No Babysitter Required* - At-Home Date Night Ideas for Parents

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When you have kids, the cost of date nights can almost crush you.

You pay for so many things – babysitter, dinner, movie, drinks, coffee – the cost of the night – and the pressure to make it worth it - mount. A “traditional” date night of dinner and a movie could shake out like this:
  1. babysitting (6 hours @$7.50): $45
  2. nice dinner (with wine, dessert and coffee – plus tip): $80
  3. movies (at least we don’t need to buy snacks after that dinner!): $25

That’s $150! For one measly night out!

Now, of course, we could eat a less fancy dinner.  A fast food meal would cut this evening’s cost down – with shorter babysitting time and a cheap meal – probably half the cost. But, really, would that even feel worth the $75?

Enter “At-Home Date Nights”. Put the kids to bed, break out the low-to-moderate-cost idea list and remember what it is like to be a couple again.

1. Order “Grown-Up” Takeout. 

Sick of chicken fingers and burgers? At home dates mean you can get Thai, Sushi, Ethiopian or whatever delicious meal you vaguely remember from before you had kids.

2. Music and Drinks

Each partner makes a short playlist and picks a special drink. Turn the lights down and the music up (to moderate levels that won’t wake the kids). Your living room is now that cool lounge bar you used to go to.  

3. Board Games/Card Games. 

Tablets have made it possible to set-up and play games like Risk and Monopoly quickly. Cards are also fun, and if you are looking for a way to literally up the ante, try adding “bets” for chores, clothing articles or ‘winner picks the next movie’ to make things interesting.  Our favourite wager is the loser has to pack school lunches for a week.  

4. Save room for Dessert

If eating as a family is really important to you (it is to us), your date night could focus on dessert only. Chocolate Fondue is fun, takes time to eat - so you can enjoy the conversation (and really, kids shouldn’t eat that much chocolate, so you are a better parent by doing it after bedtime).

5. Wine and Cheese

Who says you need a houseful of guests? Head out to the patio with a bottle, 2 glasses and some cheese squares. Enjoy the spring or summer evenings while they last.

6. Workout. 

If all the eating ideas are making you feel pudgy, try a DVD yoga or workout routine together. Zumba or Just Dance on the game console is another variation on this idea.

7. Blackout Party

Turn off all the lights and use only candles and other non-electric things. Roast marshmallows in your fireplace (if you have one) or break out the guitar.

8. Plan. 

Plan your dream house, dream vacation or dream dinner party with all the coolest (real or imaginary) people you’d like to invite. Maybe you’ll feel so inspired that future dates can work towards actual planning to make your dreams real.

9. Surprise the Kids. 

Set up a practical joke, treasure hunt or some other activity for the kids to enjoy the next day. Sure, it is for them, but it will make your date night a blast too and you will be so excited to see their faces the next day.

10. Reminisce. 

Photo Albums, high school yearbooks (and all the things that used to hold memories before Facebook) can still be both enjoyable and touching to look at. Share stories and try inventing memories to see if your partner can call BS on the fake ones.

11. Project Night. 

Might we suggest the first project be the addition of a privacy lock on mom-and-dad’s bedroom door? You know, for future “at-home date nights”. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.

12.  Of course, if it's Wednesday night, there's always Business Time...

What’s your favourite way to spend a “date-night-in”?


  1. Thanks for your ideas !There are so many options, I think I don't need to go out anymore. Nice post, must share!

  2. Nice list! So many options for the parents to spend time to do together. Good sharing!

  3. Great post. Can I share it on my facebook?

  4. Great, thanks God I found it! Next week got aniversary with my wife.

  5. Amazing ! I'm really that's found your website with great information ,
    thanks for sharing the post !!!!!!!

    1. You're so welcome, Maten! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

  6. Really appreciate thanks for your sharing the best tip with so many option I'll this at home soon !


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