Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Check out this list of FREE activities that you and your special someone(s) are sure to love.
Poetry on the Plaza: Love and Romance – Wednesday, February 4 at Noon. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, readers share poems about one of poetry’s most popular subjects: love. Readers include James Loehlin, Director of the Shakespeare at Winedale program at The University of Texas at Austin, poet Carrie Fountain, and Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. Refreshments will be served. FREE! Harry Ransom Center, 21st and Guadalupe Sts, Austin.
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Valentine’s Themed Adult Craft Night – Wednesday, February 4 from 6-8:00 p.m. Are you tired of giving the same old store bought Valentine’s Day cards every year? Well, change it up this year and head over to Night Crafters. Participants can make a Lucky in Love Scratch Off Card or a tiny Message in a Bottle Valentine. Both are simple to create and fun to share. All supplies are provided. Adults only, please. FREE! APL – Manchaca Road Branch, 5500 Manchaca Rd, Austin.
Teen Valentine’s Movie (Wells Branch) – Friday, February 6 at 5:30 p.m. Teens will watch a screening of the movie If I Stay and do fun heart-themed crafts. Rated PG-13. FREE! Wells Branch Library, 15001 Wells Port Dr, Austin.
Valentine’s Card Making Station – Friday, February 6 – Saturday, February 14 during regular store hours. There’s nothing sweeter than a homemade card. Pottery Barn Kids is partnering with the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children to spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Kids are invited to create one Valentine to give away to a child in need and one to take home for their favorite someone. FREE! Pottery Barn Kids at Barton Creek Square, 2901 S Capital of Texas Hwy, Austin.
Kids’ Workshop: Build a Heart Box (RSVP) – Saturday, February 7 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon. Children ages 5-12 will build a Heart Box at this workshop designed to teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety. All kids go home with their craft, a certificate of achievement, a workshop apron, and a sense of pride and accomplishment. One workshop kit and apron per child, while supplies last. FREE but you must reserve your child’s spot here. Your local Home Depot store.
Crafts at Lakeshore Learning – Saturday, February 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Kids ages 3 and up are invited to drop in and learn how to make From the Heart Coupons. FREE! Lakeshore Learning, 9828 Great Hills Trail, Austin.
Friend Fest – Saturday, February 7 from 1-3:00 p.m. Join Creative Action for a family celebration of friendship featuring interactive fun for kids and adults. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, families can create friendship bracelets, make Valentines, decorate cookies, sample sweet treats, enjoy live music and a friendship parade, plus learn about Creative Action summer camps. FREE! Central Market, 4001 N Lamar Blvd, Austin.
Elmo’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day Celebration (Bee Cave) – Sunday, February 8 from 1-3:00 p.m. Celebrate Elmo’s Birthday and Valentine’s Day. Elmo will visit from 1-2:00 p.m. and there will be crafts from 1-3:00 p.m. Bring your cameras. FREE! Learning Express of Bee Cave, 12901 Hill Country Blvd, Austin.
Valentine Crafts in the Gallery (Round Rock) – Sunday, February 8 from 2-3:30 p.m. Kids, bring your families and make Valentine’s cards at this come-and-go craft session in the library’s gallery area. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
Free Family Fun at The Art Garage – Sunday, February 8 from 2-4:00 p.m. Families can make some adorable Valentine’s Day crafts and enjoy a big sale on Valentine’s pottery. FREE! The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Dr, Ste 202, Austin.
Valentine’s Day Parties at Round Rock Public Library (RSVP) – Monday, February 9 at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 11 – Friday, February 13 at 10:30 a.m. Party-goers will enjoy stories, songs, and rhymes before a sharing activity and snacks. The parties are best enjoyed by children ages 18 months and up. Participants should bring a dish of finger food to share during the party, and 24 Valentines or small treats to distribute to the other partygoers. Pre-registration is required. Sign up at the children’s desk or during one of the regularly scheduled children’s programs. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
Love Is In the Air Storytime – Tuesday, February 10 at 10:30 a.m. Enjoy a reading of My Heart is Like a Zoo and then make Valentines for all the people who make your heart beat a little faster. FREE! BookPeople, 603 N Lamar, Austin.
Valentine’s Concert: Songs of Love – Thursday, February 12 at Noon. Take a 30-minute lunchtime break to hear members of One Ounce Opera share their favorite Valentine’s Day-themed songs spanning centuries and styles. FREE! Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St, Austin.
