Being a parent is amazing, but let’s admit it, it’s exhausting. We lose the little free time we had, and man do kids have energy. 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 early years.
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. Children with parents that get along fare better than children in high-conflict families.
To help bring back the magic of quality time, we’ve created a list of date night ideas for when you’re just too exhausted to plan a fancy night out.
Stay-at-home date night ideas
One of the most limiting factors that prevents 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.
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.
Find a good recipe online and cook dinner
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
Who doesn’t love board games? There’s 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 your date night delivered
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!
Get snacks and watch a movie
Yes, this one is a little cliche, but it’s a classic. It doesn’t get any simpler than grabbing a bag of chips and putting a movie you’ve been watching 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.
Date night out ideas
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 while doing something else.
Get boba or milkshakes
Pretty much the same as the above idea, but with boba or milkshakes instead.
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.
Need help planning date night?
Check out our step-by-step guide on date night on a budget, with tips, examples, and ideas!