One of my favorite things about celebrating holidays now that I have a family is getting to do lots of fun themed activities and foods. Valentine’s Day is no exception – give me all the heart shaped and red things! Over the past few years we’ve started a bit of a tradition for Valentine’s Day, we do a big Valentine’s Day picnic with friends.
For most parts of the country, a picnic in February would be crazy – but here in Arizona the weather is made for picnics and playing outside! Here’s everything you need to know to pull off the cutest Valentine’s Day picnic for you and your kids.
First, you’ll need to decide where to have your picnic. A local park with a nice grassy area is all you need! A playground is a nice addition as well. Our usual spot for our Valentine’s Day picnic is in front of the LOVE Sculpture in Scottsdale – the kids love getting to play around the sculpture and it makes for some adorable photos.
Some of our other favorite picnic spots in the East Valley are Sunset Park in Chandler, Freestone Park in Gilbert near the “hidden playground” (at the bottom of the hill near the soccer fields), and Kiwanis Park in Tempe near the ball fields.
Decide who you want to attend your picnic – will it be just you and your family or will you invite some friends too? I like to set up a Facebook event for my Mom’s Group to attend, so our crew is usually moms, toddlers, and babies galore! Get your picnic on the calendar by sending out a text or creating a facebook event.
The best part about a picnic is the food, amiright? In my book the only thing better than food is themed food, you better believe lunches are filled with lots a hearts, red and pinks! A few extra minutes and heart shaped cookie cutter is all you need.
Some of my favorite red/pink foods to include are things like raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, beet crackers (from Trader Joes) and jello. If you’re looking for some food to make into heart shapes (remember that heart shaped cookie cutter I mentioned?) here’s a few of my favorites for lunches: quesidillas, sandwiches (anything from PB & J to ham & cheese), pizza, slices of cheese, and cucumbers.
We do our picnics BYOL – bring your own lunch style. Kids can be picky and making food for a bunch can get tricky, so moms pack their own lunch and bring it along for us all to eat together.
No Valentine’s day picnic is complete without treats (or really CHOCOLATE). There’s tons of cute ideas out there for yummy valentine’s day sweets. but my favorites are chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate dipped Oreos, red velvet brownie or heart shaped brownie cut outs (bonus: you get to eat the scraps!), heart shaped rice cereal treats, or even M&M cookies. I usually whip up a batch of treats – last year was brownies- and bring them along to share with the whole group!
Don’t forget to bring a nice big blanket for the grass, plenty of water and sunscreen. If you’re looking for some more picnic tips and ideas, check out our Picnic Perfection post!
Find more valentine inspired posts in our ‘Valentines around the state’ sister site blog tour. Links to our Arizona sister sites below.