Valentine Decorating – Thursday, February 12 and Friday, February 13 from 2-4:00 p.m. Decorate to your heart’s content with paper, glitter, stickers, and all other supplies provided. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Each adult may bring a maximum of three children. FREE! Terra Toys, 2438 W Anderson Ln, Austin.
Kids Club: Let’s Make Valentines (Pflugerville) – Thursday, February 12 at 3:30 p.m. Kids ages 5-8 are invited to craft Valentine’s cards. Materials provided while supplies last. FREE! Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 W Pflugerville St, Pflugerville.
Hill Country Galleria Wine Walk (Bee Cave) – Thursday, February 12, from 5-9:00 p.m. Attendees will get to know the eclectic mix of businesses in the Galleria while discovering great tasting wines from all over the world. The event begins at Twin Liquors, where attendees will sample their first flight of wines and receive a Wine Walk Map that will lead them to the next wine tasting location. Additionally, attendees will receive a Hill Country Galleria shopping bag with exclusive offers to Galleria retail stores and restaurants. This event is open to everyone, so bring your friends, family, groups, or date for a fun way to spend a Thursday evening. FREE! Hill Country Galleria, 12700 Hill Country Blvd, Bee Cave.
Villain-tine Party (Round Rock) – Friday, February 13 from 6-8:00 p.m. Teens are invited to celebrate Valentine’s Day by dressing as their favorite villains while enjoying games, food, and fun. FREE! Round Rock Public Library, 216 E Main St, Round Rock.
Teen Valentine’s Dance – Friday, February 13 from 7-9:30 p.m. The DJ will play the hottest jams, plus there will be door prizes, guessing games, free food, drinks, and maybe even a freestyle battle and dance contest. Ages 13-17 welcome. FREE! Turner-Roberts Recreation Center, 7201 Colony Loop Dr, Austin.
Valentine’s Escape – Friday, February 13 at 7:30 p.m. Feeling the love in the air? Celebrate a perfect Valentine’s weekend with popcorn and a movie in the park, featuring 50 First Dates. FREE! (Parents can send their children to Parent’s Night Out from 6-10:00 p.m. Appropriate for ages 5-11; starting at $26 per child.) Dittmar Recreation Center, 1009 W Dittmar Rd, Austin.
Lowe’s Build and Grow: Love Note Holder (RSVP) – Saturday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. Bring your child to Lowe’s to build a Sweetheart Picture Holder. Each store only offers 50 spaces and they do fill quickly. Reserve your child’s spot here. FREE! Your local Lowe’s store.
Valentine’s Day Storytime – Saturday, February 14 at 11:00 a.m. Enjoy a Valentine’s Day storytime and activities featuring I Love You Just Like This. There are many ways to say, “I love you” – and Elmo and his Sesame Street friends are ready to tell you. FREE! Your local Barnes & Noble store.
Kids Club with Silly Angel – Saturday, February 14 from Noon to 2:00 p.m. Make your own Valentine’s Day cards with local greeting card maker Silly Angel. FREE! Whole Foods Domain, 11920 Domain Dr, Austin.
Come & Go Crafts – Saturday, February 14 from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Make Valentines during this drop-in craft time at the library. FREE! Lake Travis Community Library, 1938 Lohmans Crossing, Austin.
Bonus events that are not free:
Valentine’s Make & Take (RSVP) – Friday, February 6 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Little learners ages 2-5 and their parents will receive an interactive writing lesson from homeschool teacher Ashley White. She’ll launch her lesson with a read-aloud, then lead into an age-appropriate writing lesson. Participants will practice what they’ve learned by writing a special Valentine. $5 per child. RSVP to [email protected] Toybrary, 7817 Rockwood Ln, #101, Austin.
Valentine Party with Elsa and Belle (RSVP) – Friday, February 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. Kids ages 3-7 will enjoy cookie decorating, singing, dancing, and a special princess performance. Space is limited. Visit the studio or call (512) 291-2179 to reserve your space. $15 for the first child; $5 for siblings. PAIYH Dance Studios, 13420 Galleria Cir, Ste A-116, Austin.
Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth – Mini Sessions (Round Rock) – Saturday, February 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. BabyEarth is hosting a Valentine’s Day photo shoot for all you sweethearts out there. Each photo: $25+ tax for one high resolution, edited image (photographers choice). Maximum of 2 children; multiple appointments encouraged for 3 children or more. To schedule your appointment, call BabyEarth at 512-600-7050. BabyEarth, 106 E Old Settlers Blvd, Round Rock.
