By Anna Berend

Once you become a parent, Valentine’s Day takes on another meaning. It isn’t just a time for romantic love, but also a time to celebrate the love between a parent and a child. Valentine’s Day is a special holiday for families.

When I was a child, my dad always made a point of getting a special Valentine’s Day gift just for me. I loved getting flowers or a sweet box of chocolates or another small, thoughtful gift. It made me feel like a little princess.

It’s the little things that count. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but creative and fun score big points. Here are a few ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day with your little “pumpkin pie”, “apple of your eye”, “love bug”, “mini me”, “half pint” or whatever you call your young offspring who stole your heart the minute he or she came into your life.

Wed- Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Stop in for an old-fashioned shake or malt in a tall, frosty glass. You and your “date” will enjoy slurping down the sweet dessert in any of the dozens of unique flavors offered at this classic family joint. It might even become a family tradition more than once a year.

Check website for dates and reservations
Cost: $35 per person

A proper, high tea at the St. Paul Hotel is a delightful way to spend a cold, dreary winter afternoon with your petite sweetheart. Nestled in the warm and vibrant hotel lobby, the weekend five-course teas are extra special during February; the Chocolate Lover’s Tea is served during this month. After warming up with tea and delicious tidbits, you might even be opt for a stroll through beautiful Rice Park across the street or perhaps try the ice at the Wells Fargo ice rink next to the Landmark Center.

Cost: $13, Adults $10, Children

When thinking of matters of the heart, head straight to the Science museum with your blood relations and learn all about the cardiovascular system and other cool bodily functions. Of course, don’t stop there; explore all the fascinating, hands-on galleries of the Science Museum with your little Einstein. You’ll enjoy learning together, and you’ll probably be surprised by what your super smart offspring already knows.

Hours – Mon–Fri: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sat: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sun: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

If your girl is all about American Girl dolls, then the place to take her for a special date with mom or dad is the American Girl store in the Mall of America. Your daughter will love shopping for new dolls, accessories, etc., but that’s not all she can do here. Your cutie pie can also make an appointment for her favorite dolly to get a new ‘do, attend a special event or make reservations to dine in the American Girl Bistro. You can have brunch, lunch, dinner or even a special tea at this girly girl destination.
Saturdays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. through February
Cost: $7 for individuals; $20 per family; Free for kids under 5 years old.

You may have seen model trains before, but this is a different experience altogether. Visit the Twin City Model Railroad Museum on a Saturday night and see the Night Train show. You and your small fry are sure to be delighted by this exquisite display. Don’t miss out; the Night Train show goes through February.

750 Cleveland Ave. S.,
St. Paul, Minn.
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At Menchie’s you serve yourself when it comes to choosing the flavor of yogurt and the toppings. And there are lots of flavors and topping to choose from. Let your little one take charge and create a totally unique frozen yogurt treat. You pay by weight once your creation is complete. So, whether it’s banana “fro yo” with gummy bears, crushed Oreos and caramel sauce or simply vanilla with hot fudge sauce, your sweetie pie is sure to be pleased.

Anna Berend is an attorney and the author of Motherly Law Blog. On Motherly Law, Anna writes about legal issues that affect families and offers tips and resources that pertain to those legal topics. On occasion, inspiration strikes and Anna writes about something totally unrelated to the law. You can find Anna at, on Facebook at Motherly Law and on Twitter @MotherlyLaw.