61 Date Night Ideas for Parents Who Need a Break (Don’t We All?)

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In the whirlwind of parenthood, finding time for romance can be a challenging task.

Between juggling diaper changes, school pickups, and bedtime routines, it’s easy for date nights to slip through the cracks. However, nurturing our relationships with our partners is vital for a healthy family dynamic and our own self-care. So, if you’re a parent in need of a little romance, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, I’ll explore a variety of date night ideas for parents.

When we just had one child, my husband and I had monthly date nights. Then the pandemic happened, we had another child, and we lost our date night routine. After a hectic week it can be hard to drum up enough energy to make ourselves presentable for a night out. However, when we do manage to have a night out, we come home refreshed, feeling like we did during life before kids, until we have to deal with bedtime of course.

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Date nights, who needs them?

We all do! Communication is one of the most important components of a healthy relationship and date nights offer parents an opportunity to have 1-on-1 communication on ideas that are important to them. Partners who go on date nights can also feel more committed to each other since they feel that they are prioritizing each other. Date nights are also a great opportunity for parents to destress.

Couples who have “couple time” at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to report that they are “very happy” in their marriage. That same study also shows that “couple time” at least once a week results in couples being over 3 times more likely to report that they find their communication to be above average and 2.5 times more likely to be more committed to their relationship. Finally, specific to parents, new parents who saw a decline in their “couple time” were 2 times more likely to experience a decline in the quality of their marriage.

Common Myths About Date Nights

1. We don’t need one.

Wrong! You absolutely do. Date nights are for nurturing your relationship with your spouse. Eventually your kids will be grown up and out of the house. If you haven’t been taking care of your relationship, at that point you and your spouse will feel like strangers.

2. We are too busy.

Yes, we’re all busy, but saying you’re too busy for date nights with your spouse is saying that your spouse is not a priority. You don’t need an extravagant night out. If you don’t have too much available time at least make it part of your routine to connect with your spouse alone for a few minutes each day.

3. We can’t afford one.

Feeling like you can’t afford a date night is definitely understandable these days. However, date nights don’t have to break the bank! See my cheap date night ideas for parents below.

4. We don’t have a babysitter.

Not having a babysitter is definitely an understandable issue too. Reach out to family and friends who live nearby. Your children will enjoy having quality time with other people. Sometimes I think my kids love my parents more than they love me, ha!

If you don’t have anyone close by, ask around for recommendations. It’s always more comforting to leave your kids with someone you’ve heard of, instead of a stranger. Children’s play places tend to offer group babysitting some nights, so you can see if that’s an option near you too.

If you still can’t find someone to watch the kids, see my date night ideas for parents at home and kid-friendly date night ideas for parents below.

5. We are too tired.

As a mom of two under 6, I can definitely relate to this! I do know that when I get some 1-on-1 time with my husband, I feel more refreshed and have more energy to devote to parenting and the daily grind. If you’re low on energy try a low-key date for new parents.

6. We feel guilty leaving the kids.

It’s very common to feel guilty about leaving your kids, I feel it too. However, children can sense when their parents are stressed, unhappy, etc. My daughters do already! We need to take care of ourselves and our relationships with our partners to make us better parents. We also want to be a good example for our kids of what a healthy relationship looks like.

7. We don’t know what to do.

This is a problem no longer! See my cheap date night ideas, daytime date ideas, unique date night ideas, at-home date night ideas, and kid-friendly date night ideas, all for parents, below.

couple enjoying date night ideas for parents, drinking wine

Cheap Date Night Ideas for Parents

Date nights don’t have to cost a fortune. Here are some recommendations for date nights that won’t break the bank.

1. Go to a drive-in movie

A drive-in movie offers a comfortable and cozy movie night out. If you don’t have a drive-in theatre near you, you can try to create one in your backyard.

2. Go to the park

Go to a local park and pretend to be a kid again on the swings or just enjoy some beautiful scenery. A park date is free!

3. Have lunch at a cafe

Lunch at a cafe is usually a cost-effective date. It can also be a fun way to break up the work day.

4. Go for a walk or hike

Another free date idea is a scenic walk, or if you’re an adventurous couple, a hike. Walking or hiking gives you a great opportunity to chat and just focus on each other.

5. Have a drink at a coffee shop

It’s rare that my husband and I both get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee start to finish at home with the kids around. A fancy coffee drink at a coffee shop sounds so enjoyable to me!

6. Volunteer together

Volunteering together is another free date. Find a cause that is meaningful to the both of you. You’ll enjoy being together and will also feel great about giving back to others.

