Why I Take My Kids on Dates

“Mommy, look at me!”

“Mommy, come see what I made!”

“Hey, Mommy, watch this!”

[Repeat millions of times.]

We all know our kids crave our attention. And when you have more than one child, each one competes for your undivided attention. Of course you want to see every new dance move, every piece of artwork, and every new Minecraft creation your kids make. But sometimes you just can’t give them the focus they want.

Enter: Mommy and Kid Date Nights Days.

Hard to say which was more exciting: the food-delivering trains or the chocolate shake.

I love spending one-on-one time with my kids. Setting up kid-dates is so much easier said than done, but it’s worth it. We end up with special memories that just the two of us share, and that child has a chance to talk about things that only he or she is interested in. Bonus: no brother or sister interrupting or changing the subject. (When I’m with my son, we talk he talks a lot of Minecraft.) On dates, I have the opportunity to encourage my child’s passions and boost their confidence. By truly focusing on one child, we have a chance to connect and bond in a way that just doesn’t happen in the day-to-day routine.

I may have gone a little overboard the the first time I took my son on a big date. We were celebrating him starting kindergarten, and I wanted it to be special. Breakfast out, a trip to Build-a-Bear, playing at the Lego store for as long as he wanted, lunch at Fritz’s (with milkshakes!), and a trip to the pool with many, many trips down the water slide (and back up all those stairs). I was exhausted, but we truly had so much fun together. My son said it was the best day ever.

Still wearing his Burger King crown.

Dates don’t have to be overly elaborate or expensive, and they definitely don’t have to be all-day affairs. Breakfast out at their favorite fast food joint or an afternoon trip to the ice cream shop make great dates. My daughter loves wandering the (toy) aisles at Target. (Can’t imagine where she picked up this habit…) Sometimes the best conversations happen in the car on the way, and getting there really is half the fun.

Use caution when asking kids what they want to do on their special date. My kids tend to request really big, expensive things (like going to Worlds of Fun) or things that we prefer to do as a family (like go to a Royals game), and it’s not fun to tell them no. I suggest offering two date ideas and seeing which they prefer.

There are hundreds of things you could do with your child on a date. Here is a list of just a few great date ideas:

Who knew retail could be so much fun?

  • Visit their favorite animals at the Kansas City Zoo.
  • Play laser tag or mini golf at Paradise Park. (Lee’s Summit)
  • Splash and swim together—head to an indoor pool in the winter or have fun in the sun during summer.
  • Watch the city go by during a ride on the KC Streetcar.
  • Encourage peaceful choices at the hands-on Children’s Peace Pavilion. (Independence)
  • Hang out at Oak Park Mall and let them linger at the Disney Store and American Girl.
  • Share popcorn at the movies.
  • Ride bumper cars and play arcade games at Power Play. (Shawnee, Metro North)
  • Take turns showing off your baseball skills at a batting cage.
  • Visit the children’s area at your local library.
  • Explore the trails and watch the model trains at the Overland Park Arboretum.
  • Get fancy with a pedicure date.
  • Discover the train room or visit Science City at Union Station.

What are some of your favorite places to take your kids on dates?

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