Following the birth of your child, going out on a date with your partner may not be high on the priority list, but it should be. According to Psychology Today, date night is not a luxury; it is a necessity. By carving out enjoyable time as a couple at least once every other week or so, your friendship and emotional connectedness are enhanced—two key components of a healthy relationship. But with infants or small children in the mix, finding that time can become more difficult, and not to mention, expensive if there’s a babysitter involved. With those factors in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the best summer date ideas for parents of infants and small children. Whether you have an hour or all day to spend together, that time is crucial to the health of your relationship and will ultimately benefit you, your partner, and your family. Remember, you’re a team!
Date Night At Home
Especially if you’re breastfeeding, going out on a date might sound like more hassle than it’s worth right now. To keep things simple but still romantic, order dinner (or breakfast or lunch!) from your favorite restaurant, set the table with your best dishes, and light some candles. Or, if the weather’s nice, take it outside and dine al fresco! Avoid the impulse to plop in front of the television, and leave your phones in another room. Of course, keep the baby monitor close by, but focus on each other and your meal. The dishes can wait until morning, too.
Grab the jogging stroller and go for a run or walk together. Or, if yoga’s more your speed, find a free class online and get your Zen on as a couple during naptime.
After the kids are in bed, pop some popcorn and pull out your favorite two-player game like Scrabble, Jenga, Checkers, Chess, or Cribbage. Or, head to the backyard and play some cornhole while sipping on your favorite summer drink . There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to help set the mood.
Pick Your Own Fruit
Strap on the baby carrier and find you inner farmer! Strawberries, peaches, and blueberries are ripe for the picking during the summer months and make for a fun date activity. Afterwards, enjoy the fruits of your labor with some homemade whipped cream for dessert.
A movie night is always a great date idea, and summer is the perfect time to catch a good flick. Plus, with streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime adding new titles nearly every day, you can opt to go out to the movie theater or watch in the comfort of your home. Check out our recent post, The Best Summer Movies for Adults and Kids, for hot new releases and favorite summer classics.
If you’re looking to get out of the heat and have an exciting adventure (and can leave the kids with a family member or babysitter for a few hours), an escape room puts players in a real-life escape game where they must work together in a race against the clock to solve a series of increasingly challenging puzzles. It’s a test of teamwork and communication, and is sure to strengthen your bond. Find a location near you.
As your family grows, it’s important that your relationship isn’t placed on the back-burner. Spending time together, whether it’s at home or out on the town, is key to staying connected, and with just a bit of thought, you can plan a special and inexpensive date this summer.
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