7. Go for a drive

Going for a drive without having to hear, “Are we there yet?” What parent wouldn’t enjoy that! Put on some nice music too and have an enjoyable ride.

8. Walk through a street fair

One of my favorite activities is walking through a street fair. Walking the streets on a beautiful day, having a drink and a snack too, just makes me so happy. Find a local street fair near you!

9. Visit a bookstore

I love to read so a bookstore is one of my favorite shops to browse. Even if I don’t actually buy a book I enjoy walking around and getting ideas for books I want to read. A bookstore can be a fun date too, especially if the store has a coffee shop.

10. Go to a karaoke night

Karaoke night at a local pub can be a fun and cheap date night. Whether or not the both of you get up and sing, you’ll have plenty of laughs at the expense of the other singers.

11. Take a yoga class together

Head to a local yoga studio for a relaxing (or sweaty depending on your class choice!) date. If you don’t have a yoga studio nearby you can try an online yoga class at home.

12. Work out together

Working out together, either at the gym, outside, or at home, will release endorphins and help distract you from the stresses of parenting. You can be competitive – see who can do more bicep curls – or motivate each other with some Peloton boxing.

13. Compete at the batting cages

If you and your spouse have a competitive side, head to the batting cages. Make an exciting wager or just have the winner get bragging rights.

14. Watch a sunset

Head somewhere scenic and enjoy a beautiful sunset together. Sit back and relax.

15. Get a Groupon deal for a new restaurant

Grab a Groupon deal for a new restaurant. You’ll get a great meal for a fraction of the cost!

16. Document your date with photos

Choose any of the options in the post, but then document it with photos. Take selfies, take turns taking photos of each other alone, and ask others to take photos of the two of you. It may seem cheesy but you’ll enjoy having fun photos to look back on, and they’ll remind you that it’s time to schedule another date!

Date Night Ideas for Parents During Daytime

I love doing daytime dates with my husband. It’s a lot easier to get out for a few hours and then put the kids to sleep at their normal bedtime instead of coming home late and having to do bedtime for overtired kids.

17. Go to a brewery

One of our favorite day dates is to go to a brewery. I love having a flight and then getting a pint of my favorite beer. It’s even better if you find a brewery that serves food too.

18. Go out for brunch

I love going out for brunch, especially if it’s bottomless! Brunch has so many options – you can order breakfast or lunch, whatever you’re in the mood for.

19. Go on a picnic

Pack a lunch and head somewhere scenic for a relaxing picnic. Relax on a blanket and enjoy the beautiful weather and not having your kids climbing all over you.

20. Visit a farmer’s market

Heading to a local farmer’s market can be a fun daytime date. It’s always fun to try different samples and pick up some fresh ingredients to cook a meal together later.

21. Go to a sports game

If you’re a sports fan, head to a game. Even a minor league game could be fun, and a lot cheaper!

22. Be tourists in your city

Be tourists in your city for the day. Try a new restaurant, coffee shop, or activity. It’s always fun to experience something new for the first time.

23. Explore a new city for the day

Take a drive and explore a city or town you’ve never been to for the day. You can plan the day in advance or be spontaneous and choose whatever looks fun in the moment.

24. Go to a driving range

A driving range could be a competitive date. Top Golf is really fun if you have one near you!

25. Go to the beach

A beach day without kids complaining sounds heavenly. Pack a lunch, snacks, some drinks, and work on your tan.

26. Take a winery tour

Get a behind the scenes look at your favorite winery and take a tour. Extend the date with a tasting and charcuterie board.

27. Go on a boat ride

Take a scenic boat ride. You could even rent a boat for the afternoon if you want a more private date.

28. Go indoor rock climbing

If you’re feeling adventurous head to an indoor rock climbing gym. See who can climb to the top the fastest!

29. Go indoor skydiving

If skydiving sounds intriguing but you’re not sure about jumping out of an actual plane try indoor skydiving. I’ve been to iFly before and it’s really fun!

30. Go skiing

Whether you prefer the bunny hill or black diamonds, skiing could be a fun afternoon date. Extend the date with an après-ski meal at the lodge.

31. Go to a music festival

Spend the day at an outdoor music festival. You’ll have fun and hear some great music too.

couple enjoying date night ideas for parents, at a park

Unique Date Night Ideas for Parents

It’s always nice to use your brain for something other than parenting. These date ideas are unique and ignite your creative side.

