Date Nights at Home: An easy alternative for parents

Have Date Night at HomeCan’t find or afford a trusted babysitter? Stay at home and start the date once the kids are in bed. Let’s be honest, once children enter the picture your wallet and your relationship takes a hit. With a little planning and creativity, stay-at-home date nights can be just as fun and romantic as an evening out, and less expensive.

The busyness of life and children make it seem impossible to nurture your relationship. Taking some time together, no matter how little it may be, will keep a regular connection between you and your partner. These date night ideas will allow you both a much-needed break filled with fun and romance. Try to commit to one date night a week.


Ground Rules:

Put it on the calendar. Schedule your stay-at-home date like a real date and stick to it. Plan the day accordingly to ensure the kids get tucked in by bedtime.

Treat each date as if it’s the first. All focus and attention is toward each other and nothing else. Turn off smart phones, tablets and computers. No texts, no emails, no work. No cleaning or housework whatsoever. If you must cleanup after dinner, then you both must do it together.


For Movie/TV Buffs:

Make any show a real treat. Pop popcorn and indulge in your favorite candy.

Order a movie straight from cable or through subscriptions like “Netflix” or “Hulu.”

Find a TV or cable series you both are interested in and watch from episode one.

Pre-record a program throughout the week and save it to watch together.


A Special Dinner:

Pick a region of the world and create a menu and evening around it. Enjoy authentic Italian food, indulge in a glass of wine, play traditional Italian music, and watch "Under the Tuscan Sun" or "Moonstruck."

Change the scenery. Go to a party store and decorate the dining room into a private island or magical castle. Pick an old prom theme and have fun with it.

Set a fancy table, light candles and dress up.

Throw a blanket down and set up a carpet picnic in the living room.

Select a new dinner recipe and cook it together.


The Great Outdoors:

Camp out for a few hours in the backyard. Pitch a tent, start a fire and roast marshmallows.

Have a candlelit dinner on the patio or balcony.

Order your favorite take-out and have a picnic.


Short and Sweet:

Create a new cocktail together and sip the night away.

Sample savory appetizers.

Indulge in a decadent dessert.

Imagine yourself in a café. Brew some coffee, grab a sweet treat and chat away.

Set up your own private cheese and wine tasting.


For the Gamers:

Watch a sporting event on TV and eat stadium food.

Hook up the Wii or Xbox and play a friendly game of golf, soccer or bowling.

Begin an ongoing card or board game. Play for prizes or house chores.

Challenge each other with a jigsaw or crossword puzzle.


Movers and Shakers:

Take a free dance lesson or exercise to a fitness video on YouTube.

Set up a circuit in the living room, backyard or garage.

If you have cardio equipment, work out together and encourage each other.

Have fun and burn calories with an exercise app. Try the 30 Day Fitness Challenge available in the App Store.


Conversation Starters:

Get on the same page. Catch up and find out how each other are doing.

Compliment each other. Thank each other for at least three things they do.

Share an old dating memory.

Share your dreams and goals.

Invest in a box of “Table Topics." Pick a few cards and learn new things about each other. (“What do you think is the hardest part about being a kid and being a parent?”)

Plan a trip—a weekend or day away, or your next date.

All relationships need tender loving care. Schedule some time, make a date and enjoy each other. Stay-at-home date nights will take practice and discipline, but it will definitely keep the relationship healthy and keep more money in your wallet.


-------------------

Katie Mohr Chingirian is a stay-at-home mom to a two-year-old daughter. These fun ideas have reconnected Katie and her husband during the biggest transition of their life.

Multigenerational Gatherings: A recipe for success

Multigenerational Gatherings: A recipe for success

Growing healthy emotional bonds between generations helps children develop a sense of identity, continuity and an understanding of their place in family history. Kids who regularly interact with old . . .

Read more

Single Parent? Find Your Tribe!

Single Parent? Find Your Tribe!

No one knows better than single parents the importance of having a team of people to handle the day-to-day demands of life with kids. Call it a team. Call it a village. Call it a tribe. Whatever you . . .

Read more

How to Help Fighting Siblings Make Peace

How to Help Fighting Siblings Make Peace

Images of smiling siblings are impressive for social media, but life with two or more children is decidedly less picture-perfect. According to research from University of Toronto, toddler-age siblin . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Why Parent/Child Dates Are So Important

Parenting with Purpose: Why Parent/Child Dates Are So Important

Scheduling regular one-on-one dates (outings) with kids is a fun way for families to build lasting bonds while setting kids up with the skills and experience needed to grow healthy relationships for . . .

Read more

How and Why to Develop  Growth Mindset in Kids

How and Why to Develop Growth Mindset in Kids

Is intelligence something you’re born with or something that develops? Is failure an opportunity to learn and grow, or something that impedes success? How a parent answers these questions greatly . . .

Read more

Early Childhood Red Flags

Early Childhood Red Flags

Are you getting a sense that your child may be "different" from other children? Here are early childhood red flags that need attention.  “Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old” . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Raising Resilient Kids

Parenting with Purpose: Raising Resilient Kids

Teaching children how to do difficult things comes with parenting. We coach and encourage kids through frustration, tears and bursts of anger as they learn to tie shoes, write their names and ride a . . .

Read more

Tips to Teach Kids Time Management

Tips to Teach Kids Time Management

We all know that before school starts we need to schedule annual checkups and go back-to-school shopping, but how do we set our kids up for success that will last through the school year and beyond? . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Create Family Routines

Parenting with Purpose: Create Family Routines

Routines are like operating systems that set families up for success. They make it possible to complete essential daily tasks with the least amount of resistance, reduce family stress and help thing . . .

Read more

Violent Video Games: What Parents Need to Know

Violent Video Games: What Parents Need to Know

Have you ever heard your 6 year-old yelling, “Die, die, die!” at the top of his lungs while playing video games? Or, caught your teen hiding out and playing Fortnite instead of studying or sleep . . .

Read more

How to Make a Family Technology Contract

How to Make a Family Technology Contract

We raise our kids to be polite and respectful in person so why wouldn't we stress those same values in the online environment? A digital citizenship contract will help spell out your expectations of . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Healthy Self-Care Makes Better Parents

Parenting with Purpose: Healthy Self-Care Makes Better Parents

Some of the best parenting advice around comes from the instructions given by flight attendants just before take off: “If traveling with young children, please put on your own oxygen mask before a . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Growing Courageous Kids

Parenting with Purpose: Growing Courageous Kids

If there has ever been a time when we need to grow courageous kids, it’s now. From social media and screens big and small, to peer pressure and rapidly changing cultural norms, kids are growing up . . .

Read more

Are Kids Safe Using Location Apps?

Are Kids Safe Using Location Apps?

In today’s online world, the amount of personal information that is publically available is staggering. With several quick finger taps on a keyboard or screen, a resourceful individual can discove . . .

Read more

How to Engage in Healthy Conflict with Your Spouse

How to Engage in Healthy Conflict with Your Spouse

You and your spouse may spend most days living side-by-side in peaceful harmony, but every couple comes to a crossroads at some point that sparks a confrontation. The key to a healthy, happy marriage . . .

Read more

Let Your Kids Get Messy

Let Your Kids Get Messy

Most parents have vetoed a messy activity simply to avoid the cleanup. It’s time to let go. Messy play is sensory play—the gold standard of early childhood learning. Children learn best when the . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!