By Sarah Lyons
When you are a parent, having a date night with your spouse can seem difficult to pull off. Add in a tight budget, and it can seem impossible. When you are a busy parent, date nights are more important than ever to keep your marriage healthy and to keep both of you feeling refreshed. With a little creativity and extra planning, you can still enjoy a night out with your significant other, even on a small budget.
Change the Time
Date night does not have to happen on Saturday night. To save money, try going to a matinée when prices are more affordable. The lunch menu is also significantly cheaper at most restaurants, making an afternoon date more appealing. You could also try catching a movie or dinner on a weeknight. You not only save some cash, but you will also avoid the crowd.
While some parents have the benefit of close family and friends to watch their children when they go for a night out, many must pay a sitter to take care of their children. This cost can add up, especially if you have a larger family. Try asking a friend to swap babysitting duties with you. You watch her kids one night while they have a date night, then she can watch yours while you have a night out. It’s free and it is well worth both couples’ time.
Check Out Local Attractions
Check the local listings for free, or affordable, outings or day trips. Most cities have a Facebook page, which often lists fun events around town. Ideas could include: visiting a local museum, a zoo, or an exhibit. Minor league sports games are also a fun and affordable idea. Community theater or high school theater is a great way to see a play without having to pay the high prices. Some couples may also enjoy relaxing at the local beach or swimming pool without the kids.
Who says you have to go out to have date night? Put the kids to bed early and cook a meal together. Enjoy some quiet time or a romantic movie in the comfort of your own home. If your kids are not big on early bedtime, plan dessert for after the kids’ normal bedtime.
Pack a Picnic
A picnic at a local park is both romantic and budget friendly. You can easily stick to your budget when you use items from your own pantry in your picnic or stop to get something affordable on the way. You can also look for free or affordable local events like concerts or other festivals where you could bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the free entertainment as well.
If you and your partner enjoy being active, make it a date. Going on a walk, hiking the local trails, or going on a bike ride are all fun and free activities to enjoy with your partner. Some other active and affordable date ideas could be ice skating, bowling, or laser tag. Sometimes feeling like a kid again can make you forget about the kids, for just a little while.
There are many ways couples can enjoy a date night without having to blow the budget. Get creative and make date night a priority to keep your marriage happy and healthy.