Michaels Kids Club: String Art Heart – Saturday, February 7 from 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Kids ages 3 and up are invited to drop in for 30 minutes of creative craft fun. They’ll take home their completed string art hearts. $2 per child. Your local Michaels store.
Family Valentine’s Bash (RSVP) – Thursday, February 12 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. Join MetroMoms for games, crafts, play, and family fun. $10 per adult + one child; $3 each additional child. Gift bag and raffle included. Register here. Safari Champ, 1400 E Old Settlers Blvd # 200, Round Rock.
Sweets & Treats (Cedar Park) (RSVP) – Friday, February 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Let your little one enjoy a heart shaped cookie and a mini manicure while you shop the latest collection from Matilda Jane “Hello Lovely” with Trunk Keeper Amy Posavek Van Wyk. Complimentary mimosas and sweets for moms. Call 512-257-1957 to schedule your daughter’s mini cure. $5 per child. Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids, 11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste D415, Cedar Park.
Valentine’s Party – Friday, February 13 from 10:30 a.m. to Noon. Dance to old time love songs, hear a Valentine’s story, and decorate cookies or cupcakes. There will be a special cookie decorating activity for grown ups too! $5 for Toybary members; $10 for non-members. Toybrary, 7817 Rockwood Ln, #101, Austin.
Daddy-Daughter Date Night (RSVP) – Friday, February 13 from 4-8:00 p.m. Daddies, bring your girls to the third annual Daddy-Daughter Date Night and create with the ones you love. The Art Garage will be transformed with Valentine’s decor and treats and drinks will be served. There will be special surprises and photo ops, too. Call 512-852-9900 for reservations. $20 reserves a table. The Art Garage, 11190 Circle Dr, Ste 202, Austin.
Valentine’s Day Flyer (RSVP) – Saturday, February 14 at 10:00 a.m. Climb aboard this special Hill Country Flyer to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Journey through the Texas Hill Country, crossing the wooden trestle bridge over the South San Gabriel River and Short Creek Canyon. During the two hour layover in Burnet you can enjoy lunch and shopping on your own, a leisurely stroll around the historic town square, and the Wild West Gunfight (weather permitting). Adult-only cars and family-friendly cars are available for this special trip. All cars are pulled by a 1960 Alco diesel locomotive. The ride is 6 hours round trip with a 2 hour layover. Tickets range from $34-54. Children under 3 ride FREE! Austin Steam Train Association, 401 E Whitestone Blvd, Ste C-100, Cedar Park.
Fall in Love with Science (Johnson City) – Saturday, February 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Be a part of the Hill Country Science Mill’s grand opening celebration. On this special grand opening Saturday, the Science Mill will host a day-long carnival of hands-on science fun including: Mad Scientist face painting; Doctor Kold and his freezing science experiments; science from Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve; and a special performance by the amazing Bobby Flores and the Yellow Rose Band, featuring Rebecca Henricks. Proceeds from the Grand Opening will benefit the Science Mill’s Scholarship Program, which will help defray the transportation costs for field trips, admission, and enrollment in science programs and camps for qualified students. Admission is $6-8; children under 2 years old are FREE! Hill Country Science Mill, 101 S Lady Bird Ln, Johnson City.
BOGO Aquarium Admission – Saturday, February 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Austin Aquarium is running a special for Valentine’s Day only: buy one ticket, get one free. Purchase must be made in person. Admission is $9.95-14.95; children under 2 are FREE! Austin Aquarium, 13530 N Highway 183, Austin.
Valentine’s Day Tea Party (Cedar Park) (RSVP) – Saturday, February 14 from 4-6:00 p.m. Bring your child for a proper tea party with food, drinks, and fun games led by Cupid’s little sister, the fairy hostess, Cutie Pie. Best for ages 4-8. $30 per child. RSVP here. Sharkey’s Cuts for Kids, 11066 Pecan Park Blvd, Ste D415, Cedar Park.
In her life before kids, Emily held jobs as a zookeeper, a middle school teacher, and a tour bus driver in the wilds of Montana–not one of which prepared her for the adventures of motherhood. Now she’s living the good life in Austin with her husband, two sons and a Great Dane. When she’s not off gallivanting with her boys, you might find Emily baking up a mean batch of cupcakes, recalling obscure 80s song lyrics, or dreaming of peace and quiet.