I’ve asked a lot of people over the last couple of weeks, how they’re planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Because of the stage of life that we’re in, a lot of those were couples with young kids. Most people said that they were going to celebrate as a family, while others weren’t planning on celebrating at all. In the years before we had kids, we went on overnight getaways, turned our apartment into a romantic bed & breakfast, or went out for a fancy meal.
We don’t really have a set tradition, but this year I decided that I wanted to start one and find a way to celebrate the holiday that will last for years to come. I hope that this post will inspire you if you have young kids, so that you can expand your celebration to include time for just the two of you each year!
Ideas to Celebrate Valentine’s Day with Young Kids
Hire a teenager to babysit while you go out
The hard thing about this holiday is that most people are going out on dates of their own and a lot of teenagers are off to parties or babysitting for one of the many people who are going out. If you can find someone who doesn’t have plans for the evening, snatch them up to babysit for you. If you do go out for the night, plan on a long wait or think of activities you can do that won’t be as busy.
Celebrate the holiday as a family
Have a Valentine’s Day party with your kids. Turn on fun love songs and deck the entire house in pink and red decorations. Use paper plates and plastic silverware so that nobody has to do the dishes after dinner, and so that you can add more color to the room. Make all of your food heart shaped with cookie cutters or a knife and some artistic skills. After dinner, exchange Valentine’s with each other, have a dance party in the living room and read some holiday books that you picked up from the library.
Do something fun with the kids, then go out after they’re in bed
One thing we learned our first Valentine’s Day together is that if you go out to dinner a little later, like after 7:30 or 8, you aren’t going to run into the crowds. That might feel a little late for dinner, so you could eat dinner as a family and plan to go out for appetizers or dessert after the kids are in bed and the babysitter comes over.
Celebrate with the kids and enjoy dessert and an activity after an early bedtime
This is what we’ll be doing this year. We’re going to use my celebrate as a family idea and then do something just the two of us after the kids are in bed. Check out the recipes on this site for some great dessert ideas for after the kids are in bed. Or use one of our at home date night ideas to make the night a little more fun. We love to curl up on the couch with one of our favorite date night movies or toss one of our favorite bath bombs into the tub and drink some sparkling cider while we soak. Your date doesn’t have to be fancy, but use it as an opportunity to connect and focus on your love.
Put off your date night until after the holiday or celebrate early
By celebrating the holiday a little early or a little late, you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and secure a babysitter. You might miss out on the date night deals offered at different businesses in the area, but it’s still a good option. We’re going to be celebrating the weekend after the holiday, with a dinner date and Wicked the Musical. Joe got tickets and a gift card for Christmas and we decided to use that pre-planned date as our Valentine’s date for the year.
Our long term plan is to start celebrating the Valentine’s holiday as a family and then celebrate as a couple later that night or on another day. As our kids get older, I hope that we can continue our tradition of spending some time together that day, doing something special as a family to celebrate our love for each other. I thought it might even be fun to host a Valentine’s Day party for our grand-kids when we reach that stage, so that our kids can go out with their significant other for a romantic date or even for overnight.
How are you planning to spend Valentine’s Day this year?