Be My Valentine: 7 Valentine’s Day Activities for Bay Area Families

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The vases in the back of your cupboard have been accumulating dust ever since the little ones showed up, and even though Valentine’s Day comes once a year, your sweetie might not even know where the flower shop is anymore. Don’t worry! Valentine’s Day is a great day to spend with the whole family, even the little ones whose happy smiles are a sweet replacement for roses and boxes of chocolates. Dance at a concert, take a trip to the museum, or throw an art party. Here are some fun things to do this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day at the Exploratorium
This is a great event for the more scientific little ones out there. There’s no day like Valentine’s Day for young and old alike to learn about the heart (dissections scheduled), the pollination of flowers, and even the reproductive ways of the sea urchin (demonstrations scheduled).

Time/Cost: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm on February 14; free – $15
Location: Exploratorium, San Francisco

Valentine’s Day Tea for Kids
Celebrating Valentine’s Day with the little ones is less about romance and more about fun – and nothing spells fun like a tea party, complete with finger sandwiches and hot drinks brewed with herbs and flowers. Even the valentines you’ll make together will include goodies from the garden!

Time/Cost: 10:00 am -11:30 am or 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm on February 12; $18, $15 members
Location: UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Berkeley

St. Valentine’s Day Festival at the Farmer’s Market
Face painting and pony rides are always a good time, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Of course, there are cupcakes and old fashioned valentines at this farmer’s market celebration too. Enjoy puppets and stories from 9:00 am – 10:00 am, Tim Cain’s music for kids from 10:00 am – 11:00 am and music by Brown Chicken Brown Cow from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Time/Cost: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm on February 11; free
Location: Marin Country Mart, Larkspur Landing Circle, Marin

Charity and the JAMband’s Love Day Show
Any moment can turn into a scene from a musical when you’re giddy with love. The Love Day Show is one place where breaking out into song and dance won’t cause a scene. Bring your little Valentines and their own heart-shaped artwork to add to the “Love the World” poster.

Time/Cost: 10:30 am on February 14; free
Location: Noe Valley Public Library, San Francisco

I heart SCRAP Fundraiser & Party
If you and the kids love to get creative and care about the environment, this is the Valentine’s party for you. Make interactive art, find a cool vintage print, and help the young ones craft a valentine with recycled objects.

Time/Cost: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm on February 12; $10
Location: SCRAP, San Francisco

Valentine Making at Sticky Art Lab
Get the kids outside to nurture their curiosity while watching their excitement turn into beautiful works of Valentine’s Day art at the Sticky Art Lab. Special Valentine making for all ages!

Time/Cost: 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on February 11; $8 per person
Location: Sticky Art Lab, Berkeley

Valentine’s Day at Play Café
Fun and games at Play Café come with decorating valentines and heart shaped cookies for the kids, and discounted espresso drinks for grown-ups.

Time/Cost: 11:00 am-1:00 pm on February 11; Free with the price of admission ($8 per child)
Location: Play Café, Oakland

— Renee Macalino Rutledge

photo courtesy of the green gal via flikr