If you read yesterday’s post, Date Your Mate, you know I promised you a list of date ideas. Making time for a date can be challenging, but I have faith that you have your calendar out and are inking in space right now (right!?). If you have kids, child care is your next hurdle. Praise you if you have a steady baby sitter that you use. If not, beg and bribe your family. My favorite idea, though one that isn’t used enough, is trading off babysitting nights with friends. You watch their kids this Friday, they watch yours next Friday….seems easy enough. I wish my friends would ask me more. There are few things I believe in as strongly as keeping a marriage alive and I’m willing to do my part to help yours by watching your little ones. Friends do you hear that, I’m offering to watch your children for a date night- take me up on it!
Ok, so the day and the child care are taken care of. Now what are you going to do? My first recommendation is do something together. That may seem like a no brainer, but there are a lot of activities e.g. shopping or massages, where you might arrive and leave together, but spend very little time conversing. My definition of date night also does not include going out with other couples. While it achieves you all getting a break, you are unlikely going to spend any quality time with your spouse. Choose an activity that you can both enjoy and that lets you interact with each other. For some people who aren’t particularly crazy about their spouse right now, this can be hard (just keep reading and see if anything peaks your interest). Maybe it can’t happen every time, but I really recommend trying something new together too. Perhaps an ethnic restaurant or a sport you haven’t tried. Making these new memories together, not with friends, helps solidify your bond.
You can modify these to work within any budget. Don’t forget about web sites like Groupon and LivingSocial that can save you on activities and food. Remember, you guys are worth it!
- Miniature golf
- Laser tag
- Go cart racing
- Play at an arcade or midway games- who doesn’t love some skee ball or Ms. Pac Man??
(yes I’m totally serious about all of the above, loosen up!)
- Go to a local sports team game- baseball, hockey, soccer
- Attend a free factory tour- learn how cheese is made or beer is brewed, together!
- Go to a comedy show- local improve groups can be really inexpensive
- Head to the drive-in movies
- Grab a few rafts and float down the river
- Discover “town square” summer festivals that happen each week. Enjoy a greasy food truck meal and some live music.
- Visit a new restaurant- how about a Brazilian BBQ or Moroccan food?
- Surprise your spouse at work for a lunch date- this is definitely special when you don’t work near each other and have to go out of your way.
- Enjoy an afternoon picnic at a park. Feed some ducks. Enjoy the quiet together.
- Sign up for a 5k (or more!) and train together- cheer each other on!
- Rent a kayak or stand up paddle board (on my list this summer!)
- Try zip lining
- Exercise together- play tennis, walk the dog, spot each other at the gym
- Go Bowling
- Visit a local art show
- See a play- local high schools put on great productions and many community centers put on Broadway worthy shows.
- Go to trivia night at a bar. I use the term “cultured” loosely, but you never know what you might learn!
- Beer/wine tasting- this may require a full day away but guaranteed fun!
- Take a lesson and learn something new- cooking, pottery, dancing? Whatever you can agree on!
- Revisit your first date spot and reminisce
- Stargaze- a blanket in the backyard or out in a dark field. Snuggle up and well, hopefully you forget about the stars.
Last Resort- Time together after the kids go to bed
- Movie marathon- watch your favorite trilogy
- Hold a dance off on your WII, etc.
- Game night- I’m thinking I need to get an on going game of Scrabble going here- it’s been ages since we’ve played but it breeds such a fun and healthy competition.
- Cook a meal together
If you have caught on to the theme here, it’s being together. I hope this has given you a good base to think of fun dates that you and your spouse will enjoy. Keep your cell phone on silent- you have some catching up to do with your spouse. Most of all, have fun!