Oklahoma City has family fun for every occasion. Whether you celebrate with kids or exclusively as a couple, it's not too early to plan for Valentine's Day.
I hesitate as I write that statement. Planning is my strong suit: schedules, trips, parties, events. I like to plan. Valentine's Day, though, stands out as the exception to the rule.
My husband, Mario, and I have practically been cursed since the beginning when it comes to Valentine's Day. Plans fall through, reservations are lost and traffic always seems to make our corner of the world impossible to navigate on Feb. 14. Other couples have a much better time than we do on that particular date, I have no doubt.
Valentine's Day 2009 is memorable, for example, because a little bit of planning would have gone a long way. We didn't have a sitter or a reservation. The date snuck up on us, busy as we were between jobs and grad school and our 18-month-old, Sam.
Why it didn't occur to either of us to make any plan whatsoever, I don't really recall. What I do remember is circling Oklahoma City for about 90 minutes and ending up at a mostly empty Chinese restaurant where we could have heard a pin drop. Sam proceeded to choke on broccoli, the first time we ever faced such a situation. What started as loud coughing turned to a quiet kind of gasping, which was entirely more frightening.
The look Mario and I exchanged across the table was as meaningful as any other couples share under better circumstances, a glance that says "What's going to happen with this? When exactly should one of us attempt the Heimlich on our toddler?" Other diners eyed us nervously and a concerned waitress came over to ask if there was anything she could do. There wasn't. It felt like an eternity as Sam struggled. I've never been more relieved to see anyone stop choking. We hastily finished our orange chicken and left a really good tip.
We've always tried to do something meaningful since, if the actual date remains difficult to secure a table or arrange childcare. We'll have our time, later, to celebrate on our own; for now, I'd rather have an evening with my family.
What I like about our editors' list here is that there are options whether you're planning a date night or a family event. There's also a section of activities just for kids that includes crafts, daddy/daughter dances and chocolate festivals.The fact that not all of them are on the actual date is also a plus for parents. I appreciate the variety presented so that not everything is focused on a single evening or just us.
Check out MetroFamily's calendar for the month too. We're always adding events and the best of what we find is featured each week in our Thursday newsletter, Weekend Picks. It's free and comes right to your inbox.
I'm crossing my fingers that we'll break the unlucky streak and have a happy Valentine's Day this year. Any of the activities listed should get us started in the right direction.
Know of a great Valentine's Day venue that didn't make our list? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and it could be featured here.