Some time ago you and your spouse shared candle lit dinners, movies that didn’t feature singing mermaids, and nights spent just talking until the sun came up. Now, your dinners include at least one projectile (thrown or otherwise), your movie theater experiences come with spilled drinks and fights over candy, and you can’t remember the last time you got through an entire sentence without someone interrupting with a “Mommy. Mommy. Mommy!”
While you love your children and wouldn’t trade your chaotic lifestyle for anything, it would be nice to take a break from your roles as mom and dad and remember who you were before you were parents.
If you’re like me, you don’t always have a lot of money to devote to these rare occasions, so here are a few inexpensive date night ideas that will help you reconnect without breaking the bank.
1. Game Night
After the kids are in bed, pull out all of those board games that have been collecting dust at the top of the closet and play to your heart’s desire. Not only is this a free activity, but there’s nothing more fun than beating your husband in Battleship and Scrabble in the same night.
2. Movie/TV Show Marathon
With companies like Netflix and Hulu adding more shows and movies all the time, it is becoming easier and easier to stay in for movie night. Not only will you get the chance to snuggle up to your spouse while you enter a world of fantasy, but you won’t necessarily have to call a babysitter to come watch the kids. You can make the night even more “movie theater-ish” if you pop some popcorn and grab a box of your favorite candy (a lot of stores have smaller boxes for a dollar).
3. Test drive your dream car
If you’d rather have your date outside of the house, then try going to a car dealership and asking to test drive the car of your dreams. You can satisfy your need for speed (within reason) and have an exciting experience together. The only drawback is that you might have to endure a sales pitch from a hopeful car salesman.
4. Go to the arcade
Fill your pockets with quarters and head down to the local arcade. Playing Whack-a-Mole and ski ball will make you feel like a kid again, and allow you to reminisce about your younger days. Use your tickets at the end of your time to pick something the other person would like. You’d be surprised how much a giant stuffed frog or a slinky might mean to your spouse.
5. Garage sale date
Sometimes you have to squeeze in a date where you can. Sometimes that means a date going to garage sales on Saturday morning. Make it a special occasion by grabbing some breakfast and coffee before you head out. In the past, my husband and I have made a game out of early morning garage saling by trying to find the funniest or most outrageous item there and buying it for the other person.