Family Centered Valentine’s Day Activities, A Birthday, and an Unexpected Parenting Lesson

 Fun and crafty family activities to celebrate Valentine’s Day. February 2 – 13, 2013. San Francisco and Oakland.


February 1st is my daughter’s birthday. Her due date was February 14th, Valentine’s Day. I thought that would be a perfect birthday, she had other ideas. Born two weeks early, I was woefully unprepared.

I left work Friday evening. My desk was more of a mess than ever since I needed to rush out to a client dinner and did not have time to straighten it. At all. Books on the floor open to key cases; files scattered over every inch of my desk; and both the in-box and out-box over-flowing. I expected to be at work another week so thought nothing of leaving my office in disarray.

messy desk

I had it all planned. Wanting to squeeze every minute into my post-baby maternity leave I was working until the week before my due date. Plenty of time to wrap things up before the baby was born. Or so I thought.

Before the baby came I expected to have a big burst of text-book level “nesting.” Never happened. I expected to attend my baby shower on Saturday. Never happened. I expected to have a bag packed for the hospital, the last of the La Maze classes completed, and baby stuff in the house. You guessed it — never happened.

As an expectant parent I had no idea that children and “expectations” do not, and should not, cohabit the same world. In hindsight this was my first parenting lesson – expect the unexpected and roll with what you get. It took a long time to make that connection.

For me, my daughter’s birthday will forever be intertwined with Valentine’s Day. Here is  a list of fun things to do with your kids around Valentine’s Day. Plan ahead (!) events may require advance registration.

And Happy Birthday to my beloved daughter who has exceeded all my expectations even though I should not have had any. . .

birthday cake free clip art



  • 2nd Annual Valentine Broadside Printing Event

valentine heart and printing letters

San Francisco Main Library -  Book Arts & Special Collections/SF History Center
100 Larkin St. San Francisco, 6th Floor
Saturday, February 2, 2013 2:00 – 4:00
Free but limited to the first 100 people.

Create a Valentine’s Day card using one of the library’s hidden treasures – a renovated 1909 Albion hand press. Wow.

  • More Free Events at Various San Francisco Library Branches

Valentine craft program

•    Crafternoon – Handmade Valentines Saturday, February 2, 2013. 2:00-3:30
Main Library, 100 Larkin St. San Francisco,Sycip Conference Room. Free but must register since limited number of spots. Register by phone (415-557-4521), or by emailing

Make a valentine. They will supply a variety of papers, die cutters, ribbon, vellum, lace and plenty of examples to inspire. You can bring photocopied photographs, pressed flowers, or anything easily sewn or glued to paper to make a one-of-a-kind, keepsake Valentine.

•    Valentine Craft Program -  Thursday, February 7, 2013 / 3:00 – 4:30
Noe Valley Branch 451 Jersey Street, San Francisco, 94114 (415) 355-5707

Make Valentine’s Day cards for the ones you love!  For ages 3-7 with parents/caregivers.

•    Make a Stained Glass Style Valentine’s Day Card - Friday, February 8, 2013 / 3:30 – 5:00
Parkside Library Branch, 1200 Taraval Street, San Francisco.

Create beautiful stained glass Valentine’s Day Cards using foil and marking pens. Best for children ages 5 and older.

•    Valentine Arts & Crafts -  Saturday February 9, 2013 /  10:30 – 12:30

West Portal Library Branch, 190 Lenox Way, San Francisco.

Valentine’s Day crafts!  For children ages 3-5 and a care giver.

•    Valentine’s Day Craft Make and Take – Friday, February 8, 2013 / 3:30 – 4:30

Ingleside Library Branch, 1298 Ocean Ave & Plymouth, San Francisco.

Drop in Valentine’s Day craft program for children of all ages.  Create a unique craft for the holiday.

199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA 94114.
February 9, 2013
Drop in Saturdays between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
$6/child, $10 for an adult and child together. Kids under 8 must be with a paying, participating adult. Members of the Randall Museum Friends and Arts Card holders receive a 2-for-1 discount. Sign up at the museum’s front desk to participate; the last sign-ups are at 3:30.

Learn cool printmaking technique as you make Valentine’s Day cards.


  • Edible Valentine Workshop


2071 Mission Street   San Francisco, CA  94110   |   415.824.2222

Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 5pm / Fee: $10.00

Decorate valentine cookies and chocolate bars and transform them into a beautiful valentine card!

  • Valentine’s Day Crafts at MoCHA

Museum of Children’s Art

Saturday and Sunday, February 12 & 13, 2013 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
538 Ninth Street, Suite 210 Oakland, CA 94607    |   510.465.8770
Fee: $8 per child, FREE for adults and members.

Stamp, print and glue unique Valentine cards for all your loved ones. Use papier-mâché, lace and fabric to sculpt a heart centerpiece for display.

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

valentine free clip art




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