25 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day 2013 with kids

Show some love on Valentine's Day 2013 with crafts, cooking workshops, stage shows, dance parties and more.
 (Photograph: Yvonne Brooks)
Photograph: Yvonne BrooksFlight of the Steampunk Victorian Valentines
Galli's Hansel and Gretel
 (Photograph: Jim Baldassare)
Photograph: Jim BaldassarePerfect Catch: A Throwmantic Comedy
Conversations with Anne
 (Jennifer Contini Enderby)
Jennifer Contini Enderby"Art to Heart"
 (Photograph: Michael Jurick)
Photograph: Michael JurickClub Applause Valentine's Day Hip-Hop Dance party
 (Paula Scher)
Paula Scher"Contemporary Cartographies" at Lehman College Art Gallery
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Brooklyn Children's Museum)
Photograph: Courtesy of Brooklyn Children's MuseumCircle of Love: Dads and Daughters Ball
 (Photograph: Courtesy of The Craft Studio)
Photograph: Courtesy of The Craft StudioValentine's Day at The Craft Studio
Floating Valentines: A Screening of The Red Balloon at Poets House
 (Photograph: Matthew Pinto for The Skyscraper Museum)
Photograph: Matthew Pinto for The Skyscraper MuseumValentine's Day Card Creations at the Skyscraper Museum
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Wave Hill)
Photograph: Courtesy of Wave HillFamily Art Project: Hearts and Flowers
 (Photograph: Courtesy of Taste Buds)
Photograph: Courtesy of Taste BudsCupcake Kids Valentine Cupcake Classes
By Lindsey Thomas |

Kids may not grasp the concept of romance beyond holding hands at the playground, but that doesn't mean they can't go all out for Valentine's Day 2013. This year, we've found 25 ways for families to spread a little love, whether it's by crafting homemade cards at a museum or baking scrumptious desserts at a cooking workshop. Meanwhile, parents can treat the whole crew to a stage show or another special outing—the Staten Island Zoo, Queens Botanical Garden and FIAF all offer specially themed programming for Valentine's Day 2013.

Flight of the Steampunk Victorian Valentines
Photograph: Yvonne Brooks

Flight of the Steampunk Victorian Valentines

Got some kids in need of Valentine's Day cards? They can make their own at this super-creative workshop, which will impart Victorian themes and layering techniques, and airborne, Steampunk-style imagery. Materials include doilies, hearts, gears, stamps, ribbons, feathers and other fanciful decorations. All ages.

Galli's Hansel and Gretel

As your little ones watch Hansel and Gretel's classic journey of cunning and candy unfold at this interactive show, they'll have to help the siblings outwit the wicked witch and make their escape. On Sunday, February 9, stick around for a Valentine's Day after-party, where kids can dress up in their favorite fairy tale fashions to enjoy dances and games, then compete for the title of "most romantic costume." Use the code VALENTINE to score discounted admission on February 9–10. All ages.

Photograph: Jim Baldassare

Perfect Catch: A Throwmantic Comedy

Follow along with the crazy, magical and hilarious love story of Jen and Michael, two bored office coworkers who share a love of office pranks—and a common secret. Circus, music, dance, juggling and comedy all find their way into the peculiar affair. A special Valentine's Day brunch is available to complete the experience. Ages 5 and up.

Conversations with Anne

At these monthly family workshops, tweens and teens bring questions they might ask Anne Frank, were she their peer, about such kid-relevant subjects as diary writing, giving to others, and adolescent hopes, dreams and fears. Today's topic is "Love in the Secret Annex," about Anne's relationship with Peter van Pels, whose family lived in hiding with the Franks. In conjunction with Valentine's Day, participants will discuss what it means to fall in love and find answers to tough questions they may face. Reservations are required. Ages 9 and up.


"Art to Heart"

Celebrate Valentine's Day (and American Heart Month) by taking your brood to a big-hearted exhibit featuring 14 contemporary artists, all of whom have contributed small works they created to honor little hearts around the world. Sales from the collection will benefit the Children's Heart Foundation. All ages.

Club Applause Valentine's Day Hip-Hop Dance party
Photograph: Michael Jurick

Club Applause Valentine's Day Hip-Hop Dance Party (canceled)

Forget card making and cutesy hearts: Tweens and teens looking to celebrate the holiday in a more grown-up fashion can head to the heart of the Meatpacking District for their very own hip-hop dance party. DJ Cassidy (whose elite clientele includes President Obama and Beyoncé) will preside over the kids-only affair, alongside his ten-year-old protégé, DJ Fulano. Together, they'll be spinning clean versions of tracks by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, while Applause New York hip-hop teachers lead the whole crew in some dance floor activities. Soft drinks, Baked by Melissa cupcakes and Insomnia cookies will be served. Ages 10 to 15.


Home Grown Valentines

Families turn salvaged paper, dried flowers, lace and ribbon into heirloom valentines. For a personal touch, bring your own scraps (think ticket stubs, photographs and used stamps) that your brood can incorporate into their masterpieces. The workshop takes place at 6 River Terrace. Ages 4 and up.

"Contemporary Cartographies" at Lehman College Art Gallery
Paula Scher

Family Focus

Explore the Lehman College Art Gallery through a guided tour of the current exhibit, "Contemporary Cartographies," showcasing artists who use the language and imagery of maps in their work. After the tour, tots can get creative in hands-on workshops in which they'll make cartography-themed Valentine's Day cards. All ages.

Circle of Love: Dads and Daughters Ball
Photograph: Courtesy of Brooklyn Children's Museum

Circle of Love: Dads and Daughters Ball

If your little girl ever dreamed of a debutante ball—fancy dresses, ballroom music, glamorous photographs—this event is the next best thing! This Valentine’s Day, be your fair lady’s special date (it’s okay; moms can come too) to a memorable night with a live DJ, a dance instructor, corsages, keepsake photos and Valentine’s cards. Reservations required. All ages.

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