5 Creative Date Ideas for Parents that Won’t Break the Bank

4.3 min read|867 words|Categories: Relationships|
Mother and father walking down a dirt road with their two small children

There are a million excuses to let date nights slide off the schedule. Too many couples find themselves feeling too busy, out of ideas, without a babysitter or with a tight budget. These are all valid reasons not to have extravagant date nights, but don’t let them keep you from investing in your relationship with simple, cheap date nights you can even do without leaving home.

Having regular date nights is one of the best ways to keep a relationship healthy, romantic and exciting. There are dozens of ways to bolster your relationship without compromising finances while giving your partner the time and energy they deserve. 

Check out these creative cheap date ideas that can be done at home or nearby, with or without the kids.

Cheap date ideas with kids

1. Plan a themed movie night

Choose a movie and make it into a special occasion by theming the whole night around the film. Are you watching a movie set in Italy? Go for pasta, breadsticks and caesar salad. Taking a cinematic trip to Mexico? Tacos are a fan favorite every day of the week. Kids will love the extra special treat of a themed movie night and you and your spouse can enjoy cooking together and will then be able to kick back and relax during the movie.

2. Do an at-home spa

This date activity is great for self-care to calm both kids and adults. Do an at-home spa day and have the kids run the show, pampering you from head to foot. They can do hairstyles, offer a back rub and set up a soothing foot soak with bath salts and warm water. 

Use household items to make a massage extra fun—roll a tennis ball to enhance a back massage or sliced cucumbers to rejuvenate tired eyes. Turn on some relaxing mood lighting, light candles and play calming music to complete the scene.

3. Have your kids play restaurant

You have to eat dinner anyway so you might as well make it fun. One of the easiest, cheap date ideas you can do in the comfort of your own home is to have your kids “play restaurant.” 

Have your kid’s design signs and menus, while you and your partner cook and plate the food. Your kids can even dress up as waiters to really make it special. Have the kids serve dinner and then eat in another room. Older kids can light candles to make it more intimate. Splurge and tip your kids for excellent service.

Cheap date ideas for just parents

1. Wine tour

Surprise your spouse with a homemade wine tour. This requires some setup in advance, but it’s a unique and creative stay-at-home date. Keep your kids occupied with a movie, or send them over to grandma’s while you and your spouse have a romantic date night.

To do this, you’ll want to buy a variety of wine and snacks. Pair them using this guide or make your own pairings. Type up little descriptions of the wine and cheeses to mimic what you would hear at a wine tasting. You have them all set up on your table, or placed strategically around the house to mimic a “tour” of the vineyard.

2. Have a dessert contest

A dessert contest is an easy, cheap and quick date night idea to spark some friendly competition. Use the ingredients you have at home and set a timer for the competition. Without using a recipe, make the best dessert you can in 20 minutes, or however long you decide.

Spice up the competition by going to a grocery store before. Set a budget and a timer (a shorter time limit makes it more exciting) and choose some special ingredients for your dessert. Everything else in the kitchen is fair game, but your partner can’t use your special ingredient. This date is fun and delicious.

3. Have a picnic on the floor

This is a super simple, super fun way to wind down after a busy week, plus it can be done even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Play your favorite playlist, spread out a blanket on the floor and even go as old school as PB&J with your meal choice. In the midst of your busy life, something as sweet and simple as a picnic could be what you need in your relationship.

Take the time to invest and rejuvenate

Your relationship with your spouse is one of the most important resources you have. The emotional support, affection and security that you have built is worth keeping strong even if it takes some unconventional, budget date nights. Restore the fun in your marriage and your whole family will benefit.

If you think your family has hit a slump and you need a little more than date ideas to boost your mental health, reach out to Pyramid Online Counseling. With your busy parenting schedule, the thought may never have crossed your mind to start therapy, but with the convenience and ease of online counseling, there’s no reason not to try it. Whether you’re interested in counseling for couples, families or individuals Pyramid Online Counseling can help. Call 833-525-3077 today to get started.

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