Valentine's Day Ideas

How To Enjoy Valentine’s Day When You Can’t Leave The Kids

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year. Couples young and old look forward to the day to surprise that special someone with a gift or a cozy dinner date. Many young lovers, however, are restricted from the freedom of going out together, due to the fruit of that love: their children.

So, how can you have a romantic Valentine’s Day when there’s no babysitter for the kids? No, the answer is not an early bedtime. There are simple ways to include the kids in the Valentine’s Day fun while maintaining closeness with your partner, as well.

Special Dinner At Home

One Valentine’s Day idea that has the added benefit of being easy on the pocketbook is a special dinner together at home. Make something that doesn’t require a lot of time to prepare or clean up, so the majority of your attention is on your family.

This recipe for Crockpot Steak Bites from Stockpiling Moms gives you the opportunity to begin the meal early in the day. An elegant steak dinner that is also easy for the kids to eat? Yes, please! Pop some potatoes in the oven an hour or so before you plan to eat, toss a salad and stick it in the fridge, and your dinner is complete.

Set the table up with pretty Valentine’s Day decorations for a special touch. Use festive paper plates, such as these from Party City, to create the right atmosphere without worrying about being stuck over the sink or dishwasher afterwards. Want something a little more elegant? This gorgeous assortment of plastic tableware looks lovely, and even boasts matching wine glasses. Fill them with wine or champagne for mom and dad, and sparkling grape juice for the kiddos.

For dessert, give the children their own small Valentine’s Day candy box. This dinner will make your little ones feel loved, special, and included on what could certainly be a catastrophic Valentine’s in the making. After dinner, hopefully they will head off to bed like good little munchkins and let the parents finish the day with some quiet time together. Alone.

It’s Party Time

There’s nothing kids love more than a party, and Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to throw one. Again, this does not have to be expensive or a huge clean up. Transform your living room or family room into Valentine’s Day decoration masterpiece.

Set up a table, buffet-style, with kid friendly items such as chicken nuggets, fish sticks, macaroni, and cheese cups, diced fruit, or sandwiches cut into the shape of a heart. Add red and pink Valentine’s balloons and tableware to create a festive air. Put on some favorite music and dance with them.

Follow up the Valentine’s Day fun in the tub with bath fizzies, pink bubble bath, or this fun idea, Fishing for Love Bath, from Bath Activities for Kids. Incorporating bath time into the Valentine’s Day festivities will serve as the perfect transition from party time to bed time. All that dancing will have worn them out, and the warm water will relax them, leading to successful bed time and some peace and quiet for mom and dad.

Family Date Night

This simple, cozy Valentine’s Day date is classic. Hit a Redbox or Netflix for a good movie that is kid friendly, but also has some type of Valentine’s theme. Parenting has compiled a list of family friendly movies for the big day, with titles such as Lady and the Tramp and The Princess Bride.

Order a pizza or toss a frozen one into the oven, make popcorn, and cozy up on the couch for a fun family night. Children love movies and, whether they admit it or not, they also love some cuddle time with the parents. This Valentine’s Day idea will also segue straight into bed time. Tuck them into the warm covers and watch them enter dreamland before heading into the living room, or any other room, for grown up time.

Now, the thought of staying in with the kids on Valentine’s Day doesn’t seem so bleak, does it? Concentrated attention from mom and dad plus fun activities will lead to happy, sleepy children. Then, the fun can really begin.

[Image via Shutterstock]