Family activities for Valentine’s Day

The Chicago winter’s got your family trapped indoors, and certain members—we won’t name names—are starting to turn on each other. That means it’s time to get out of the house and have some fun!

Valentine’s Day in Chicago

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and it’s the perfect chance to celebrate as a family and remind yourselves that you really do love each other. The holiday isn’t just for couples (although Mom and Dad probably wouldn’t mind if a generous babysitter let them have a date night); there are plenty of family-friendly Valentine’s activities in Chicago.

The Chicago Park District is a great place to start your family’s Valentine’s Day planning. They’re hosting several family Valentine’s dances around the city, including the Valentine Disco Bash at the Indian Boundary Park and Cultural Center on the far North Side. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is also holding a family dance: the I Love Nature! Family Valentine’s Day Dance is in its third year and includes dinner, dancing, Valentine’s card-making, swag bags and visits with the resident animals.

If someone in your family’s got two left feet, check out Family Hearts and Crafts at the Armour Square Park Facility. This Park District event promises family-friendly, Valentine-themed arts and crafts projects. The Park District is also throwing a Valentine’s Roller Skating Party at Williams Park and a Valentine’s party for three- to six-year-olds at Skinner Park with dancing, games, snacks, and inflatables.

Spring will make its much-anticipated return not too long (we hope) after Valentine’s Day, and there are plenty of opportunities for springtime family fun in Chicago. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the first major holiday of spring, with the Irish American Heritage Center. Hear Irish music, taste traditional foods, and visit an Irish arts and crafts fair at the IAHC’s annual St. Patrick’s Festival on March 14. The festivities continue with the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 17 that features Irish music and dancing.

Later in the month, get a start on your Easter activities with the Chicago Park District’s Bunny Bonanza at Wells Park on March 25. Grab your kids under age six and hop on over to enjoy this event’s face painting, arts and crafts, inflatables, egg hunt and bunny photo ops.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum will help your family celebrate the return of spring with its nature-themed programs. The museum holds its Drop-by Family Fun activities each weekend, including sessions on the wildlife living in rainforest rivers in March and the sweet treats that grow in the rainforest in April. The staff also demonstrates how to feed its animals each Sunday and hosts a daily butterfly release.

The Chicago Botanic Garden also plans to observe the warming weather with its Malott Japanese Garden Spring Weekend. On March 21st and 22nd, families will learn how to write spring-themed haikus, hear traditional storytelling and make crafts like a cherry blossom hanging scroll. And the Kid’s Activity Garden at this year’s Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier gives kids the opportunity to learn about container gardening and to get up close and personal with bugs!

Be sure to take advantage of all Chicago has to offer this Valentine’s Day and spring—and enjoy your family in the process!