16 Date Night Ideas for Parents That Are Practical, But Fun

Published June 10, 2021
Romantic moments in sunset on a road trip

Once kids arrive on the scene, date nights start to seriously dwindle. There is suddenly so much to do and so little time to do it in. Working date nights into the calendar becomes a nearly impossible task. Get creative with date nights and move away from traditional ideas of dinner and a movie. Remember that date "nights" might become date "days" as parents have to take what they can get! If you find that you have a few precious moments to connect with your partner, these date night (or day) ideas for parents will leave both of you feeling rejuvenated and reconnected.

Date Night Ideas for Parents Pressed for Time

Once you add children to the mix, life gets hectic. If you and your significant other manage to find a few short hours to spend together, make the most of them with these date ideas that won't take up an entire evening or day but will help you fill up your love tank.

Go on a Drive

Jump into the car, crank up the tunes and roll the windows down. A drive down country roads is a fine way to spend a short amount of time with your partner. Stop at a gas station for a pop and a bag of snacks and hit the open road. Use this time to let the wind whip through your hair, talk about what is new with you, or reminisce about those child-free days. If time allows, pull over and watch the sun go down.

Cuddle Up With Coffee

If you only have a short span of kid-free time for an impromptu date night, head to a cool coffee shop and order a decaf latte and a danish. Snuggle up together with your javas and flip through some magazine, do a Suduko puzzle together or converse in the wondrous quiet that is child-free time.

Stroll a Local Farmer's Market

For those who can score some date time during the day, start the weekend off right with a trip to the local farmer's market. Stroll around in the sunshine, picking up fresh produce and warm baked goods. Grab a snack and sit on a park bench eating slowly (remember what eating slowly feels like?) Bring everything home and spend part of the day cooking a meal for your family together with the items you bought at the market.

Get in a Quickie (Workout That Is)

Squeeze a workout into the short span of date time that you have. Head to the local gym and do some running and lifting side by side or drop in on an aerobics class. Freshen up in the locker room and grab a smoothie at the gym's restaurant or swing through a nearby smoothie shop on your way home to recharge your bodies.

Try Out an Arcade

Transport back in time and play like your kids do! Arcades are making a comeback, and these days you can play all of your old favs while enjoying a cocktail, coffee, or cola. See who reigns supreme in Street Fighter or who is the master at Tetris. It will feel so good to be carefree and have fun with your spouse, even if it's only for a few short hours.

Date Night Ideas for Couples Who Love to Learn

Together, the two of you love trying new things and learning new skills. Use your precious date night moments to spend quality time with one another while honing in on a new skill.

Paint Something Pretty

Take your partner to a painting class. Painting classes have become popular activities for small groups of people and those seeking something fun and creative to do on a date night. These classes are designed to be casual and laid back (bring your favorite bottle of wine with you) while educational. Pay attention to the lesson at hand, but also to one another.

Take a Cooking Class

If there is one thing that parents do a ton of, it's cook. Kids grow like weeds, and all of that non-stop eating means that one of you will be firmly camped in the kitchen at all times. What fun it can be to get out and learn how to cook something that isn't chicken nuggets! Plan a date night where the two of you cook a unique dish fit for kings. Cap the evening off by feasting on your date night creation.

Say I Love You With Salsa

Or ballroom or whatever type of dance makes you merry. Many couples go out dancing on date nights, but not all couples are brave enough to use this time to learn the art of a particular dance. With your partner by your side, feel free to learn something new, like salsa dancing. Put fun outfits on and hit the dance floor. Learn new moves and have plenty of laughs. Let loose, and dance like no one is watching.

Dance couple in studio

The Couple Who Yogas Together, Stays Together

A yoga session in the evening is a great way to end the day. Get sweaty and zen side by side. Pick up a cup of tea and return to your children (who are hopefully already asleep if you booked a late-night yoga session) feeling all namaste.

Date Night Ideas for Parents Who Love Activity

The kids are safe at home with a babysitter, and the night is young. Get out into the world with the one you love and get wild! Okay, maybe wild is pushing it, but at the very least, get out into the world and do something fun and active, without kids.

Hit the Driving Range

Some couples want to use their date nights to get active. Sitting in movie theaters or at long, drawn-out dinners just isn't for them. Pack your golf clubs into the trunk of your car and hit some balls up at the driving range. If the range isn't something that sounds enticing, try mini golf for an active date night. Everyone loves mini-golf! It's low-key, casual, and great for couples who enjoy a bit of friendly competition.

Bike Around Town

Hop on your bikes and peddle around your town. Stop in at local shops or bike to an outdoor eatery for a quick snack. Who cares if you have helmet hair, your spouse has seen you look worse! It will feel utterly invigorating to bike with your partner instead of your children. For once, you won't have to continuously yell out, "Stop," and "Look both ways." What a freeing and fun way to spend an evening with the one you love.

Hike to the Perfect Picnic Spot

Pack snacks, sandwiches, a couple of drinks, and a blanket, and head out for the trails. Seek out some local hiking options and do some walking with just the two of you. Find a serene spot to set up camp and have a picnic amidst nature. Eat what you packed, lie down, breathe deeply, and know that for this short period, no one will be asking you to take them to the bathroom or find a random Lego figurine. For now, it's just you, your partner, the grass, and the birds. Heaven.

couple enjoying picnic in nature

Go Axe Throwing

Okay, this isn't the most romantic thing for a couple to do once they land a few children-free hours, but it sure is fun. Raising kids can be incredibly stressful, and stress release is vital to your wellbeing. Get your aggression out by chucking axes at walls together instead of hurling curt words at one another. This is so much more productive and fun.

Date Night Ideas for Parents Who Desperately Need Some Quiet

Life at home with the kids is crazy enough. You finally have a few minutes away, alone, and you need quiet, rest, and time to connect with one another.

Find a Local Poetry Reading

Date nights can be exciting, vibrant, and a bit wild compared to your daily life of parental duties, but this doesn't work for all couples. Some parents have date night goals that involve quiet, peace, and less stimulation than their day-to-day offers them. Check out local bookstores, cafes, and other venues that occasionally host poetry readings. Sit down with your partner and listen to beautiful words for an evening.

Muse Through a Museum

Local museums often hold events that make for perfect, quiet date nights. Walk the hallways hand in hand and take in the stunning exhibitions. Sometimes you don't need an evening full of conversation and activity. Sometimes you need to simply be in an amazing space together. Less really can be more.

Hang Out at Your Favorite Bookstore

Just the smell of the bookstore makes many people happy. There is no reason why you and your partner can't have a date night at a local bookstore. Browse your favorite sections and choose a few reads to take home with you. Pop into the coffee section of the store, order a drink, and read a couple of chapters from your new book in tandem.

Couple looking for good book to read in library

Make Sure You Spend Your Time How You Want To

Date nights are precious. Any seasoned parent will tell you this. If you have a chance to get out and enjoy kid-free time with your parent, make sure you do the things that make you both happy. Date nights are a time to decompress, enjoy each other and free yourself from the rigors of parenthood. Decide on a date night that works for both of you and leaves you smiling from ear to ear.

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16 Date Night Ideas for Parents That Are Practical, But Fun