While the term date night initially conjures up images of romance, flowers, and chocolate, it doesn’t always need to be those things. Taking the opportunity to go on dates – quality time together – with your kid(s) can be very beneficial to your relationship with them, just like date nights are beneficial to couples.
I love taking my children on dates because it makes them feel special and sets aside time that can be more unstructured and open to conversations that may not happen elsewhere. It’s a time to learn something about your child you may not have known, to delve deeper into topics they are interested in, getting to know your kid a little better, and develop a trusting relationship together.
For this list, I tried to choose things that are good for all ages and on the less expensive end. So put your cell phone on silent and pick of one of these ideas for date nights/days with your kid(s).
1 – Take a hike
Literally go in the woods and hike. This is my go-to date idea with my kids. It gives us time away from the world, often without a cell phone connection (just tell someone where you’re going for safety reasons), and time to enjoy nature together. Conversation is easy when you’re walking together. Find a local park to hike at or use the popular AllTrails app to find trails nearby.
2 – Paint pottery
Both kids and adults love to do this. You need zero skills, thankfully, and the paint-your-own-pottery places has everything you need. I find painting is relaxing and a good stress reliever as well. Use Google to find these places near you and plan a fun night with your kid.
3 – Get some ice cream
This is an easy and cheap date that doesn’t involve a lot of time. As long as it’s quality time with your kid, any amount is good, especially if it involves ice cream.
4 – Take a cooking class
I find that food brings people together in all sorts of wonderful and delicious ways. With COVID-19, cooking classes may be harder to find but it’s definitely worth checking out because they are fun, tasty, and learning to cook a dish with your kid is a great bonding experience.
5 – See a play
The most memorable dates I ever had with one of my parents was my mom taking me to see Broadway shows. The Phantom of the Opera was our favorite. We lived in New Jersey so it was an easy train ride to NYC and these times were so special. You don’t need to see a Broadway play to have a great time though. Local theaters often have plays and many have reopened now, just with a lot smaller audiences.
6 – Throw an axe
An activity for older kids and teens, axe throwing is a lot of fun. And it gets out a lot of frustration, which let’s just admit it, we all pretty much have had in abundance this last year. Places like Craft Axe Throwing have spots all over the country and your town may have a local place as well.
7 – Stroll through a museum
I’ve taken my younger kids to museums with all kinds of interesting exhibits that extend far beyond paintings. We’ve seen swords, guitars, and Victorian era furniture and glassware. Strolling through a museum together is a wonderful way to connect and have opportunities for easy-flowing conversation about whatever you’re looking at. Lots of museums are free or have reduced or free admission for reciprocal memberships.
8 – Run a race
I used to run races with my mom. We were both unbearably slow so it worked out great. Both adults and kids can run a 5K with a little training. Lots of races are virtual now so you can just go at your own pace together.
9 – Volunteer together
Whether it’s serving meals at a local soup kitchen or cleaning out animals enclosures at an animal rescue, volunteering together is a wonderful activity to do with your child since it teaches them gratitude, self-sacrifice, and how to be compassionate.
What would you add to our list?