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Date Ideas for Tired Parents

You and your spouse know that scheduling regular opportunities to reconnect romantically is important to your relationship. And you look forward to a break from the kids once in a while. But after working all week, maybe the idea of a high-energy, high-stakes date night is just not appealing. Maybe cuddling on the couch sounds more your speed.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that — or with trying out another low-key date night idea that doesn’t require fancy outfits, lots of prep time or planning ahead. Remember it’s the connection that counts.


Dinner and a Movie — In

Even if you’re too tired to leave the house, you can have a romantic date night for two. Order pizza or other takeout for the family, then tuck the kids in bed, cook up a big bowl of popcorn and watch an R-rated movie together while snuggling close — share an afghan if it’s a chilly night.

These days, with on-demand and streaming services galore, you don’t even need to plan out the movie selection ahead of time. Just browse until you see something that appeals to you both.


Try the Drive-In

If you’re lucky enough to have an operating drive-in movie theater nearby, by all means make a date to check it out. Stash some snacks on the dashboard and cuddle close on the front seat. Making out is encouraged, although bobby socks and poodle skirts are optional.


Visit a Gallery

Art show openings and museums are quiet and usually uncrowded, and often feature free snacks and wine. Many art museums are starting to offer either late hours or after-hours events for couples who want to spend a little time together in the evening. Or you can always turn your date night into an afternoon event.


Play a Game

Card games and board games are a great way to spend an evening together. Forget Candyland and break out an old favorite like Scrabble or Monopoly. Go Fish! can be surprisingly rewarding, too. This could be another stay-at-home idea.

But if your town has a game store or a club that meets regularly at a bar or coffeehouse, this kind of low-key outing may be just the thing.


Hit Up Happy Hour

Hire the babysitter for the early part of the evening and head straight from work to happy hour at a local bar. Order a fancy cocktail and nibble on some bar snacks as you unwind from your day job — together. It costs less than dinner out on the town and it’s often less crowded, too.


Sip a Late-Night Latte

Alternatively, wait until the kids are asleep, then have the babysitter hold the fort while you and your partner slip out to a late-night coffeehouse for an after-dinner pick-me-up and maybe a spot of dessert.

Sip slowly, linger at your table and indulge in some adult conversation together. Extended bouts of gazing romantically into each other’s eyes is another possible perk.


Listen to Live Music

Speaking of coffeehouses, many casual establishments such as cafes and bars will host live acoustic music shows on certain nights. Sometimes the shows are free — although the band will usually pass the hat — and some nights there’s a small cover fee.

Regardless, this is a cheap and relaxed way to hear local musicians live. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to get up and slow dance with your sweetie for a song.


Take a Walk

You might have to drive somewhere to find someplace walkable, or you might be lucky enough to live in a neighborhood suited for strolling. You can plan your walk for daylight or nighttime, depending on your preference.

You’ll get out of the house, you’ll be indulging in some light exercise and you’ll have your partner by your side. Hold hands and take your time.


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