We all get older, fall in love with someone, choose to spend forever with them, and life changes. For some, you then have children, and life changes all over again. The good old days aren’t gone once you have kids; they’ve only begun.
If you are looking for ways to celebrate the brand new days (i.e. Valentine’s Day with no babysitter in sight), we’ve got a few fun suggestions that you and your family will love.
1. Have a Disney marathon
Disney’s collection of family-friendly love stories makes for the perfect movie night and is an easy way to celebrate a day of love with the whole family. Deck out the TV room in heart-shaped buntings, comfy throws, mattresses and pillows, and drape fairy lights across the room.
Additionally, you can prepare snacks to suit the occasion – chocolates, candy floss, pink popcorn and all the fabulous Pinterest-y ideas to make the kids go, “Ooh!” and “Ahh”. Don matching pyjamas and lose yourself in a tale as old as time. Sing along to the classic love songs like, ‘Can You Feel The Love Tonight’, ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’, ‘Kiss The Girl’, and more.
2. Book a staycation weekend
Maybe skip the midweek 14th celebration and book a February weekend to celebrate with the whole family. Many hotels and resorts all over the country are made for good old family fun. Our island of choice is Langkawi, which is located off the coast of Kedah.
This tropical island is only an hour by flight from Kuala Lumpur. It offers just about everything from adventurous excursions to relaxing spas and has great food and sightseeing destinations suitable for kids and adults alike.
Spend the morning with breakfast in bed, followed by an afternoon of exploring the island and lounging on the beach before heading back to the hotel and getting dressed up for a nice dinner with the family.
3. Host a Valentine’s Day playdate for the kids
They say if you can’t beat them, join them. If you can’t have the day for yourself, make the most of it and host a playdate for your kids and a few of their friends. Let them pick out their Valentine’s dress, make cute cards for their friends, make heart candy necklaces, and eat all their favourite pink and red coloured foods.
It’s a little more effort than the usual romantic dinner reservation for two, but we’re sure it’ll put a smile on your kid’s face. And by the end of the day when the kids are in bed, mum and dad can have a few quiet hours to themselves to celebrate as well.
4. Set up a love-themed photo booth at home
Here’s a fun idea if you are all about capturing and documenting memories. Create a makeshift love-themed photo booth and dress the kids up for picture-perfect snapshots. Use a tablecloth, curtain or wrapping paper for the backdrop. Pick up simple props to go with the theme, like candy, flowers, rose-coloured glasses, streamers, or balloons.
Get the whole family dressed up in cute outfits and smile for the camera. You don’t need fancy gear; just set your phone up on a tripod or prop it up on a shelf for your photos. Another fun addition you could make is getting a Fujifilm Instax printer and immediately printing out the pictures from the shoot, which the kids can use to make V-day cards for each other.
5. Go on solo dates with the kids
A great gift for your partner this Valentine’s Day might just be a few hours to themselves. So while mum goes out for a massage, stays home, watches her favourite TV show with a pack of crisps, or sleeps in, dad can take the kids on a waffle house date. Or when dad plays basketball with his friends, mum and the kids can get a mani-pedi.
Taking your kids out on a solo date is a great way to show you love them and perhaps reconnect with them if they’re a little older. It doesn’t have to be extravagant: sitting in the park with a scoop of ice cream, taking them to their favourite playground or arcade, buying them a book they’ve wanted at the bookstore. Small gestures leave a significant impact on our children.
6. Get drive-thru dinner and watch the sunset together
Think quick and easy if there is simply no time in the day for a fancy Valentine’s Day celebration. Every now and then it’s good to let kids have their “happy food”. It may not necessarily be the healthiest option for everyday meals, but it is a lovely way to put a smile on their face. The whole point of a family Valentine’s day is to make it as hassle-free as possible.
So after work, get the family in the car and head to their favourite drive-thru restaurant. Then drive to the nearest lookout point in your town and watch the sunset together. It’s simple and perhaps not the most traditionally romantic way to spend the evening but there is beauty found in simplicity.
Gazing at the sunset as the kids enjoy their takeout meal, happy and healthy, it’s hard not to be grateful for the love you already have in your life.
7. Camp out under the stars
If you’re the kind of family that’s always up for an adventure, camping out under the stars might be the best way for you and your family to spend the day. You can set up a tent at a designated camping spot or in the comfort of your garden.
Food cooked over the fire, toasted s’mores, sipping hot chocolate under moonlit skies, and stories of how mum and dad met around the campfire sounds like the perfect family-sized Valentine’s evening.