Valentine’s Day can be difficult to plan for just about everybody, but when you are raising a family, making time for each other can be especially hard. Fortunately, this year Valentine’s Day is celebrated on a Friday which should allow for a little flexibility. Stumped for ideas? Here are five of the best.

Pike Place Market
1st Ave and Pike St
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 682-7453

Pretend to be tourist and take in everything on the Seattle waterfront. Go for a spin on the Big Wheel (giant ferris wheel), visit the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, have lunch somewhere you’ve never been to before and then shop throughout the market. Pick up some fresh produce and maybe a salmon for a romantic dinner at home after the kids are in bed.

Northwest Symphony Orchestra
Highline Performing Arts Center
401 South 152nd St.
Burien, WA 98148
(206) 433-2292

Looking to rekindle a spark? It’s hard to resist the music of the masters. The Northwest Symphony Orchestra is offering a Valentine’s concert focusing on “Latin Passion.” It will include music by Tchaikovsky (“Capriccio Italien”), Bizet (“Carmen Suite #1”), Aaron Copland (“El Salon Mexico”) and Ravel (“Bolero”). Tickets are $15 and the music begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Highline Performing Arts Center.

Hearts & Wine
Washington Athletic Club
1325 Sixth Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 236-0408

Nobody says that you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Plus, you’ll have an easier time finding a sitter if you wait a day. While you’re at it, why not do something nice for others at the same time? Rotary First Harvest will be hosting an elegant affair including wine, jazz, heavy appetizers, chocolate and cheese sampling. The event will be held from 6 p.m until 9 p.m. at the Washington Athletic Club’s ballroom. Tickets are $55 and proceeds will go to helping local food banks.

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6009 244th St. S.W.
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043
(425) 672-7501

Enjoy dinner and a movie – at the same time – at Cinebarre located in Mountlake Terrace. Set in a traditional movie theater, every seat has a table in front of it, guests mark up their order card and the servers will bring out their meals without disturbing the show. The cost of the movie is comparable to other local theaters and the food prices are not outrageous. Perhaps the best feature is that you can schedule what time works the best for you.

Scarecrow Video
5030 Roosevelt Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 524-8554

With little children at home, sometimes it’s just easier to stay in rather than go out for Valentine’s Day. But with a little planning, it can be just as special. Take a trip to Scarecrow Video, the largest independent video store in the country. It features over 120,000 different movies, so you’ll be sure to find “your” movie that means something to the two of you. Purchase a variety of theater candy and set up a fun display. Pop some popcorn (with butter of course) and serve it all with Coca-Cola in the bottles.

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Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at