Date nights
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At Home Date Ideas for Busy Parents

When family life gets busy, often it’s hard to find time to spend alone with your partner. Going out on date nights may seem like a good idea, however, sometimes organising a babysitter, booking somewhere to go and then taking the babysitter home when you get back makes it all quite hard work. After all, the whole point of your evening together should be to enjoy each other’s company and relax. Instead of going out why not choose some fun things you can do at home to experience a special date night together? Here are a few ideas to inspire you. 

Romantic table for two 

Having a romantic dinner at home is possible, even if older children haven’t yet gone to bed. One thing you can try on a convenient evening is to arrange to have dinner with your partner at home, while the children are occupied with a film. Weekends seem to work best, and with a bit of planning everyone will be content. Select a film for the children to watch and allow them (just this once) to have an easy to prepare TV dinner such as pizza. Use a small table beside them and set up another in the kitchen for the adults. A nice glass of wine and your favourite meal will allow you and your partner to spend some quality time together at your candlelit dinner for two. 

Outdoors 

On warmer evenings you can make the most of your garden and still be within earshot of the children. If you’re anxious about being outside the house take a baby monitor with you, as that way you’ll hear if anyone gets out of bed. Create a romantic corner where perhaps you’ve planted a few flowers and shrubs that have gorgeous scents after sunset, string a few decorative lights up, light the chiminea if you want to add atmosphere and settle into a hammock or a comfortable love seat together. If you like to eat alfresco, you can transfer your romantic dinner outdoors or have a fun garden picnic just for two. 

lights

Arrange a sleepover 

If you can’t coordinate a sleepover for your kids with their individual friends, you may find that grandparents are willing to take all of them for just one night. Having a date night in then becomes a real pleasure. You can chat while preparing a delicious meal, enjoy a film on TV and have fun tasting some different drinks – swap your usual gin and tonic for a fine, aromatic rum in a speciality rum glass, or a luscious port, for instance. Add to the cosy atmosphere by playing your favourite music and catching up with each other’s news. Best of all, the kids will most likely have a lovely time too, and their grandparents will be tired but happy. 

Have a screen-free date night in 

Although watching TV and films can be a useful way to relax, if you and your partner have shared interest or hobbies it’s good to make time for them as an alternative. Some people love jigsaws and crossword puzzles, and doing these together or playing board games for two can be fun. If you enjoy chess or draughts have a mini-tournament or opt for some of the many card games for two people. Dominoes can also provide lots of entertainment, even without involving the kids. 

Plan your date night to make it happen 

It’s obvious that you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy spending quality time with your partner outside day to day family life. However, you do have to make time for a regular get-together, so you’ll need to plan ahead. That is especially so if your weekends normally consist of continuous activities for your kids. Co-ordinate the activities as best you can until you find a weekend where you will all have some breathing space. Bookmark and put it on the calendar promptly, before something else comes along to steal your date. 

If you need to organise a sleepover, for instance, give whoever is helping you out plenty of notice. Don’t be afraid to approach other parents, as you can always offer to help them out in return. If you’re planning a meal and some drinks, remember to organise the shopping in advance – it would be a shame to sort out arrangements for the children successfully and then discover you hadn’t remembered to make arrangements for yourselves. Enjoy! 

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