One of my absolute favorite traditions for holidays like Valentine’s Day is to prepare a themed dinner a couple days before the actual holiday. I do this for a couple reasons. The first is that it gives me more time to prepare and put a little thought into it. I like excuses to turn the volume up on something I’m already doing. If I plan a fun dinner on the Saturday before, for example, I have more time during the day to decorate, cook, bake, and actually enjoy. The second reason is that holidays that fall on weekdays are crazy town. They are SUCH busy days! I usually start the day with a fun breakfast, then I shuffle back and forth between two class parties, school pick up and drop offs, and by the time dinner rolls around, this mama is wiped! Dinner becomes a chore rather than something special and fun!
So then I often get asked, do you just not do something fun on the actual holiday? No, I do. Of course I do! It’s just not as big. When I plan a fun family dinner a couple days before, when I have more time, I am able to go a little more above and beyond a normal dinner. I decorate the table in a fun way, maybe I add some decorations to the kitchen, prepare something fun to eat, and of course, there will be a treat! It makes it fun and enjoyable for me, which is just as important as my family enjoying it!
This year for our Valentine’s Day Family Dinner we were all about the hearts! Hearts were hanging on the wall, they were on the tablecloth, and we even had heart shaped food. Let’s just say, we embraced the hearts…as per my daughter, Evie’s, request.
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Target to the rescue, like always! I told you before that we totally embraced the hearts with this dinner. I asked Evie if she wanted a theme for our dinner. I said she could pick the colors, or whatever part of Valentine’s Day she wanted. To be honest…I really wanted a vintage love letter vibe. BUT Evie immediately went with hearts and rainbow colors and because this dinner was for them, that idea won! I always try to get my kids involved in the planning of fun little activities like this. I knew Target would have what I needed, both my kids love going to Target, and we had been cooped inside for 3 days due to snow. Angels basically sang as I walked through the doors.
My Target Haul
- hanging heart garland
- rainbow heart tablecloth
- Valentine mailboxes
- heart plates
- happy heart day plates
- heart cups
- different cake stands in various colors- both metal and plastic
Looking for more ideas on making Valentine’s Day special this year? Download my free guide below and have fun celebrating with these easy and memorable Valentine ideas!
Waffles were on the menu for this dinner! Heart shaped waffles, of course! My family loves breakfast for dinner, so this was an easy win. I made our favorite waffle recipe and cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter, but you can totally use frozen waffles too to keep it extra easy on yourself. Once the kids had their waffles, they went to town on the toppings.
- pomegranate seeds
- chocolate chips
- Valentine colored M&Ms (because…why not?)
- maple syrup
- berry syrup
- whipped cream
I mean…who wouldn’t want heart waffles covered in fun toppings for dinner?!
Now…my kids can eat carbs on top of carbs all day everyday, but I try to get some protein in their at some point! Heart bacon fit the bill for this dinner.
Did you know making bacon into hearts is actually super easy? Take two strips of bacon, curve one side of the first slice so it looks like a candy cane. Curve the second slice and place the two candy cane shapes together to form a heart. Bake in a 425* for 15-20 minutes (depending on the crispiness you like your bacon!).
Pizza My Heart
If waffles aren’t your family’s jam, heart pizza is our second favorite Valentine’s Day dinner. Next to covering a waffle in more sugar, making pizza for dinner is one of my kid’s favorite things to do. We roll the dough out into a heart shape, then the kids sauce it and cheese it up. We are a plain cheese family, but adding pepperoni in a heart shape is also fun! Giving kids their own personal dough and everyone making their own pizza is a great option as well! Whatever works for you and your family. You could totally get a pre-cooked crust and cut that baby into a heart also. You do you, boo.
I challenge you to have your own Valentine’s Day Family Dinner this year! Run to Target (or the Dollar Store!), or get out the construction paper and make some fun little decorations. Pull out a tablecloth and some themed plates and have a fun dinner to celebrate. Connect with your family over some fun, special foods, focus on how much you love each other, and make some memories!
If you like this idea, be sure to listen to Episode 22 of my podcast, Memories in Moments! I talk more about this idea of a themed family dinner, plus TONS more easy ways you can make Valentine’s Day special for your family this year! Don’t forget to download your free guides below also!