Sweet Valentine’s Day Activities for Families

Have you noticed the abundance of roses at your grocery store or Teddy Bears offering stuffed hearts in shop windows? That’s because love is in the air. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with it comes the opportunity to express your affection for your family by spending quality time together at a local event (there’s one for the animal lovers)  or by participating in a fun activity (get artsy)! Read on for our top picks for things to do this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day at the Oregon Zoo

Were the holidays too busy to catch ZooLights? Has it been a while since you and the family have explored the jungle of animals that is the Oregon Zoo? Well, you're in luck! This Valentine's Day, the Oregon Zoo will be discounting admission pricing by $4, making this outing both fun and affordable! Spend your day letting the kids fall in love with the zoo's family of elephants, or take a seat and ride the historic zoo train! Zookeepers will be putting on a special Valentine's Day show with the leopards, lions, elephants and orangutans this Valentine's Day, so head online to plan your zoo visit! 

Be sure to check out the Oregon Zoo's facemask policy on their website and make sure to leave the cash at home! The zoo is currently operating as a cashless entity during COVID-19.

Where: Oregon Zoo, 4001 SW Canyon Rd., Portland
When: Feb. 14
Cost: $20/Adult ; $19/Children ages 2-11
Online: here

Lovejoy Tea Room's Royal WEE Tea Service

Why not celebrate Valentine's Day the posh way? There's nothing better than getting on your Valentine's Day best for an afternoon full of finger-food and a spot of tea! Lovejoy's Tea Room has a Royal WEE Tea Service as a kid-friendly option that offers more youthful snack options like Nutella laden treats or hot chocolate in lieu of tea. This option is for kids 12 and under, and runs $35 per tyke. Not to worry, parents. You can have the RoyalTEA Service for more sophisticated hors d'oeuvres and a bottomless tea! Head online to see their menu and to reserve your love-filled lunch or midafternoon outing today!

Where: Lovejoy's Tea Room of Portland, 3286 NE Killingsworth St., Portland
Wed/Thur: 2-6 p.m.
Fri/Sat: 11a.m.-7 p.m.
Sun: 11a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Varies
Online: here

PaperSource: Valentine's Day!

We all remember handing out valentines in elementary school. The rush of excitement of exchanging candies and handwritten notes with classmates is a fond childhood memory, so why not put a little crafty-effort into this year's valentine's card creation? PaperSource has tons of options for helping you and your family get into the cupid crafts this February. Whether it's classroom valentines, valentines crafts, cards, or wraps, or maybe even the works for a Valentine's Day party, PaperSource has you and your family covered! They've got discounts and sales galore when it comes to peppering your Valentine's Day celebrations with heart-shaped glitter and wordy cuteness. You can call ahead to arrange your order via phone, place an order online for delivery by Valentine's Day, or take the family for in person shopping! Whichever method you choose, you're sure to encounter the best kind of decision paralysis. Make sure to have PaperSource part of you and your family's Valentine's Day festivities this year!

Where: PaperSource, 638 NW 23rd Ave., Portland 
Mon - Sat: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday: 11a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Varied
Online: here

Winter Light Portland Festival 2022

Pull out the winter jackets, don your knitted caps, and step out into Portland this February for a tour of the Winter Light Festival! This year will be the seventh annual light show produced by the Willamette Light Brigade (PDXWLF), and is surely not one to miss! PDXWLF urges the community to explore their neighborhoods by checking out the pop-art that they've sprinkled across the city! Art installations with illuminated components, live performances, and touch-free events will be the name-of-the-game this year, as PDXWLF works around COVID-19. Whether you and your family set out by foot or hop on your bikes for a cycling tour of this year's displays, you can be sure to be awed! Get out, get connected, and celebrate a bit of community love this Valentine's Day with the Portland Winter Light Festival!

When: February 4 - 12
Cost: Free
Online: here

Valentine's Day Dinner Nostrana

You can't deny that that pizza looks amazing. Similarly, you can't go wrong with getting your Valentine's Day meal from Nostrana. Whether you leave the kids at home for a cute night out with your partner, or order in for the whole family to enjoy, Nostrana has an option for you. Should you choose to dine in, this exquisite Italian restaurant is serving up a special 3 course menu for this February's evening of romance. Your mouth will surely water just by reading it. Make sure to reserve your spot before hand as seats are going fast! And if you'd like to wine and dine yourself with the family in the comfort of your own home, you can easily place a takeout order with them over the phone beginning at 5 p.m. Head online to check out Nostrana's Valentine's Day menu, make a reservation, and let the staff know about any dietary restrictions you may have! 

Where: Nostrana, 1401 SE Morrison St., Portland OR 97214
When: Feb. 14, 5 p.m.
Cost: For dine-in, $119/person ; takeout, varied
Online here


photo: Laura Green

Take a Snow Day

If you are looking for a Valentine's Day activity in or near Portland that will turn cheeks pink and keep the kids smiling and squealing all day long? Grab the sleds and snow tubes, pack some hot chocolate and snacks and head for the hills for a day of fun in the snow. Everyone know PNW folks love their cold-weather recreation and tubing and sledding allow everyone to enjoy the late-winter fun. Head to Mt. Hood for an afternoon of snow play, or try White River or Little John snow park. Most places on the slopes require a Sno-Park Permit, available in daily, 3-day, and annual increments. Pick one up at your local DMV or at many Bi-Rite and outdoor stores. For a full list of options, with driving directions, hours and more, check out our top picks here.

Plan a Winter Wonderland Vacation

Why not celebrate Valentine's Day weekend with a winter wonderland road trip? There are a plethora of of great locations perfect for mini family vacation only a short drive away. Think Central Oregon with it's Bend, Sisters, and Sun River destinations all perfect base camps for wintery outdoor recreation. Depot Bay offers its own seaside charm, and an opportunity to catch a glimpse of whale tales. Whether it's the mountains or ocean that calls to your crew, we've found several winter road trips that are perfect for celebrating your love. Check out our whole list here.

photo: pexels

Hunt Down Sweets for Your Sweetie

What would Valentine's Day be without sweets for your Sweeties? Take your kids out for an amazing cup of hot chocolate (or purchase some to enjoy at home) at one of Portland's great shops. Creo Chocolate offers both hot chocolately drinks as well as candies you'll enjoy as a family. If you feel more like celebrating with cake, Fat Cupcake is the place to go for beautiful confections that declare your affections. For a full list of our top picks of places to check out, read about where we think you can find the best sweets for your sweetie here. You can also find a full list of our most beloved candy shops here.

—Hannah Judge


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