32. Go to a Paint Nite

Paint Nite is such a fun event, whether or not you have artistic talent. You’ll follow step-by-step instructions to paint a beautiful painting at a local bar/restaurant. I’ve done it a few times and I’ve always amazed at how great the painting comes out.

33. Take a cooking class

A cooking class can be such a fun date to do together if you’re a foodie. You can try cooking a new cuisine and then practice again at home.

34. Take a wine making class

My husband and I took a wine making class together for an anniversary and it was such a fun experience. We each made a red blend and plan to do a blind taste test to see which one we like better.

35. Go to a trivia night

Trivia night at a local pub can be a fun date night. Enjoy some good food, drinks, and use your brain for something other than parenting. Cheer each other on as you answer correctly!

36. Visit a museum

Enjoy some peace and quiet walking around a museum and learn something new.

37. Take a dance class

Take a dance class together and then show off the moves you learned at the next wedding you go to.

38. Take an art class

Head to a local art studio and take an art class. Explore a new technique and then recreate the activity for a date night at home.

39. Go to the theatre

Get dressed up and enjoy a show at the local theatre.

40. Go to an Escape Room

Bond as you try to solve puzzles and escape at an Escape Room. Most places have different levels and themes.

41. Take a mixology class

Take a mixology class and learn some great cocktail recipes. You can then practice being bartender at home for an at-home date night.

Date Night Ideas for Parents at Home

Unfortunately, getting a sitter isn’t always possible. That doesn’t mean you have to forego date nights though. Find some date night ideas for parents at home to enjoy when the kids are asleep!

42. Date night box

Try a date night box such as Crated with Love! My husband and I have tried it and it’s pretty fun. There are different themes each month and each box comes with all the supplies you need for your date night at home.

43. Cook a meal together

Find a new recipe and cook a meal together at home. Try out new meals to add to the dinner rotation.

44. Set up your own wine tasting

Stock up on some new wine and then set up your own wine tasting at home.

45. Make a charcuterie board

Put together a charcuterie board to enjoy with your at-home wine tasting.

46. Have a game night

Grab some board games and have a game night at home. You can play a couples game like The Ultimate Game for Couples to learn more about each other or play an oldie but goodie like Scattergories.

47. Have a movie night

Stream one or two of your favorite movies for a movie night. The big question is will it be comedy or suspense?

48. Make ice cream sundaes

Stock up on your favorite sundae supplies and build your own ice cream sundaes. Make it a game and see who can create the tallest sundae!

49. Do a puzzle together

Find a fun puzzle and see if you can complete it in one sitting!

50. Set up a fire pit

Set up a fire pit in your backyard, grab some snacks and beverages, and have a relaxing evening outdoors.

51. Read together

Grab those books you picked up that the bookstore (or grab your Kindle!), head to your cozy mom reading nook, and read together.

Kid-friendly Date Night Ideas for Parents

Maybe you have a child who still isn’t sleeping great, so a date night at home would result in a lot of interruptions. You can still have a date, just choose a kid-friendly location. You may not get 1-on-1 time but it will still be fun to get out of the house and try something new!

52. Play mini golf

Mini golf is such a fun family date. My kindergartener loves it!

53. Go to the movies

Head to the movies. Movie theater popcorn is the best!

54. Go to an adventure park

Explore an adventure park together. You can try an outdoor one with ropes and ziplining or an indoor one with trampolines.

55. Visit a local farm

A local farm will have fun activities for the whole family! Playgrounds, climbing, games, maybe even a brewery for Mom & Dad.

56. Go to the zoo

If your kids are animal lovers head to the local zoo.

57. Visit the aquarium

Head to the aquarium for the day. Aquariums tend to have such fun shows, such as sea lions doing tricks.

58. Go to an arcade

Compete at video games at an arcade. You can combine all your tickets to get a cool prize.

59. Go bowling

Bowling is a fun family date for all. Bowling alleys have bumpers and ball ramps for the little ones so they can have fun too.

60. Visit a theme park

Head to a theme park for the day and enjoy some rides, snacks, and games!

61. Go ice skating

Test out your gliding and spinning skills at an ice skating rink.

parents enjoying date night at home

Plan your next date night now!

Remember, the key to maintaining a successful and happy relationship with your spouse is prioritizing each other. From scheduling regular date nights to having some spontaneous moments, finding time for romance is a necessity. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant outing, having some time after the kids are sleeping where you can just chat without interruptions and bond over funny parenting quotes can help keep you connected.

Now you have plenty of date night ideas for parents to choose from. What idea sounds most fun to you?

May these date night ideas serve as a reminder that, as parents, you deserve moments of joy and connection.

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