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Creative Valentine's Day fun for families

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Valentine's Day may be the most romantic holiday of the year, but that doesn't mean kids can't have fun, too. Throughout the Raleigh, North Carolina area, businesses and museums have created Valentine's Day events to create special memories to cherish for a lifetime.

Valentine's Day guide for Raleigh area families

Valentine's Day MakeShop at MARBLES Kids Museum. Saturday, February 8 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

MARBLES, an interactive children's museum in downtown Raleigh, offers fun activities to young families year-round. The Valentine's Day MakeShop adds to the excitement and allows kids to create unique handmade gifts to share their love with friends and family. Make a card for the grandparents or a gift for siblings at this hands-on event. MakeShop is free with museum admission.

Valentine's Day Fairy Garden at Atlantic Avenue Garden. Saturday, February 8 at 1:00 p.m.

In this class, participants will make fairy gardens using soil, fertilizer, sand, gravel, moss and either a birdhouse or birdfeeder. Plants sold separately (10% discount to participants). The instructors will guide participants through making this special garden in a fun and nurturing environment. Participants can decide whether to keep their creations or give them to loved ones. The fee is $25 per adult and $10 per child. If the adult does not want to make a garden, the fee is $25. For more information or to register, visit Atlantic Avenue Garden online or call 919-878-8877.

Crowder Park's Happy Valentine's Day Mother Nature Event. Sunday, February 9 from 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Celebrate love and kindess at Crowder Park. Families will make bird treats for feathered friends, learn about animals' bizarre behaviors and calls, and create unique Valentine's Day cards using objects from nature. Suitable for all ages, the fee for this event is $5/family. Preregistration is required.

Garden Buds "Red Hearts" at JC Raulston Arboretum. Friday, February 14 from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

Garden Buds, a hands-on, seasonal program for 3 to 5 year olds, offers art projects, stories and snacks to fit the season. The Valentine's Day edition is all about red hearts. Parents and caregivers must participate with the children.

What about parents who want a night out?

Raleigh area parents wanting to celebrate this romantic day without the kids haven't been forgotten. The Alexander Family YMCA at 1603 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh is offering a special Valentine's Day Parents' Night Out on Saturday, February 8 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Parents can enjoy an evening out while kids, ages 2 through 5th grade, participate in Valentine's themed arts and crafts, games, dinner and a movie. The cost for YMCA members is $10/child. Non-member program participants pay $15/child.

Registration is open until February 6 at the YMCA Welcome Center. For more information, call the YMCA at 919-832-9622 during regular business hours.

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