It's a situation as old as Saint Valentine: you and your partner have plans to celebrate the day of love, but so does your babysitter. After calling everyone you know and discovering finding a babysitter on Valentine's Day is harder than learning string theory, you resign to the reality of it all. Which leaves you wondering how to still have a romantic Valentine's Day that is also kid-friendly. Although it seems far-fetched, it can be done — you're just going to have to be a little creative, and a lot chill.
I know what you're thinking: romance and children don't mix. Unless of course you are talking about the romance that led up to having those children . . . but that's another story. Even though it seems unlikely, you can have your chocolate heart-shaped cake and eat it too (even if there are kids begging for a piece of their own.) Incorporating the kids into Valentine's Day activities doesn't have to be boring, and you and your SO won't need to sacrifice some of the romantic things you enjoy together, like dinner by candlelight. You'll just have to make a few tweaks so everyone has fun and nothing gets awkward.
This year, if Valentine's Day is a family affair, try turning some romantic activities into events the whole family can enjoy. Here are 11 suggestions to get the love flowing.
1. Have A Candlelight Dinner
Whether you make something special or order take out, spread dinner out on your finest dishes and eat by candlelight. To make it extra fun for the kids, give them glow bracelets or necklaces to wear. The whole family will think it's fun to turn down the lights and eat by the warm glow of candles.
2. Make Surprise Packages
Get the kids in on the fun by making small packages of candies, which you can then hide around the house for everyone to discover throughout the day.
3. Write Love Poems
Everyone in the family can get in on this activity. Because, who doesn't love personalized poetry? It doesn't have to rhyme, it just needs to come from the heart.
4. Send Love Letters
Prepare these about a week before Valentine's Day. Have each person write a letter to all the other members of the family, telling them what they love most about them. Pull them out on Valentine's Day and distribute them to each person and watch their hearts swell with love as they read.
5. Enjoy Breakfast In Bed
The only thing that makes breakfast in bed feel more decadent than it already is, is to load up that try with heart-shaped foods. Everyone can eat in their own room, or make one big picnic on the largest bed in the house.
6. Enjoy Cocktail/Mocktail Hour
Before dinner, have everyone (including the kids) dress up in their spiffiest outfit and raise a glass to love. Have sparkling juice for the kids and champagne for the adults and ask each person to make a toast about someone they love.
Enjoy a little after dinner dancing, right at home. Tell the kids that grown-ups get at least one slow song before everyone drops the bass and shakes their rump.
8. Make A Special Dessert
Have the kids pitch in with the Valentine treats. Create a special dessert to share after dinner, and offer to tip the kids if they will act as your servers for the last course of the night.
9. Enjoy A Love Story
Find an appropriate romantic movie for the whole family. Think of flicks in the genre of We Bought A Zoo and The Odd Life Of Timothy Green. Kick back with a bowl of popcorn and a handful of conversation hearts.
10. Go Out Somewhere Nice
Have the whole family dress up and use their best manners while enjoying a nice dinner out. Let the kids drink water from wine glasses and promise to let them order dessert if they behave the whole time.