Valentine’s Day can be a fun holiday for children of all ages, whether they are making doily and construction paper hearts for mom or giggling with friends over secret crushes. Sacramento is rich with opportunities for families to celebrate that adorable little cupid and to focus, even in the midst of hectic schedules and responsibilities, on what brings them joy. Share these fun experiences with the kids for guaranteed smiles and memories that last long after the candy message hearts and chocolates are gone.
2226 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
Art is in the heart of every small child, and ArtBeast offers the little ones a chance to celebrate Valentine’s Day with paste, yarn, glitter, clay and paint. In addition to fun and casual classes in art, music, yoga, storytelling, drama and dance for babies to seven year olds, the studio has a “drop-in” program for art and play without an appointment. This is not a rigid program; children can have “tummy time” cuddles with mom and dad, giggle and make noise and even use the “bang wall” outside, playing drums on pots and pans. A special bonus for parents on Valentine’s Day or any day is that after you play and create with your kids, ArtBeast staff members clean up the mess and put everything away when you’re done. Proceeds from ArtBeast help support a program for homeless children.
City of Sacramento Front Street Animal Shelter
2127 Front St.
Sacramento, CA 95818
Sacramento County Animal Care & Regulation
3839 Bradshaw Road
Sacramento, CA 95827
Unconditional love from a new best friend is a wonderful, lasting gift on Valentine’s Day and beyond. Visit one of the many Sacramento-area animal shelters and let the kids help pick out a loving cat, dog, rabbit or other pet for the family to adopt. In addition to providing the children with years of fun, hugs and pure, unbiased affection, the family will learn the beauty of saving a life. Organizations like the shelters for the City and County of Sacramento offer healthy, socialized animals that have already been immunized, spayed or neutered and behavior tested. The love of a rescued pet is truly the Valentine’s Day gift that keeps on giving.
Disney on Ice: Rockin Ever After
Sleep Train Arena
1 Sports Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95834
Date: Through Feb. 17, 2014
If the kids are fans of the films of Disney and Pixar, this exciting musical event will keep them on the edge of their seats. Spend Valentine’s Day watching their favorite characters glide and twirl on the ice, bringing to life the action and comedy only Disney can provide. A raucous Scottish jig sets the icy stage for Merida, the wild-at-heart star from “Brave,” to be pursued by royals seeking her hand, and Sebastian bursts gloriously from his shell to celebrate his musical of “The Little Mermaid.” “Tangled” ruffians race around the ice in an uproarious performance with Flynn and Rapunzel, and the magical wonders of the Beast’s castle create a spectacular musical celebration of his beloved Belle.
Amazing Scavenger Hunt in Sacramento
Capitol Ave. and 16th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Date: Feb. 14, 2014
Older kids and adults will love this active three-hour scavenger hunt through the city on Valentine’s Day. Using your internet-ready smart phone for clues, families and friends must seek out special places around the downtown area and face a variety of mind-boggling challenges. Perfect for gaming enthusiasts, your team can gain and lose points based on criteria such as which challenges they meet and what clues and hints they require. The game can be played at your own pace just for fun, or at breakneck speed to compete with other teams. It is an exciting way to spend Valentine’s Day with the kids, and you do not have to tell them they are exercising their brains and learning cool things about the city as they go.
Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.