I’m a firm believer that new parents need to figure out a way to get out of the house and have some dates. Best case scenario, that’s only one night a week. More realistically, that’s one night a month. Or never.
So, what about all those other nights? Here are five fun date-night ideas that don’t require a babysitter. I’m assuming that you can get your baby in bed and have the date afterward. I put my kids to bed around 7:30 and can trick them into bed at 7pm if I’m really on my game (because they can’t really tell time yet and we have black-out shades in their room).
I’ll follow-up with a post for sneaking in dates when the kids are awake.
First step, put the baby in bed.
Second step, choose your own adventure:
- Make dinner after dinner but in a fun, sexy way. Enjoy the dance of cooking together and let it last the whole evening.
Recipe for date: mix food with ambiance and cooking stuff. Average difficulty but planning is required.
- (if cooking is too much effort) Share a fancy dessert and wine by candlelight. Make it something decadent like souffle or fondue.
Recipe for date: dessert plus beverage of choice. Pretty easy, if you get carryout or grocery dessert, prep is minimal.
- Invite friends over for a post-bedtime double date with board games or video games. If your friends have kids, try a half-sleepover. If it fails, then next time you can stick to your child-free pals.
Recipe for date: let your friends bring the game and you just clear the plastic toys off of the couch. Easy!
- Turn an ordinary evening in front of the TV into a movie date with junior mints and a big bowl of buttery popcorn. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and many cable plans now have onDemand options so you don’t even need to plan ahead very much for the film. Make it a series.
Recipe for date: film plus movie snacks. Easy! (since its so easy, remember to put on a clean shirt so your partner knows its a date)
- Hop in the car (yes, with your baby!) and go to a drive-in movie if you’re lucky enough to have one nearby.
Recipe for date: must have nearby drive-in, cooperative baby, and vehicle. Advanced.
Third, calculate how much you saved by not using a babysitter this time, and treat yourself next time!
- Put your babysitter on retainer
- Go out for just dessert (so your slacker friends can babysit for FREE)