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Check out our step-by-step guide on date night on a budget, with tips, examples, and ideas!
A romantic date night between you and your partner, but with the kids, in the house? As crazy as this may sound, it is both possible and simple to have a romantic date night even while your children are at home! While being a parent is amazing and wonderful, let’s admit it, it can be exhausting. Once we become a parent we lose the little free time we had, and MAN do kids have energy, oh boy! Now add in the typical adult responsibilities like work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and you’re lucky to have some time to sit down, much less plan a date night with your partner! Especially during the newborn and toddler years.
Taking all of that into account, we know it can seem impossible. Between finding a reliable babysitter, a time that works with your kids’ events and extracurricular activities, just scheduling a date night can cause unnecessary stress. Stress no more! Dating can – and should – be fun, exciting, and stress-free, even for those nights when you may need to get a little creative.
Too many couples start forgoing that special, one-on-one date night time when they become parents, and instead focus all of their time and energy into their children. However, focusing on and putting effort into your marriage is a critical step in setting up your kids for success. A healthy marriage also correlates with happier children.
So, as much as you love them, how exactly can you have a date night when your children are around? Great question! Here are some fun, creative ways you can date your spouse from the comfort of your home!
First things first, keeping the kids busy!
With the right activity, your kids could be perfectly distracted in the other room for hours. Set your kids up with a TV show or a movie or even a new toy so that you and your spouse can enjoy some quality semi-alone time.
Whether it be cooking dinner together, having homemade appetizers, or just catching up on your day. You’d be surprised how simple it can be to have a nice date night while the kids are still awake!
What if we told you that you could have a date night while helping a friend do the same? Swapping babysitting with a friend is a fantastic way to do that! Tell your friend that you will take her kids this week so that they enjoy a date night. Then have your friend take your kids the next week while you and your spouse enjoy your own romantic evening.
Your kids will have a fun play date, your friends will have a date night, and you and your spouse will have a date night. It’s a win-win-win situation!
After the kids go to sleep
Those who are not naturally morning people may prefer an after-hours date once the children go to bed. If you have young kids, they most likely go to bed early anyway, which means that you and your spouse have the entire night to enjoy alone time.
Pour a glass of wine and have a fun game night. Create your own home movie theater with some popcorn and a romantic movie. You can create your own romantic restaurant dinner experience followed by a date to the movies right from the comfort of your home!
Gyms and churches: The cheaper alternative to babysitters
Ideally, you and your spouse should enjoy regular date nights. But the truth is, babysitting can get pretty expensive. A cheaper alternative to hiring a babysitter is your local church or gym. It turns out that many churches and gyms offer a parents’ night out, where they watch your children for several hours for only $5 or $10 per kid. You and your spouse can enjoy a romantic, inexpensive evening at home or take advantage of an evening out while the kids are well looked after.
Make chores fun
“Chores can be fun” may sound like something you have told your children in a battle for them to clean their room. But it can also be applied to spending quality time with your spouse! If you have a massive to-do list and you are simply too stressed to forget all chores for a date night, bring the date night to the to-do list!
For example, if you need to get the car washed or pick up dry cleaning, go with your spouse and pick up a coffee on the way. Are your kitchen floors in need of cleaning? Turn on some music, do some dancing, and clean it together.
Incorporating chores into a date night every now and then can be both fun and make you feel extremely productive at the same time. Hey, if Mary Poppins can make it look fun, so can you and your spouse!
A playdate for your kids, a romantic date for you
There’s no better way to enjoy a nice date knowing that your children are having a good time too! If you and your spouse are trying to schedule a nice Saturday afternoon date, why not try to set up a playdate for your kids? Drop your children off at a friend’s house and while they are enjoying a fun playdate, you can enjoy a lovely afternoon with your spouse.
Go for a hike, go shopping, or enjoy a good lunch. The possibilities are endless when you have an entire afternoon to yourselves.
Take the baby monitor with you!
When the children are asleep, either at night or early in the morning, you can even enjoy some outside time. Take the baby monitor with you and go for a morning walk around the block. Or take your cup of coffee outside on the patio and crack a window.
During the evening, you and your spouse can enjoy some dessert and wine outside on the patio with the baby monitor in hand. This is an easy way to enjoy some outside date-time while still being attentive to your children.
