Remember the days when you could go out at the drop of a hat and stay out for as long as you want? Yeah, me too! Now I wouldn’t trade these days for what I’ve got now at all.
We don’t have family in town, and now the struggle is finding a sitter. Not just finding one, but one we like, our kids like, doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, booking them, (seriously weeks in advance), making sure they remember and you pray that all goes well once you leave. Not to mention when you have a baby tied to your boob and wants to cluster feed, it sort of makes it a little difficult.
Enter family date night! Yes, actually getting a sitter and getting out with your spouse or partner is the best, but sometimes that isn’t in the cards. Plus including the kids creates some pretty special memories that both you and your family will remember.
One of my fondest memories of my childhood was our family pizza night on Sundays. We each got to make our own pizza and then we even got to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos WHILE we ate our pizza. (Does that age me?)
Keeping the romance alive when you are covered in spit up and poop can be a challenge. But there is no reason why you can’t bring the kiddos along and still get out and enjoy yourselves as a family. You might be wondering what on Earth you would want to do with your kids and your partner. Not to worry, here are a few ideas to get you started.
Starting with the obvious. Hitting up a restaurant for dinner. A huge perk of having kids? Getting to dinner early. You can take advantage of happy hour specials and you don’t have to worry if your kids are acting like crazed lunatics because most people aren’t eating at 5 p.m. And if they are? Well, chances are you won’t ever see them other restaurant goers again, and we’ve all been children before! We started taking our toddler to restaurants at a young age because, let’s be honest, we like going out! So starting him young teaches him (hopefully) how to behave at a restaurant. (Check back in a few months or years to see if that is still the case). The fun doesn’t have to end post dinner. Why not grab a frozen sweet treat for dessert? We love Foo’s, Murray’s, and Betty Rae’s!
We are spoiled in Kansas City with the parks we have at our fingertips. Why not pack a picnic (weather permitting), get the kids packed up and picnic at the park? The kids can run off that nonstop energy, while you and your partner just might be able to have a conversation about something other than Daniel Tiger.
Hitting up a local indoor trampoline park, like Urban Air (it might be up for debate on who may have more fun, the kids or the parents), a community center for some swimming fun, bowling, museums (sometimes they have late night hours), or a sporting event. It doesn’t have to be a NCAA team or a professional team. The minor leagues and high school teams are just as good for the littles to enjoy!
Based on the season, there are a variety of things you can get out and do with your family. Getting out and exploring the outdoors is a great way to have family dates! In the fall, going to the pumpkin patch or an apple orchards. During the warmer months, an outdoor concert, mini golf, canoeing or hiking are fun for everyone. During the cold weather months doesn’t mean that you have to stay cooped up. Ice skating, sledding or cross-country skiing are fun for the whole family.
Sometimes packing kids up to get out of the house feels like as much work as training for a marathon. So instead of going out, make family date night at home. One of our family favorites is opening a bottle of wine for Mom and Dad and some chocolate milk for the littles, while making personal pizzas and cozying up for a movie with popcorn, post pizza. It’s typically a win for all. The grown ups get wine, and who doesn’t like chocolate milk? Yes, we’d maybe prefer to watch an Academy Award winning movie but a Disney flick is the winner for now. Movies aren’t your thing? Get out the board games with some fun snacks.
Family dates don’t have to be an extravagant event. Sometimes the best times are made from the simplest things like having a picnic in your living room. So grab that wine, beer or drink of choice and gaze into your partners eyes and forget about the nose picking going on next to you for 5 seconds and make some memories as a family.