Super-Fun Ways to Spend Valentine's Day with Your Family
Sure it's the most romantic date on the calendar,once filled with wining and dining perhaps, or massive bouquets and morning lie-ins, but as parents things ain't what they used to be. Where we might have gone for cocktails and a sunset cruise pre-kids, Valentine's Day now looks more like paying babysitters, ordering all your dishes at the restuarant at once so you can eat and get home by curfew, and nodding off in the taxi home.
Still fun? You bet! But if heading out childless isn't on the books for you this year, allow us to suggest some sweet ways to celebrate with the family you've made together. Breakfast in bed optional!
Start with brunch
Not a fan of crumbs in the bed? Let's make romantic breakfasts a family affair!
Set the table with all your pink, red and white crockery, pick some blooms from the garden to dot about the place in jars and set out a family feast. Do toad in the hole (where the hole is cut out with a heart-shaped biscuit cutter), flaky croissants with good berry jam, coffee mandatory, of course, and a profusion of fresh fruit. Bonus points for ruby-red coloured cranberry or pomegranate drinks for the kids and perhaps a Bloody Mary for the grownups.
You may not be heading out to see a show, but new memories are being made over the family table anyway. Get out all the board games you have - yes, even Connect 4 - and set up a couple of round robins to determine who will be the Valentine's Day board game champion. It's a fun way of spending time together (unless the kids are sore losers - or you are!) in a situation just a little ways out from the everyday.
Even better, make it a yearly event which can be as elaborate as simple as you like. Write up a schedule of play, hone up on the rules, set up games around different rooms in your house and move between them as needed, or challenge everyone to decorate themselves in team colours and really go all out.
This is for all you glitter and glue enthusiasts - grab your useful box and set the kids to making cards and valentines for their favourite people.
Brush up on your skills with these tips from Mister Maker himself, make some incredible creations from everyday household objects, or adapt these simple paper crafts to more love-themed art.
Recreate your first date
Hot air balloon? Seedy nightclub? Local cafe? A chance meeting on a train platform? Go back to where it all started with your mini-mes and tell them your very own love story, or recreate a kid-friendly environment at home where you can all get in on the fun. Nightclubs can be a fancy drink with a pumping lounge-room playlist, fancy restaurants can be right inside your kitchen with your best linen, or take a picnic on the foreshore where you took your first stroll.
Feelgood film night
Going out to the movies with your crew can be an expensive exercies (though OF COURSE we have tips on how to do it on the cheap here), so why not make your own theatre? Buy or borrow a projector or set your TV up just like the big screen. Grab all your cushions and bean bags, pop some popcorn, make your own choc tops or chocolate brownie pops,
Have a picnic dinner
Head out into our favourite Melbourne picnic spots or turn your lounge or back yard into the ultimate outdoor venue. There's no table manners to care about, no dropping food on the floor, annoying other patrons, steep dinner bills, or sub-par kids menus to contend with - just good food, a comfy blanket, and each other.
Or turn your house into a restaurant
Want to turn up the fancy? Get out all the best china and cutlery, the real crystal glasses you drank out of every night before the kids arrived, and light some candles. Have the kids decorate place names and learn to fold napkins. Order out and plate it for presentation at the table or rope the children in to creating culinary wonders in the kitchen. Dispatch older kids to design and take menu orders, serve a good champagne (for the adults, obvs), and showcase your best etiquette as you celebrate the holiday of love with the ones you love.
But don't forget dessert
You should absolutely get everyone in the kitchen for a baking session at some point during the day and eat the proceeds like a party. We've got a fantastic recipe for Valentine's Day chocolates that are actually good for you, a super-simple choc chip cookie recipe (you can swap the choc chips for red M&Ms), or bake your best and favourite goodies with the ruby-bean pink chocolate now available.
Go forth and romance!
For more date-your-family fun: