Be Mine: Valentine’s Dates for You and Your Littles

Valentine’s Day can feel like a “Hallmark holiday,” another opportunity to buy chocolates and gifts for our loved ones. But in our family, we like to use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to show each other how much we love one another by spending quality time together.

Last year we tried something different for Valentine’s Day: not only did we go out on a date night to celebrate our love (and get some much needed alone time), we also took each of our boys on individual Valentine’s Day dates throughout the month of February.

We felt it was important to not only tell them how much we love them but also show them by spending quality time alone together. We tailored each one of the dates to their individual personalities. Taking each one of our children out separately was a priority to us because they rarely get one-on-one time with us, but I realize that may not be possible for everyone. If this is something that interests you, I have listed out date ideas you can try with your little ones.  

My top 10 Valentine’s Day date ideas with kids:

  1. Zoo – The Detroit Zoo is a great place to take your little ones. Believe it or not, the winter is one of my favorite times to visit the zoo. It’s far less crowded than the summertime, and the animals are usually very active in the cold weather. You can usually see the animals up close in their enclosures if they are not outside in their exhibit. Our family favorite are the giraffes.

    Checking out the giraffes
  2. Share the Love – Perform random acts of kindness to strangers with your child. It will teach them how to show love and appreciation to others. Pay for someone behind you in the drive-thru line, donate outgrown clothes and toys, buy a dozen roses and hand them out to people that look like they could use one, bake cookies together and drop them off to neighbors or the local fire station, etc. Your kids will love seeing the reaction that others have to their kind gestures.
  3. Movies – Check out new releases on the big screen. Or stay home, eat popcorn, and snuggle on the couch while watching a few of their favorite movies together. Some popular love-themed movies include: Lady and the Tramp, Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, and Shrek.
  4. Museums – The Detroit area has an abundance of kid-friendly museums to check out:  
  5. “Yes” Day – Have a day when you say “yes” to everything they want to do (within reason of course). It will be a day filled with adventure and fun for both of you. Your child will feel special because they have your undivided attention doing an activity of their choice, and you won’t have to worry about saying “no” for a day.
  6. Live Events – 
    • Detroit Pistons (Home Games:  2/8, 2/11, 2/25)
    • Detroit Red Wings (Home Games: 2/7, 2/14, 2/17, 2/20, 2/22, 2/24, 2/26) 
    • Theater (Paw Patrol Live, PBS Kids Live, Phantom of the Opera, Pinkalicious, The Play That Goes Wrong)
  7. Bowling – I took my oldest son bowling on our Valentine’s date last year. I adored seeing the look of excitement on his face when he knocked down the pins. The other aspect I love about bowling is that it’s fairly affordable if you are on a tight budget. 
  8. Dinner Date – Get dressed up and take your little love on a memorable dinner date. I especially love this idea for a daddy/daughter or mommy/son date. You could teach them about etiquette and prepare them for future dates when they are older. If that’s not your cup of tea, you could stay home and cook a special meal together. 
  9. Staycation – Book a local hotel room. Be a tourist in your own town. Check out some local attractions that you don’t get a chance to visit with your kids very often. Or simply stay in, throw on some robes, and order room service. Bonus points if you find a hotel with an indoor pool!   
  10. Outdoor Adventures – For kids and adults who love to be outside, try one of these ideas: 
    • Skiing
    • Sledding
    • Ice skating
    • Petting farm

The best part of this new tradition of ours is when we get home from our date, and they say “Mommy {or Daddy}, that was the best day ever! I love you!” Swoon!  

PC: Angela Bowers Photography

What other ideas do you have?
Do you take your children on Valentine’s Day dates?


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