Cheap date night ideas are all well and good, but I know for us, we also can’t afford child care. Many families may not have friends or family who they trust baby-sitting for them. So, I decided to create a list of “Date Night” ideas that are fun for the whole family.
It’s true, no hanky panky can happen until the small humans are tucked into bed, but the evening can still be a great bonding time. Best of all, your kids will be thrilled for attention that is focused on fun instead of chores or homework.
20 Date Night Ideas…With Kids
- Lego build challenge. If you kids are too small for traditional Legos, Duplos are great AND they fit the small Lego boards! I recently added this adorable Lego table with storage to my living room and it’s a HIT. Find ideas on what to build here.
2. Play dough charades. Take turns making something and having everyone else guess what it is! Extend this activity by making the dough from scratch together first! Find a recipe here.
3. Fancy dinner. This could be half a day if you include kids through the whole process. Sit down as a family and plan your meal, grocery shop together, cook together OR have children color place mats while you cook, then set the table complete with nice dishes and maybe even candles! Read a Fancy Nancy book to get in the right mood. Enjoy!
4. Write or make love notes for everyone in the family. My children LOVE to make me notes and cards and origami. Break out the glitter and stickers and extra valentines from last year and make love notes for everyone!
5. Living room slumber party. Have everyone help clean the living room (there’s gotta be a perk to this, right?), then make snacks you don’t mind cleaning out of the sofa, like pretzels, popcorn, possibly trail-mix. Bring quilts from the beds and make an awesome nest. Snuggle in together and watch a movie or read a favorite book (or pile of books), tell stories, look at baby-books, etc. If you don’t want to actually sleep in the living room, just wait until the kids are passed out and sneak back to your bed that doesn’t make your back hurt.
6. Bike ride or nature walk. If you all have a bike and everyone is big enough, this can be great fun! Pick a safe route and get to it! If your little ones are still too little, make it a walk or stroller walk. Try to find a souvenir to take home like a pretty rock or a leaf.
7. Pokemon cards. My husband and sons LOVE Pokemon and have started playing the card game. It’s simple enough for kids to learn, but involves enough strategy to keep adults hooked. You can get a starter kit deck here.
8. Board games. Now is the time to train your kids to love the games you loved growing up. Go Fish and Candy Land are two of the simplest games to start kids on. Bring out your favorites and start making memories!
9. Watch YOUR favorite childhood movie. My kids LOVE most of the movies we loved when we were little. Matilda, The Brave Little Toaster, The Goonies. What is YOUR favorite?
10. Read a children’s book, watch the movie of the book! This is one of my favorites! We have read The Secret Garden, Matilda, Harry Potter, etc, and then watched the movie! The kids love to point out the differences and discuss the choices the writers of the movie made.
11. Dinner in bed. Make dinner. Eat it in bed. It’s crazy and they’ll love it. Go a step further and make it Breakfast For Dinner In Bed.
12. Breakfast for dinner. Kids love anything out of the ordinary and I love breakfast food, so of course, breakfast for dinner! Pancakes, scrambled eggs, french toast, waffles, sausages, biscuits and gravy; cook up your favorites and serve them for dinner!
13. Cook together. Let the kids cook. Help only as much as needed. If you’re feeling adventurous, let them pick the meal too.
14. Water color paint. The thing I love about water colors is that it is so forgiving. It’s ALWAYS pretty. The easiest way to do it with kids is to have them use a fine tipped Sharpie marker and draw a picture, then have them color it in with the water color paint. Spring for water color paper, it’s thicker and holds up to the water used for painting. Pop the finished and dried artwork in a dollar frame and you have gifts for grandparents!
15. Coloring book party. You know that meme about having a bad day and wanting to just go color? DO IT. Break out a fresh box of 96 Crayolas and a fresh stack of books. Show off your amazing staying-in-the-lines skills and impress your 5 yr old. Pull out some blending and color mixing to really wow them. Hang them all on the fridge when you’re done.
16. Crafts. Any crafts. Kids LOVE to make things. Buy a kit or dig one out of the closet, or just assemble some bits of stuff and glue and let them go at it. If you’re short on ideas, hit up Pinterest. If you want to plan ahead, pick a craft that can double as a gift later.
17. Silly photo shoot. Gather some props or put on silly clothes, use those old halloween costumes, do some crazy make up, whatever you can think of! Take turns taking pictures of each other! See who can be the silliest! If you have a child old enough to help, there are silly ideas for group photos on Pinterest.
18. Bake and decorate cookies. Even if it isn’t Cookie Season, no one ever isn’t on board to decorate cookies. Whip up a batch of dough and stick it in the fridge ahead of time, OR bake them ahead of time to only decorate at date time. I would imagine you could order them baked and not decorated from a bakery as well. Break out the icing and sprinkles and have a blast! Take photos of everyone’s creations!
19. Write comics together. My kids LOVE Captain Underpants. They love to make comics. Read some Cpt. Undies and then work together to create your own fantastic adventure!
20. Tea party. If you have a tea set, great! If you don’t, kids won’t mind drinking tea out of mugs. I always make scones with cinnamon and sugar or whatever berry I have handy. You can also make little sandwiches and make it a full meal. Don’t forget to set out milk and sugar (my kid’s favorite part drinking tea). Pick a caffeine-free tea and start that water boiling!
Share with me; what is YOUR favorite date night activity that can include kids?