While February 14th may bring up visions of a romantic dinner date and flowers with a significant other, parents know this holiday can be about the entire family. It’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy time together and show how much you love each other.
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However, it can be difficult to come up with activities that everyone will enjoy. Here are a few creative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day:
Say “I love you” with a delicious meal
- Whip up a Valentine’s Day breakfast: A festive way to get the family into the Valentine’s Day spirit is with food. Make heart-shaped pancakes for your family by pouring batter into a large, metal heart-shaped cookie cutter. Top with strawberries and whipped cream. Why not go a step further and add a face on the heart with blueberry eyes, a strawberry nose and a whipped cream smile!
- Send love to school (or work): For kids (and partners) who take their lunches, cutting sandwiches into a heart or an X and O is a fun way to let them know you’re thinking of them. Send your brown baggers off with rice crispy treats (tinted pink, of course) cut into heart shapes. Pack a box of conversation hearts for the kids to share with their lunch buddies.
- Make dinner special: Many families use dinner as an important part of their Valentine’s Day. Some families dress up and eat out at a favourite restaurant, but there are still a lot of moms who prefer to celebrate with their family at home . Why not try and make individual, heart-shaped pizzas for Valentine’s Day dinner.
- Give sweets to your sweethearts: Other fun food ideas include serving raspberry-cranberry juice in wine glasses, frosted heart shaped sugar cookies with fun messages on top, chocolate-dipped strawberries, bananas or marshmallows and red velvet cupcakes topped with conversation candy hearts or Hershey kisses.
Spread the love by caring for others
- Deliver holiday treats to the needy: Valentine’s Day is a time for spreading love, so it’s a great opportunity for families to reach out to those who could use a little extra attention. Spend some time this Valentine’s Day delivering a variety of heart-shaped cookies, brownies and rice crispy treats to locals in need at shelters and assisted living facilities.
- Care for man’s best friend: Don’t forget about all the four-legged friends who need a little love. Deliver a bag of pet food (and other items) to a pet shelter in your area. Try calling a pet shelter a few days ahead and inquire about their needs, from cat litter to toys to food, to make sure they have a purr-fect Valentine’s Day. If the need arises why not foster a pet, the kids will love it.
- Volunteer your time: Other ways to reach out and share the Valentine’s Day spirit include delivering flowers (or treats) to your children’s teachers, elderly neighbors or the volunteers at local food banks. Head to children’s hospitals or nursing homes and see if they can use any volunteers to help make cards or crafts.
- Host a movie night: Grab the caramel-covered popcorn for a sweet treat and snuggle up on the couch with the whole family. Watch family-friendly Valentine’s Day movies like “Lady and the Tramp”, “Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown”, “The Love Bug” or “Stardust”.
- Glide around: Whether your family prefers skating on ice or on hardwood floors in a roller rink, open skates at your local rink can be a fun and active way to spend the evening. Dance along to the music, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. And if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere with an outdoor ice skating rink, take advantage! There’s nothing more romantic than bundling up and holding hands as you skate on the ice. And if you’re lucky, you and your sweetheart may just be able to steal away for a quick, romantic trip.
- Pack a picnic: If you’re fortunate enough to experience a warmer climate abroad with family, pack a picnic with everyone’s favourite snacks and grab a Frisbee for a fun-filled day at the park. End the afternoon with a trip to the ice cream shop or your favourite cafe for a sweet treat.
Years down the road, it’s not the treats the kids will remember, but the rituals and time spent with their families. Build traditions now to create memories that will last a life time.
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