Date night keeps couples’ flames flickering, even sparking. Together, choose a date night that you can keep consistently or you risk letting it go by the wayside.
If you have children, hire a standing sitter for the night. Try to get a sitter who drives and pay the sitter well. If finances are a problem, join a babysitting co-op and trade. If separation anxiety is a problem, plan date nights at home when the children are asleep (see ideas below). Each partner takes a turn planning the date, executing, driving, and paying. The other partner is the guest. Then, the next week, switch roles. It’s more fun to keep your plans a secret until you are both in the car or the actual time of the date. Surprise is part of the fun! The planner should hire the sitter and feed the kids before you go out. Look your best, even for home dates. The only information the guest needs to know is what to wear and if he or she should eat before going out.
Try to plan an evening without friends, so that intimate subjects, if needed, can be addressed. Couples who bury critical conversations, in the long term, risk nothing to talk about and drifting apart. Difficult subjects require space and air time. Even if your partner did not quite nail the date night one week, be receptive and enjoy the evening as much as possible knowing that your partner put a lot of effort into making it special for you.
Here are some specific ideas for date night. Even though the ideas below are for Calgary and area, they are easily transferable to any city. If you have young children, check out the blog for information on how to start a Baby Sitting Co-op.
Date Night-Out Ideas
- Live Theatre (High schools and smaller troupes have cheap or no cost nights)
- A concert (Check out university and community bands)
- Parks and reserves offer boating rentals
- Go out for a coffee or a beer at the local pub
- Movie in the park
- Picnic anywhere
- Dinner crawl – go to several restaurants for appetizer, salad, main and dessert.
- Pub hopping downtown
- Zoo, Museum, Library or Science Centre
- Wine tasting events
- Couple massage
- Pottery painting
- Friend’s house party
- Go out for breakfast or meet for lunch
- Comedy theatre, Pecha Kucha, or TEDx
- Bike ride, either cycle or motorcycle
- Drive-in or movie-in-the-park
- Pick up take-out and watch the planes land at the airport
- Go-carting or laser tag
- Shakespeare or other plays “in the park”
- Fitness: gym date, bowling, rock climbing, yoga, roller skating, golf, hiking, or simply running
- Lecture (Check out libraries, universities, and bookstores)
- Volunteer together such as canvassing, working at the food bank and places where you can talk and have fun
- Window shop
- Ride the City trains – bring a snack and have a train picnic
Date Night-In Ideas
- Snuggle in bed with a movie and a picnic of wine, bread and cheese
- Dinner and movie at home with a theme such as French night – have crepes and watch “La Chocolat”
- Board or card game night
- Bake cookies
- Play video games
- Read together in the bathtub, with candles, salts and wine
- Grab a pillow and blanket and sleep in the car with the baby monitor on
- Pick up books from the library and have a read-in around the fireplace
- Sit around the fire-pit outside and make marshmallows or hot dogs
- Relax in the hot tub
- Be a kid again and use the trampoline (or just lie on it and watch the stars), swing set, or swimming pool.
- Turn off all the lights and sit in the dark and watch the animal world outside.
- Bring out photo albums or watch photos and videos on the big screen at home
Date Night-No Sitter-Available Ideas
- Car ride or walk (kids will either fall asleep or be entertained by the DVD player you bring).
- Go to places like Ikea, McDonalds, Airports and children’s hospitals. Grab a coffee and a bench and utilize the play places to keep your kids entertained where you can talk but keep an eye on the children.
- Go to a book store and plunk the kids in the kids’ section with an assortment of books. Grab the in-house coffee and find a nearby seat.
- Set the alarm early and have coffee on the porch and watch the sun come up together.
- Take the kids to the playground and have a picnic for you two.
- If your kids are school-aged, book two tables at a restaurant at least 10 yards apart. Sit your kids at one table, and you and your partner at another. Monitor them from afar. Pretend you are the Aunt and Uncle so you don’t worry about their behavior. This works even better with teens.
- Treat them to an enticing kid movie with popcorn; then disappear, to your love haven bedroom.
Happy date night! Consider leaving some of the ideas you have for a great or unique date night!
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