can help kids feel more connected to their families. Ask your parents and siblings if they are willing to share a love story by recording it or sharing photos that give kids something to look at while listening. These memories are fun to hang on to as kids grow up.
If you don’t have a real-life story, or your kids are a bit too young to understand the origin of your relationship, there are some fantastic books you could read on Valentine’s Day to embrace the theme. Classics like Love You Forever by Robert Munsch or Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney would make great gifts for Valentine’s Day. Popular series also have Valentine’s Day stories, like the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series and the Little Blue Truck series.
Enjoy celebrating Valentine’s Day with the whole family! Let us know which activities you try with your kids or if we missed anything from our list. Love should be celebrated year-round, so have some fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are tons of great activities to spend Valentine’s Day with kids. Do some crafts, bake heart-shaped sugar cookies, and plan a themed dinner for the holiday celebration.
Pick up a copy of the Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition for the whole crew for Valentine’s Day this year and have fun scratching off surprise activities to complete together.