One of the challenges of being parents is getting out of the house without the kids for a date. It just doesn’t happen as often as many parents would like. Even once a month can be a challenge.

And of course it gets worse when you don’t want to spend a lot of money. Babysitters cost a lot of money, and it can seem like it’s just flat out too expensive to go out without the kids.

date night

It doesn’t have to be.

Step 1: Get Someone To Watch the Kids

The first challenge is finding someone to watch the kids for you. As I said above, babysitters are expensive. But they are not the only option.

If you have family in the area, they may be an obvious choice for watching the kids. That’s how my husband and I get out most times, in fact. His parents are retired and very interested in spending time with their grandchildren. And if they’re busy, my mother is local too.

But if you don’t have family it’s time to start looking to friends. Talk with the parents of your kids’ friends, and see who would like to do a trade. They help you and you help them. That way you all can get out for an evening. You may even be able to make it a semi-regular thing.

Step 2: Figure Out What To Do

Dates don’t have to cost a lot of money to be memorable or romantic. It’s less what you spend than what you do.

  1. Relive an old date.
    When you’ve been married a while it can be fun to go back to do something you haven’t done since you were dating. Many couples have all kinds of fun memories from when they were dating that didn’t cost all that much to do.
  2. Go on a picnic.
    There are plenty of wonderful places in most cities for a picnic. It could be a beach, a particularly lovely park, or even somewhere you have to hike a while to reach. Pack some favorite foods from home that you can eat cold.
  3. Go hiking.
    Hiking is a wonderfully cheap way to get out and do something together during the day. You can find a fairly local hike or even drive an hour or two to get to someplace a little more special.
  4. Go to a street fair.
    Check your local newspaper for local street or craft fairs and wander around. This one can add up pretty fast if you get too much into shopping or trying the food, but it’s a lot of fun and some are free to enter.
  5. Stargazing.
    Just head out away from city lights (mountains are ideal if they’re in your area), and enjoy the view. This is particularly fun if there’s a meteor shower going on. The fewer lights in the area, the better, and unless you’re wanting to focus on the moon, stargazing when the moon is in a crescent phase or won’t have risen yet will give you the best view.
  6. Visit a museum.
    Most museums don’t cost too much and can be very interesting to visit. Pick one that will interest you both.
  7. Cook a special dinner or dessert at home together.
    Once the kids are out of the way you can make something special just for the two of you. This idea has the advantage of being something you can do after the kids are in bed if you just can’t find any other way to spend quiet time together without them. Plan a special dinner or even a particularly decadent dessert and make it together.

Step 3: Finish It Off Right

Going out is fun, but there’s no reason to cut the romance off just because you’re home again. Take some time and enjoy each other more. Trade massages. Talk. Touch. Do what comes naturally.

[tags]date night,parents,night out,babysitting trade[/tags]