24 special events worth taking the kids to this February

From annual festivals to educational workshops, children young and old will delight in participating in these events with you in NoVA.

kids making valentine's day cards
© chasingmoments / stock.adobe.com

Come February, it’ll be easy to fill your calendar with Northern Virginia-based activities the whole family can do together, ranging from Valentine’s Day crafting sessions to comedic performances for  teens. The best part? Parents can have a little fun at each of these events too.

The Chocolate Lovers Festival
Friday, Jan. 31-Sunday, Feb. 2, times vary
From chocolate-making stations to chocolate-based alcoholic beverages, there’s something for every family member to enjoy at the annual Chocolate Lovers Festival in Fairfax. Not a fan of the milk-based dessert? No problem, there will be numerous other activities happening throughout the three-day affair, like child fingerprinting sessions and live musical performances.  // Various locations on Main Street, Fairfax; free entry

Paw Patrol Live! Race to the Rescue
Friday, Jan. 31-Sunday, Feb. 2, times vary
For those with children, the chances you have the Paw Patrol theme song memorized are pretty high. This month, catch everybody’s favorite heroic pups on the George Mason University stage as they try to rescue Mayor Goodway. // EagleBank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; $20-$120 

Groundhog Day!
Saturday, Feb. 1, 1-2 p.m.
Parents and children ages 4 through 12 are invited to learn the history of groundhog weather forecasting at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park to start the month. If you’re lucky, the Walney garden groundhog might even make an appearance as you and the kids play games led by park staff. // Ellanor C. Lawrence Park: 5040 Walney Road, Chantilly; $7

Valentine Crafternoon
Saturday, Feb. 1, 2-4 p.m.
Let your teens have an afternoon with friends at the Shirlington Branch Library’s screening of Isn’t it Romantic? to get into the Valentine’s Day spirit. Kids in grades five through 12 are welcome to watch the film, create crafts and enjoy some treats. // Shirlington Branch Library: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington; free 

Groundhog Day Campfire
Saturday, Feb. 1, 6-7 p.m.
Start the month right by bringing your kiddos to Gulf Branch Nature Center for a celebration of Groundhog Day. You’ll snuggle by the campfire, enjoy s’mores and hear legendary tales of the groundhog. // Gulf Branch Nature Center and Park: 3608 N. Military Road, Arlington; $5

Chinese New Year Event and Youth Art Show Reception
Sunday, Feb. 2, 1-4 p.m.
The Year of the Rat has arrived, and it’s time to celebrate as an entire family. Dress in the lucky colors of green, blue and gold and prepare to watch on-stage demonstrations, create crafts and solve themed riddles. Following the celebration, walk around the arts center and observe the artistic work of local students. // Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center: 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville; $10-$35 

Lunar New Year Celebration
Sunday, Feb. 2, 2-3 p.m.
Ring in the Lunar New Year as a family unit this year. Youngsters, teens and parents alike will delight in a performance by the Hung Vuong Lion dance team, hands-on crafting events and more. // Central Library: 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington; free

Tummy Time Boot Camp
Mondays, Feb. 3, Feb. 10 & Feb. 17, 12:30 p.m.
Calling all new mothers: If your baby (who is older than eight weeks) is struggling to adjust to doctor-recommended tummy time, this month-long workshop is for you. For three weeks in February, owner of Arlington Lactation, LLC Susan Howard will introduce the benefits of tummy time, sensory development and more through lectures, games and hands-on activities. // Trinity Presbyterian Church: 5533 16th St. N., Arlington; $100

USA Gap Year Fair 2020
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 6-8 p.m.
For many graduating high school students, college may not be the desired next step. At the national USA Gap Year Fair, you and your teen can figure out the alternative options together, ranging from traveling the world to starting a career early. It is recommended that students register for a different schedule than parents to better maximize your research. // George C. Marshall High School: 7731 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church; free

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Valentine Pendants Workshop
Saturday, Feb. 8, 10 a.m.-noon
Local residents of all ages are welcome to make a heart-shaped pendant for their valentine this year, whether it be for a best friend or crush. Plus, this crafting event makes for a great night out with your daughter. // Wear Ever Jewelry: 1112 King St., Alexandria; $48

Me & My Valentine Kids Sip & Paint Party
Saturday, Feb. 8, 1:30-3 p.m.
Feel the love between you and your youngster at this Valentine’s Day paint-and-sip party hosted by Link Family Fitness Studio. While you sip on wine and your son enjoys apple juice, you’ll both create a heart-themed masterpiece that is only complete when paired together. // Link Family Fitness Studio: 9000-Q Lorton Station Blvd., Lorton; $50

