Just because your twosome expanded to include a few mini-me’s, don’t think you have to give up Valentine’s Day. You can still enjoy all the chocolate, sweetness and fun the day provides, even with the kids in tow. Here are a few events sure to charm the whole family.
Vancouver’s eighth Annual Hot Chocolate Festival runs through Feb. 14 with something different going on each day. The 26-day event includes 35 participating vendors and chocolatiers for 75 different flavors of hot chocolate. Check the website for a walking map of all the best spots. Beyond sipping on so many varieties, take advantage of pop-up tastings, cooking classes and more.
If it’s a mountain getaway you’re craving this winter season, head to the aptly named city of Loveland, Colo. The Feb. 9–11 Loveland Fire and Ice Festival is the nation’s largest Valentine’s Day festival. The free and family-friendly event includes plenty of Valentine’s Day-themed lights, ice sculptures, entertainment, kids activities, fireworks and more. The city offers plenty of little extras for mom and dad, too, such as specialty Valentine’s Day beers and coffees from local brewers and roasters, and a marathon, the Loveland Sweetheart Classic.
If you’re seeking warmer temperatures, head to Tampa Bay, Fla., for the pre-Valentine’s Day weekend renaissance fest kick-off. While the fair itself runs several weekends in a row, the Valentine’s Day theme is all things chocolate. Both Feb. 10 and 11, an all-day chocolate festival includes plenty of free bites from local chocolatiers and bakers. Then, you won’t want to miss the fencing competition, fudge fling and couples pie-eating contest.
Dozens of colorful hot air balloons fill the Albuquerque sky during the Friends & Lovers Balloon Rally, Feb. 10–11. Catch the 7 a.m. launch both days with free admission, before you explore the rest of this beautiful city. Families are encouraged to attend and make an event out of it — be sure to bring a cozy blanket and plenty of hot chocolate!