Date night ideas for parents
Just the fact of being at home around the kids can distract you from your date because you’re constantly thinking about responsibilities and what has to be done. And that’s OK! If this applies to you, or if you just want to get out of the house, these date night ideas are for you.
Go for a walk
Date night doesn’t have to be complicated. Take a walk around a nice park, the city, or go through a hiking trail if that’s your thing. The important thing is spending quality time together away from responsibilities and stressors. You can even pick a few of our conversation starters to take with you and to learn more about each other.
Go to a museum
Museums are a great and often overlooked date idea. It’s usually inexpensive (sometimes free!), quiet, and doesn’t require a lot of energy. You just walk around and learn! You can even bring the kids along for a family date night.
Half the fun of thrift shopping is that you never know what you’ll end up finding. Hit up your local thrift stores and pick outfits out for each other. Try to pick a silly outfit for your partner for an extra bit of fun.
Get ice cream
You can combine this idea with most of the other ideas, or it can be its own stand-alone date. Go to your favorite ice cream place and get a cone with your favorite flavor. Sit down and enjoy your ice cream together or enjoy yourself while doing something else.
Get boba or milkshakes
Pretty much the same as the above idea, but with boba or milkshakes instead.
Stay-at-home date night ideas for parents
One of the most limiting factors that prevent parents from having a date night is often how hard it is to find a good, reliable babysitter. Not to mention how expensive it is when you finally find one. This is where the magic of at-home date night ideas comes in. You don’t need a babysitter if you can just put the kids to sleep or play a movie that will keep them occupied for 2 to 3 hours.
Early morning breakfast date
You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm! In this case, the early bird gets to go on a date. If you are a morning person, what better way to start the day than with an early-morning breakfast date? After all, nothing says “good morning, sweetie” like a fresh pot of coffee, eggs, bacon, and fruit.
Sit outside on the patio and enjoy a delicious breakfast, while the kids are still asleep. And hurry, before the smell of bacon has your kids running down the stairs!
Sit down together and just talk
This one might not sound like a date, but hear us out. When was the last time you got some nice, quiet, quality time together just talked to each other? Not about the kids, not about work, not about finances. Just, talk. Remember when you started dating how you would just talk for hours and didn’t want it to end because of how much you were enjoying each other? Put the phones away and just enjoy each other, uninterrupted.
If you need a little help coming up with conversations, take a look at our conversation starters for couples card deck!
Find a good recipe online and cook together
You don’t have to be a great cook, as long as you can follow instructions. Find something that looks really good or you’ve been wanting to try out. If you need a few extra ingredients, stop by the grocery store first. Not only do you bond while you cook together, you get to enjoy the food for an extra romantic, homemade dinner.
Play a board game together
Who doesn’t love board games? There are so many different types out there, it’s hard to not find one you both enjoy.
Play Mad Libs
Remember how much fun this used to be as kids when we would pick the most outrageous nouns and adjectives? Download the mad libs app or print some and let the fun begin. This is your chance to be kids again. Write the dumbest, funniest, or wackiest words you can think of.
Get a date night box
Date night doesn’t get any easier than getting it delivered right to your front door. Here at Crated with Love, we send you a complete date night in a box every month. Each box has a new theme and 4 to 6 games and activities focused on strengthening your relationship while having fun!
The classic dinner (or snacks) and a movie
The classic date night. It doesn’t get any simpler than grabbing dinner or a bag of chips and putting a movie you’ve been wanting to watch on Netflix while you snuggle up. This date night is great on days when you’re especially tired and want to feel your partner’s embrace.
Don’t have a babysitter? Pick a family-friendly movie and turn it into a family date night! Or if you prefer some alone time, set the kids up with their own movie in another room.
After learning the various ways to have a date night at home while the kids are around, you may be in shock at just how simple it really can be. Don’t let a lack of a babysitter or a never-ending to-do list keep you and your spouse from enjoying your well-deserved date night.
There are plenty of fun ways that you can have quality time together, even with the kids still in the house. Get creative and see for yourself just how much fun it can be!
Whether you want to go out or stay in, having regular date nights is vital to not only your relationship but to your family’s health. Make a little time at least once a month to enjoy some quality time alone with your partner. Even just one hour makes a difference.
Kids got you tight on cash?
Kids are expensive. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a nice date night. Check out our guide to having a date night on a budget, filled with tips, tricks, and ideas!