Old-Fashioned Candy Making Party
Saturday, Feb. 8, 3-4:15 p.m.
Transport back in time with the entire family by your side as you make and sample old-school candy. Throughout the afternoon, you’ll learn a brief history of the candy-making process, observe a wood-burning stove demonstration, pull your very own taffy and more. // Frying Pan Farm Park: 2709 W. Ox Road, Herndon; $10

First Responder Family Dance
Saturday, Feb. 8, 5-8 p.m.
Honorable current, prior and retired first responders of Northern Virginia are invited to dance the night away with their daughters and sons at the annual First Responder Family Dance. In between dances, you’ll have the chance to take family photos, eat pizza and play a variety of games that are fun for all ages. // The Garden by Building Momentum: 5380 Eisenhower Ave., Suite C, Alexandria; $10

Astronomy Festival
Saturday, Feb. 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Very few things are as fascinating as the galaxy above, especially to curious youngsters and teens alike. At the annual Astronomy Festival, the entire family can hear ancient stories about constellations, look through telescopes, play games and enjoy special treats by a campfire. // Turner Farm: 925 Springvale Road, Great Falls; $10

Daddy Daughter Dance
Saturday, Feb. 8, 6:30-8 p.m.
Dads, this one’s for you. For one night only, you and your little princess can dress up in formal attire, indulge in a delicious meal and dance together in celebration of an early Valentine’s Day. Early registration is recommended, as this event tends to sell out each year. // Sharron Baucom Dale City Recreation Center: 14300 Minnieville Road, Woodbridge; prices vary

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia: The Rainbow Fish
Sunday, Feb. 9, 1 p.m.
Children ages 2 through 8 will delight in this spectacular adaptation of author Marcus Pfister’s beloved storybook, The Rainbow Fish. The entire performance consists of innovative puppetry, scenic effects and original music that even parents will enjoy. // Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; prices vary 

Rainbow Puppets: Open a Book
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 10-11 a.m.
Rainbow Puppets Productions has turned their new book into an incredible, puppet-based performance emphasizing the importance of reading. In addition to being entertained, your kids will learn tidbits of history and science too. // Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center: 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville; $5

Jedi Academy
Saturday, Feb. 15, 1 p.m. & 4 p.m.
Is Star Wars one of your family’s favorite films? If so, you’ll enjoy a little comedic twist on the classic series with Jedi Academy, a solo, comedy show that’s full of interactive challenges and magical entertainment. Be sure to come dressed as your favorite characters to increase your chances of being chosen by the host of the show. // The Alden: 1235 Ingleside Ave., McLean; $10-$15

Teddy Bear Tea Party
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2-4 p.m.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a little late this year at the Herndon Community Center’s special Teddy Bear Tea Party. You, your little one and his or her favorite stuffed animal are welcome to sip some tea, taste treats and hear stories at this love-filled event. // Herndon Community Center: 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon; $18 per pair, $10 per additional guest

Paragon Autism Services’ Jump Club
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5-7 p.m.
Individuals with special needs and their families are invited to jump the night away at this winter’s Jump Club, hosted by Paragon Autism Services. As your kids jump around on the trampolines, experts will be on-site to answer questions, provide tips and share experiences. // Sky Zone Trampoline Park: 1410 Central Park Blvd., Fredericksburg; free

2020 Alexandria Summer Camp Fair
Thursday, Feb. 20, 5:30-8 p.m.
While temperatures may still be below 40 degrees, it is time to start thinking about the variety of summer camps in the area to choose from. Whether your child wants a sports-centered experience or one with a variety of art programming, your entire family can hear about it all at this evening event in Alexandria. // TC Williams High School: 3330 King St., Alexandria; $50-$140

Lakeshore’s Adventure on Mars
Saturday, Feb. 22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
It’s time for your kids to play and learn at the same time with you by their side at the local Lakeshore Learning location. Throughout the day, you all can play with space-themed toys, create special crafts and browse through the variety of educational items for sale too. // Lakeshore Learning: 7009-A Manchester Blvd., Alexandria; free

Maple Syrup Boil-Down
Sunday, Feb. 23, noon-2 p.m.
Little ones and adults alike will enjoy watching the process of maple syrup extraction at Colvin Run Mill this month. At this annual affair, you’ll see live demonstrations by experts, taste samples of syrup and participate in hands-on activities for yourself. // Colvin Run Mill: 10017 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls; $8

Leap for Leap Day
Friday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m.-noon
Celebrate leap year with the local community at Sterling Library. In honor of the longest day of the year approaching, you and your kiddos will participate in hands-on activities, compete in games and hear live music. // Sterling Library: 22330 S. Sterling Blvd., Unit 117, Sterling; free

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