8 Date Night Ideas (That Don't Require a Babysitter)

Being a parent is a full-time job, so it’s normal to wonder when you’ll have time for your partner in between constant diaper duty, late-night feedings, or chasing a rambunctious toddler. Fortunately, we’ve pulled together some simple (and cheap!) date night ideas that will save you time and money.

1. At-home cooking class

Scour the internet (or Pinterest) and find a new recipe to try. Make a list of the ingredients and pick them up on your next grocery run so they’re on-hand when date night rolls around. Put on your aprons and have fun together in the kitchen! Once your culinary concoction is complete, set a special table, sit down and enjoy a warm, home-cooked meal together. Bonus points if you eat by candlelight! And, if you don’t end up liking the date night recipe, there’s always takeout!

2. Game night

For more competitive couples, break out the board games and challenge each other. (Loser has to change the next diaper!) Traditional board games are great options that you might already have on-hand, but consider buying a new game or downloading an app rather than reverting back to an old favorite. This will keep you both on your toes as you battle it out for the championship title.

3. Indoor picnic

When the kids are asleep, lay down a blanket in your living room, light some candles and enjoy a picnic together. Cook (or order) your favorite meal, turn on some mood music, and pour some wine. Even though you’re hanging out at home, an indoor picnic can feel really special and intimate.

4. Go on a hike

It’s time to break out the baby carrier and get out of the house! Whether you’re trekking a mountain or checking out a local park, hikes and outdoor walks are great way to get your nature time in without worrying about a stroller. Pack a picnic to enjoy when you get to a nice spot with great views.

5. Bubble bath

Light a bunch of candles, turn on your favorite mellow music, and take a bubble bath together. If you don’t already own bubble bath, there are lots of easy DIY recipes for making bubbles from your favorite body washes by adding some simple ingredients you have in your kitchen. This is one at-home date night idea where you may want to lock the door–just in case.

6. Movie marathon

Movie dates are always a good idea, and they don’t have to be limited to nighttime. Consider spending your Saturday afternoon at home crushing your Netflix queue. Set your kids up with their own movie in the next room or take advantage of naptime. Trilogies are a good option when you have enough time. Or you can each pick a movie that the other may not have been willing to see in theaters– and that way you both win. Don’t forget the popcorn and snacks!

7. Fondue night

Order from your favorite restaurant or save money by making your own and indulge in a fondue night. Prepare some dippers (like crudites and crusty bread), light some candles, pour yourselves a glass of wine and have a romantic night in while baby sleeps. Don't forget chocolate fondue for dessert!

8. Read a book

Picture books aren’t the only ones that can be read aloud. Whether it’s a classic novel or new release, pick a title that you and your partner are interested in and read it together. Plan to read one chapter a night while you’re cuddled under the sheets and your kids are asleep in their rooms. Reading provides you with something non-baby related talk about while bringing you closer as a couple.

Becoming a parent changes everything, including your relationship. That’s why it’s so important to make time for a date night. Whether it’s at home or out on the town, as long as you have good company, good communication, and a good connection, you’ll have a great date night no matter where you are or how much you spend.

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