Skint Dad

Six ways to enjoy Valentine's Day as a family

Flowers may either get knocked out of the vase or played with. The chocolates get eaten without you getting a look in. And that nice restaurant? Children as chaperones doesn’t really set the mood!

Instead, of trying to find ways to celebrate Valentine's Day without your children, get them to be part of it and make it a family day.

Have a movie night

Pick a great family classic that will set the mood for love. How about a classic like Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, Shrek or even Enchanted?

Once it’s over, get the kids off to bed. You can then continue your movie night with a film you both decide on (perhaps best to decide on it ahead of time). While my wife can be quite easy going, I’m not much of a fan of romantic types films. Most films are on Netfix or NOW TV (you can get a free trial too), so the night may be quite cost effective too.

Reminisce about the past

Sometimes just talking is enough. Use Valentine's as an excuse to share old photos and stories with the kids. Let them know when you met and how you fell in love. While the children will enjoy the stories about initial dates (some good and maybe some not so good), you’ll also enjoy looking back on memories and seeing how far you’ve come.

Have a restaurant meal in

Other people may not enjoy your kids giggling and having fun on Valentine's but you want to spend as much time as possible with them. Forget those over inflated prices you’ll have to pay (plus the taxi, and wine, and maybe something new to wear) and spend the money on you and your kids.

Set the table - properly. Get a table cloth, napkins, candles, the decent plates and serve up a three course meal from home. Make sure you have some soft piano music playing in the background to keep the mood. Why not even let the kids drink water or squash out of wine glasses to make them feel like they’re having a great treat.

Have a party

Maybe you don’t have enough time to cook up a feast, or you all won’t sit still for long enough. Instead why not plan a mini party of your own with a Valentine's theme. Blow up some red balloons (heart shaped ones if you can find them) and find a cheesy playlist on YouTube.

Make sure to finish the night with a slow dance so everyone can calm down before bedtime…!

Family game night

Do you need a better excuse to ban technology for a few hours, than a games night? Break out Scrabble, Hungry Hippo, Uno, Monopoly or any other game that doesn’t cause an argument and the kids enjoy too. Or how about Pictionary, charades?

You don’t even need a board game (which can sometimes get boring), so try to find some new family favourites you can put together with stuff from around the home.

Go watch the stars

Could there be anything more romantic that spending an evening gazing at the stars, imagining your future lives? One of the things we really love to do with our kids is go for a walk in the evening. After dinner, we wrap up warm and get our coats on then go for a walk around the block. It's nothing special as such, but it's a lovely way to spend time together when everything is quiet outside.

Although the weather can be a bit hit and miss in February, trying to get out at night time can be a lot of fun. While it may be cloudy meaning you can't always see any stars, a walk in the evening air is very calming and you’ve got lots of opportunities to talk about what you all love.

When it comes down to it, you can easily have a priceless Valentine’s Day by being able to share it with the most precious people in the world to you.