You’ve heard it a million times. Spending quality time sans kids is the real marriage glue. Sounds great on paper, but ordering the same old chicken marsala every week gets old fast. Now book that sitter!
Go Skating. It doesn’t matter if it’s ice or roller; just hit the rink to relive those seventh-grade-crush feelings. Don’t worry if you haven’t skated in ages and feel unsteady. That’s actually a bonus. Yes, you may totally wipe out in front of a bunch of teenagers, but the adrenaline rush and the thrill of a skate date are worth it. In keeping with the teen-style theme of the evening, hit the mall afterward to check out funky stores like Spencer’s Gifts. Then grab a burger and a milkshake for dinner. It’ll make you LOL and be glad you’re married with kids.
Plan A Dessert Night. This is great if your kids are little and you want to avoid the don’t-leave-me hysterics that happen when they see you head for the door. It’s also a smart option if you haven’t had time to think about making a dinner reservation. Go about your evening routine, but instead of turning on the TV and settling in with a bowl of ice cream after dinner, have a sitter come at 9 p.m. and step out for an hour or so to enjoy a slice of heaven. A dessert night cuts to the best parts of going out: sweet treats, a cocktail, and canoodling. And it’s half the price!
Couch It. Remember what a typical Friday night was like before you had diapers to change? This date brings back that carefree feeling. Send the kids to Grandma’s for a sleepover, order your favorite takeout, and turn on a grown-up movie you’ve been waiting to see together. Being home with your husband when your kids are not around can feel weird at first, but trust us: You’ll have adapted as soon as the Chinese food arrives. Then, extend your date into the next morning! Revel in the peace and quiet as you make coffee, eat breakfast, and take a walk hand-in-hand. Don’t forget to sneak in some more snuggling before the kids get back.
Get A Room. Ready for a double date-night dare? First, check into a nearby hotel as early as you can (usually 3 p.m.). Unwind, and order room service. Then hang out in the hot tub, take a swim, get a couple’s massage, or just lounge around. Now for the really daring part: Take on a devil-may-care attitude about splurging on the hotel and check out late that night, just in time to relieve your sitter by midnight so you can be home to make pancakes for the kids in the morning. You’ll have a bit of whiplash when you remember that 12 hours earlier you were in a posh pad, but it’s a best-of-both-worlds date that lets you have it all — for a weekend.
Lend A Hand. Volunteering together turns date night on its head. Instead of going out for the evening, you connect during the afternoon. And you get to spend time focusing on positive stuff like helping people and learning new skills. Some ideas: Serve a meal or stock shelves at a nearby soup kitchen. Plant trees or do trail maintenance at a park or garden. Walk a few dogs at the animal shelter. It’s a win-win. Improve your community while experiencing something off the beaten path with your favorite person. That’s what we call a date!