Valentine’s Day isn’t all about romance, flowers, and chocolates—it’s about showing appreciation for those you love. And it’s a great opportunity to do something special with the kids.

Even if have a date night planned with your main squeeze (good for you!), we’ve got some great ideas for fun and meaningful things to do together with the whole family, before the kids’ bedtime.

Pose for Photo Valentines (or e-Valentines)

Credit for this idea goes to Julia Child, who would create valentines every year with her husband to send to friends. It’s a great annual time capsule to look back on with your family and a cute surprise for the recipients.

Bake Something from the Heart

Spend quality time with the kids, teach them a thing or two, stay in out of the cold, and end up with a sweet reward. What could be better? Whip up some super-simple chocolate peanut  butter Valentine’s cookies or make and decorate heart-shaped sugar-cookie cutouts—always a treat.

Make Something from the Heart

Not a baker? Be a maker. There are thousands of easy-to-make Valentine’s Day craft tutorials to browse online. Here are a few that are simple for little makers and have enough shelf life to be enjoyed all year-round:

Share the Love

Ask each family member to come up with one (or five!) reasons they love every other family member. Share these “love notes” together and file them away as keepsakes or scrapbook them. They are fun to look back on over the years.

Plan a Valentine’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Keep the kids active with Valentine’s Day-themed scavenger hunts. Keep it simple with an Easter-type hunt for cut-out hearts or little Valentine’s treats or step up your game by writing clues on paper hearts and even incorporating some sweet notes about what you love and admire most about your kids into the clues—with a reward when they get to the end, whether it’s a treat, toy, or surprise activity.

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