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Valentine’s Day is for all kinds of love, not only the idealized romantic sort poets and advertisers would lead us to believe. Kids also enjoy the holiday with friends, mom, dad and the siblings too. Make Valentine’s Day weekend a family-friendly time with fun ways to show the kids you love them most of all.
214 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010
If you love PEZ dispensers, then what a treat it is to visit this gem of a museum. It’s not exactly what you would expect when you think of a ”museum,” but the place is definitely worth exploring. Ideal for a family fun day poking around, Valentine’s Day weekend combines everyone’s love for PEZ with an opportunity for a family day out and about. Check the website to see the PEZ on display and additional details.
Invention & Technology 1750 – 1950
351 Homer Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Here is a cool museum with something for everyone in the family. Open Friday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the MOAH mission is to “show the evolution, influence, and relevance of historic innovations to the technologies and society of the past and present.” To this end, the mission is to “collect, preserve, and display historic objects and inventions that illustrate the effects and influence of innovation.” Two major museum exhibits happen annually, along with smaller, rotating concurrent exhibits. Currently on exhibit is an early 20th century kitchen, a 1920s general store, an operating 1920s and 1930s print shop, a 1920s working car garage and the Ruth Bell Lane Memorial Gardens. There are programs for children and adults, plus annual events like the Annual Holiday LEGO Extravaganza. Grab the whole family or join with friends this Valentine’s Day weekend and book a docent-led tour for your group/$3 per person (groups and schools only). Admission is free, although a $5 donation is suggested. Visit the website to learn what’s going on at MOAH when you plan to visit.
1200 Howard Ave.
Burlingame, CA 94010
Show the love and bring the kids in for some pampering on Valenine’s Day weekend. Just Kids Cuts & Beauty Market specializes in cutting kids’ hair and maintaining a kid-friendly environment. It may be the Peninsula’s premier hair salon for kids, featuring a beauty market with high-quality international brand products for children and adults, plus cute hair accessories too. There is a TV at every station, quiet hair clippers so as not to frighten the little ones and lollipops for kids after their haircuts. The staff generally gets high customer praise for its kid-friendly attitudes and being calm and collected even with fussy children. Is it your child’s first haircut? Ask to have the hair collected and get a little certificate as a keepsake.
1451 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301
The Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo is an admission-free environment for kids to explore, discover, create, play, meet new animal friends and learn, all rolled into one adventure. With a mission to engage a child’s curiosity in science and nature at its forefront, the museum is an ideal venue for kids and their families or caregivers to spend a terrific day together. Two current hands-on exhibits, the Clean Green Energy Machines and Buzzzz, are just right for kids up to nine years of age, and February is perfect timing to enjoy the new costume area in Buzzzz and upgrades to the beehive and wind power exhibits. The Zoo has more than 50 species of animals totaling about 200 in all, including a screech owl, the newest Zoo family member. In the Zoo, children pretend to be in a bobcat’s world in the “Kitten’s Den” and climb into a world of nest makers in “Weaverbird House.” Edward the giant tortoise, one of the Zoo’s most popular animals, takes a walk with children when the weather is right. Planning a visit here anytime can be fun and rewarding as kids and the adults in tow explore a variety of science themes while they build, problem solve, observe and let their imaginations run free. After a full day at the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo, wander over to Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream nearby for some of the best ice cream treats anywhere.
3946 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Who doesn’t like ice cream? Kids are at the top of the ice cream loving list. If you are looking for a way to top off a fun weekend with the kids, a visit to an ice cream shop is definitely a winner. For some of the absolute best ice cream around, you’ve got to get to Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream, a true Bay Area favorite and award winner for 35 years. With 48 yummy ice cream flavors plus other goodies to tempt you and the kids, is there a more perfect time to show the love than on Valentine’s Day weekend? The holiday brings more to love at Rick’s as the shop makes Valentine’s Day-themed cake pops, fudge and ice cream cakes too.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.