Date Ideas for Parents with Young Kids
We all know planning a date night as the parents of young kids is easier said than done.
Whether it’s a lack of babysitting services or the cost of going out, months can easily fly by before you’ve had a chance to reconnect with your partner — which is essential to a happy relationship.
Don’t let that happen to you with 15 date night ideas even new parents can accomplish both at home and away.
Netflix and Chill
Yes, it’s so basic, but sometimes that’s all parents in the throes of raising young children can manage — and that’s OK.
Make it different from every other night by staying in your non-sweats, picking a movie you wouldn’t normally watch on a non date-night and, most importantly, putting away all electronic devices.
Set out some delicious snacks and beverage and focus on the time together. As long as you’re setting aside a dedicated time to reconnect, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it right.
If finding sitters is tough and watching yet another show on TV sounds like every other night, seek out creative at-home alternatives like a game night.
Whether it’s just the two of you with some fun cocktails and a board game, or you invite a couple friend over (post-kid's bedtime, of course) to join in, it’ll be something out of the ordinary — and isn’t that what date night is really about? Getting to act like adults with no kids around.
The Day Date
Often times it’s easier for parents to find a sitter during the day (hello, playdate) than in the evening.
If you’re able to find someone, sneak away for a lovely brunch, a movie in the middle of the day or even just shopping at the mall with no needy kids in sight.
The possibilities are endless. The best part? You won’t be getting home super late and tired dreading how early you’ll have to wake up the next day.
Double Date Night In
Invite your favorite couple friends over, order some take-out — because who really wants to cook on a date night? — and enjoy a stimulating night in with some actual adult conversation without babies and kids interrupting.
Whether you choose to bust out some games, watch viral YouTube videos that everyone’s missed thanks to the demands of parenthood, or just lounge around chatting, everyone’s sure to leave feeling almost human again … almost.
Sooo retro, right? But also, so fun! A basic fondue set can be found pretty much anywhere nowadays and is an easy way to elevate a date night in.
Cut bread into cubes, grab some tasty melting cheese and go to town with an interactive dinner for two.
Anything that’s not mac and cheese or chicken nuggets for dinner will feel like a luxury, even at home. And don’t forget the fruit and chocolate for dessert!
Wine Tasting and Pizza Night
Staying in in your PJ’s after the kids go to bed might not sound the most romantic, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Order some pizza in (no dishes on date night!) and grab a couple bottles of wine to do your own wine tasting at home.
The best part? No one has to drive and your bed is just a few feet away!
Start a Babysitting Swap
One of the hardest parts of managing date nights as parents is the cost of babysitters.
Instead, find couples with kids the same age as yours and rotate babysitting services each month. The kids will all get to play together if you do a day date, and each set of parents gets some free time off — win-win.
And if you want to slip away in the evening, only one parent needs to come over to cover bedtime.
Grab a Drink
If we’re being completely honest, sometimes new parents just don’t have the energy to go through an entire long dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Keep it simple and fun by heading out to a nearby hotel bar or cocktail lounge and just grabbing a drink or two with your significant other.
Relax, unwind and catch up with each other. And use a cab or a ride sharing service like Lyft or Uber to ensure that everyone gets home safely.
Coffee and Dessert
Dinner and a movie is often too long (and expensive) for parents of young kids to enjoy in one night.
Instead, opt for a nice coffee shop and dessert and really enjoy your time reconnecting instead of stressing over how much that extra hour of babysitting will cost.
Sometimes even the thought of date night is exhausting. Make it a relaxing experience for both of you and book a couples massage, then enjoy a quick cup of tea afterwards.
If you’re feeling too exhausted to leave the house, there are now apps like Soothe where a masseuse will come to your home, table and all!
Sometimes all you need is one night away to recharge your relationship.
If you’re lucky enough to have loved ones willing to stay with the kids for just one night, slip away to a local hotel and sleep in, watch all the TV you want and have no one need anything from you even if it’s just overnight.
Better yet, if you’re lucky enough to have family nearby, send the kids to the grandparents for just a night and enjoy the quiet in your own home!
Take a Walk
OK, this sounds super simple, but when you’re two exhausted parents with a baby, it’s a quick, inexpensive and easy way to reconnect (and get some fresh air!)
If your baby happens to still be in that sleep in a stroller stage, time your date right around nap time, grab some nice coffee and a sweet treat and find a great nearby strolling spot.
Chat, eat and drink in peace all while Baby is snoozing away.
DIY Sushi Night
Grab some basic supplies, make a quick market run, print out some simple sushi recipes (like this one from Fifteen Spatulas) and try something new in the kitchen.
Half the fun is in trying and anything that gets you out of the drudgery of the taking-care-of-little-ones routine should be fun and fresh. And don’t forget the sake!
An added bonus to this date night in idea? Making your own sushi is loads less expensive than going out to a restaurant and ordering the same thing.
Take a Cooking Class (or Any Class)
Get out there, leave the baby brain fog behind and try something new together. Learn how to cook an out-of-the-ordinary meal together, take an art class or try out some new sport — archery, anyone?
Whatever you do, just get out and do it! In the chaos of the early years of parenthood, it’s easy to lose a sense of self and togetherness, so trying someone new out together is just the ticket to get out of the funk!
Picnic at Home
If you can’t leave the house to have a romantic picnic, bring it to you. Keep it indoors, or take it out to the backyard to feel even more removed from your sleeping littles.
Pack a basket filled with all the goods — sandwiches, charcuterie, wine and sweet treats — spread a blanket on the ground and enjoy some alone time and adult conversation at long last. (And no one will judge you if you’re simply enjoying the silence as well.)