After Hours: 10 Date Night Ideas for Parents
After a long day of making snacks, playing, shuttling to activities or school and trying to catch up on work, all you want to do is crash at the end of the day. I get it, having kids is a full-time job and then some. But finding time to connect with the person that is raising these little ones with you is important too.
There is no question that life changes dramatically after you have a baby. For parents, the thought of an impromptu date night at a local restaurant can be challenging or even seem impossible. We’ve got 10 date night ideas for parents that are not only easy to do, but can jumpstart the bond between parents after kids.
1. Fancy Dinner Take-Out
Most of the time, family dinners include foods that are kid-friendly, anything to get those little ones to eat something nutritious, right? For date night, order take-out from a fancy restaurant full of grown-up flavors the kids would usually stay clear of. Whether it’s a high-end sushi restaurant, steakhouse or spot with margaritas to-go, enjoy a delicious adult dinner and conversation.
2. Movie + Popcorn
While this date night idea can be family-friendly, take a look at movies you’ve always wanted to check out, but weren’t exactly suitable for kids. This could be a new release or something that’s been out for a while but you never made time to watch. Make some popcorn (either from the bag or DIY gourmet) and enjoy the show.
3. Morning Date
Sometimes a babysitter or family isn’t available to take the kids for a date night, so how about a morning date? Take a hike together, go to the farmers market, or grab some coffee. It doesn’t matter the time of day that the date happens, what’s important is being able to connect with one another without kiddos interrupting.
4. Game Night
When was the last time you played with a deck of cards? A board game that wasn’t Candyland? Get out the playing cards and engage in a game of poker. Take out the Jenga game and see who is more competitive. Laughs, friendly competition and most of all, connection, is bound to happen. Being able to have fun and destress after a long day with the kids can do numbers for your relationship.
5. Go Outside
We all know the effects of getting some fresh air and vitamin D. If you can, take a walk around the block, go on a hike or find a new place to discover together. If it’s after hours and kids are asleep, a wine date on the patio or backyard with the baby monitor close by will do just fine.
6. Take an Online Class
Zoom and all things virtual was ever-so-present during the pandemic, which has made taking classes, touring museums and having events virtually almost normal. Take an online cooking class after the kids are asleep and learn something new together. Register for a MasterClass or learn a new skill together. New experiences bring couples closer together for good reason.
7. Talk It Out
When was the last time you and your partner were able to have a real conversation that didn’t involve kids to-do’s? Pour a glass of wine or pint of gourmet ice cream and talk about what’s going on with you. Communication is one of those key elements in happy couples, which is why just talking could be a fun date night. Try not to bring up the kids- this is about you.
8. Order a Date Box
When we moved to CA, my husband and I got a membership to a date night subscription where we were able to pick curated date nights at different locations. It was so much fun. We did cider beer tastings, dessert flights and a historical neighborhood stroll. Check in your area if there is something like that. Even if you’ve lived in the same place your entire life, exploring it like a tourist is a lot of fun. There are also a lot of “date night in a box” subscriptions for all interests that take all the planning off your hands so you can both enjoy the date at home when it’s convenient.
9. Dance Lesson
Dancing brings couples physically together, and lessons teach individuals new skills. For couples, a dance lesson in any style (my favorite is salsa) is a super fun date night that will not only bring you closer together but can burn some calories at the same time. Some dance studios even have packages available to keep the lessons going, making it a good excuse for future date nights.
10. Sunrise Date
Here’s one for the early-risers, how about having a sunrise date? Get up before the kids do, grab some coffee and sit outside and watch the sun welcome the new day. It’s a great way to connect first thing in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day with kids and is sure to kick the day off on the right foot.
Date night for parents isn’t what it used to be pre-kids, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen and definitely doesn’t mean it can’t be fun and memorable. We hope these simple date night ideas inspire you to schedule a date night or two with your partner. You deserve it!