There are so many events on this week, they are divided by holiday.|
Make sure to see Family events for Lunar New Year too.
Family Valentine’s Day Tea Party Potluck / Dance, by donation
Where: Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, 154 E 10th Ave. (west of Main St.) (map)
What: The Mount Pleasant Family Centre is hosting a fabulous tea party / dance for families. There will be crafts for kids and musical entertainment provided by DJ Little D, a kid-friendly DJ who is often booked for family events in East Van, such as Disco, Baby! at the Rhizome Cafe. The tea party is a potluck, so bring along something to share if you’re able… you can bring something sweet, savoury or even bring tea. Suggested donation is $10 / family, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. You can also check out their facebook page for updates and more information.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Mount Pleasant Family Centre, you need to be! The drop-in program runs from Monday – Thursday with both a morning (9:30 – 11:30) and afternoon (1:00 – 3:00) session. There are many activities for kids from 0 – 5, even pre-mobile babies have a spot where they won’t be trampled. There’s a downstairs area for parents where you can pop away for a cup of tea or coffee while your kid plays upstairs. I heard about the Family Centre several times before I actually got there on my own. Once it was when I overheard a conversation between two Moms: “Do you know the Family Centre on St. George St?” “You mean the one with the women like angels?” “Yes… they are unbelievable!” During my first visit, all the women who run the program took the time to have a conversation with me and interact with Monita. Since then, they have remembered my name and greeted me warmly every time I’ve visited, even if I’ve been away for a month. It’s like dropping in at a favourite Aunt’s house, but with lots of kids and parents to interact with. There are songs and a snack at the end of each session. And the kids, down to the very last one, seem to love it there.
Valentine’s Eve Stories, Songs and Crafts, free
Where: West Point Grey Branch, 4480 West 10th Avenue (map)
What: Visit the library with the family for Valentine-themed stories, rhymes, fingerplays and songs. At the end of the program you can make a Valentine’s Day craft for the whole family to work on together.
Valentine’s Day Playgym, Crafts and Cookies, $3
Where: Sunset Community Centre, 6810 Main Street (map)
What: In addition to the regular playgym toys, there will be a bouncy castle, arts and crafts, face painting, cookie decorating and light refreshments at the Sweetheart’s Valentine’s Day Playgym. You can pre-register with Sunset Community Centre or just show up at the event and ask if there is still space available. Join in the fun for $3. (The playgym pass doesn’t apply to this special event, however, you’ll still need to buy a ticket.)
Valentine’s Day Swim, Hillcrest Aquatic Centre, $6 or $4.99 each for 10 tickets
When: Thursday Feb 14, 4:00 – 9:45pm
Where: Hillcrest Aquatic-Centre Pool, 4575 Clancy Loranger Way (map)
What: Valentine’s Day night is generally the domain of couples, but if you have a family (and aren’t going to try and score a babysitter) then you might as well do something all together. Kids will enjoy the dyed “red” water in the leisure pool and a sweet treat. No pre-registration required, just drop in and join the fun. Though technically this event is more than $5 for a one-time admission, you can buy a book of 10 tickets to bring the price down to $5 for the family. Happy swimming. See more details here.
A little further afield…
Swap meet / Free Valentine’s Day Portrait for Kids at Movies for Mommies
What: Swap meets are the single cheapest way to get kids clothes and stuff (besides getting hand-me-downs for free, of course). Most of the time, parents set up tables with a sign that says “everything $2”, though there are some Moms that individually label clothing items with mid-range prices. Sometimes they even give things away for free (thanks for the bibs, East Van Mamas!). At this swap event there will be at least five tables of kids stuff for sale by parents at the Dolphin Theatre, so you can come and browse before the show at Movies for Mommies, an opportunity to see movies out in a baby-friendly setting. There will also be a photographer from MCS Photo offering free baby photo shoots, which will score you a free photo and three photo greeting cards. It’s a Valentine’s Day contest, so if your darling is deemed the cutest in their love-themed finery, you could win a 1 hour photo session with MCS Photo and a $25 gift card to the Send Out Cards Photo Store. The movie, Identity Thief, starts at 11:30am and costs $10, but it’s not clear whether you can just come to the swap meet or not. If you were thinking of seeing the movie anyhow, coming for the sale and photo shoot makes it worthwhile.
See the Movies for Mommies facebook site for more info on upcoming shows.