When I got married over 23 years ago and had children, my husband and I realized we had to do fun family things for Valentine’s Day. As a military family, we didn’t have family living nearby to drop our children off with, so we had to be creative. While living in Northern Virginia things haven’t changed. At this point we have created a system of different ways to celebrate this love holiday together.
Since Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday this year; instead of a date night, my husband and I have a date lunch. Even if we can’t go and have lunch at a fancy restaurant, just sitting together eating a sandwich and chips is romantic. Because we don’t have to yell at any of our children; it’s just us two. However, as a family photographer, I know you’re probably looking for ways to celebrate your family on this holiday and document the memories you’ll create.
Let’s discuss a few awesome ideas you can do with your family and make memories that will last generations.
Now my eldest is the king of this game. It has taught him how to be strategic and think several moves ahead. It’s to the point where no one wants to play because we know we’re going to lose…I know it’s sad.
Another one of our favorite family games is Trouble.
We love all these games, because they’re appropriate for children and adults of all ages.
Watch a Movie
There is nothing like watching a stream of movies. It may be difficult this year since Valentine’s is during the middle of the school week. However, it may still be possible to get in one flick before bedtime. If you’re like us, busy schedules rarely allow for a movie night during the week, but if it’s for a special occasion we’ll make an exception. Some recommendations:
Ensure to pop some popcorn or bake my family’s recipe for Quick Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Go on a family date
Although you’re a family now, it’s a great time to get dressed up and visit your family’s favorite restaurant or experience a new neighborhood establishment. If we don’t cook at home, we usually dine at one of these two restaurants: Cracker Barrel or Ruth Chris Steakhouse.
This word scramble will be a ton of fun for kids of all ages. It was found from the Super Teacher Worksheets website. Just print this fun and challenging worksheet and see who can unscramble the most words the quickest. To print worksheet, click here.
How many words can you create from Happy Valentine’s Day? During my elementary school days, my teacher would have a fun activity to determine how many kids could create the most words from Merry Christmas. Well this is the same concept. For my family we put two minutes on the timer and see who can create the most words during this time frame. It really gets the mental juices flowing. Don’t forget the small words…a, the, … To print the worksheet for this activity, click here.
Who doesn’t like, or should I say love to receive a personal written love note. In previous years, I taken pieces of paper and cut them into hearts and written notes of love to each of my children. It’s personal thoughts of gratitude and affection for what I love about them. They’re always happen to receive them.
Cook A Meal Together
If you’ve been out to eat on Valentine’s Day recently, you know it may take a while to get a table for dinner. This is usually when we stay at home if we don’t make a reservation ahead of time to Ruth Chris Steakhouse. I usually make dinner for my family, but if possible, on the love date, I attempt to incorporate everyone into make the meal. You could even turn your dinner into a candlelight meal. This year we’ll be staying at home and making my recipe for Herb Crusted Chicken. You can view the recipe for this moist and delicious chicken in the online store along with recipe for homemade biscuits.
Just the Two of Us
Do you want so recommendations for a nice dinner for just the two of you? I highly recommend Teddy and the Bully Bar in Washington D.C. If you love Mac and Cheese, you'll definitely won't to try theirs. It's ridiculously good! In addition they have a lemonade of the day. To see what I had when I visited, read the post here.
If you won't to beat the crowd, did you know Bar Louie in Stonebridge (Woodbridge, VA) has a Burger Night? Yes, they offer $5 Signature Burger and Fries on Tuesday Nights. A quick date night for $10 + tip; you can't beat that!
Regardless of what you decide to do as a family or a couple, make sure to have your camera ready to take pictures of all the beautiful memories you’ll create. In addition, consider putting together an album of your memories to look back upon next year. I want to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day. May your heart and spirit be filled with the love of your family and friends.
How does your family plan to spend Valentine’s Day?
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Hello, I'm Tamieka, owner of Tamieka Smith Photography. I would love to help you plan your family's sunset portraits in Northern Virginia (or surrounding area) or photograph your military ceremony — possibly both. Working with families and military members is my specialty. I hope you'll look at my recent work and all that’s available for you. I hope we're able to work together and I’m able to document your family’s history.