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Valentine's Day date ideas for when you can't find a sitter

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Find a little romance, even if you can't find someone to watch your kid

As a last-minute planner, Feb. 13 always comes with a mad dash to find a sitter.

OK, I'm just kidding. I don't do much "dating," and I'm what I like to call, "single and terribly alone." But boy, do I feel bad for all those parents who can't find a sitter so they can stare at their beloved in the candlelight!

As a Valentine's Day gift to all you lovebirds with a nest full of chicks, we've pulled together a few date ideas that are sure to work, even if a babysitter is beyond your reach. You're welcome.

1. Start with a shower

Unless you have young children who need constant supervision, you and your spouse can set aside 30 minutes on Valentine's Day to take a sensual shower together. Turn on your favorite music and bond as the hot water hits your bodies — you can call it a date, or add on additional activities later.

2. Go on a fast-moving progressive dinner

A romantic Valentine's Day dinner is weird and impractical if your kids are along, but the rules fly out the window when you turn it into a progressive dinner. Start at one restaurant for appetizers, then move on for the main course at a second restaurant before heading to a third location for dessert. It's like a dinner scavenger hunt, and the kids won't get bored.

3. Brew a latte and make a brunch

While your kids play outside on Valentine's Day morning, slow down your pace and eat a special brunch with your honey. Make a tasty latte, and follow it up with heart-shaped pancakes, bacon and eggs for a simple and delightful mid-morning treat.

4. Get out of town

If you're into camping, pack up the family for a night away. There's always the opportunity for naked snuggling in one room of the tent. Even if camping isn't your thing, you can rent out a cabin for a retreat that's a break from the ordinary.

5. Take a picnic to the park

Wander to your local park with a blanket, snacks and drinks. Your kiddos can run around or fly kites while you and your spouse gaze at the sky together.

6. Try on a pair of ice skates

Your adrenaline will peak as you wobble on ice skates with your spouse, which is sure to make your love hormones pump with a vengeance. Not only that, your kid will enjoy the thrill of watching you skate hand-in-hand with your spouse, while skating circles around you.

7. Suggest a double-date half-sleepover

No, it's not swinging. Surely you know another couple who is in your same predicament — so invite them over! Your kids can enjoy a fun playdate while you have a double date in the living room, but everyone can still retreat to their own homes for bedtime (and sexy time).

8. Romance on the rooftop

After your children hit the hay, climb out on your rooftop with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolate-covered strawberries. Stargaze. Make out.

9. Check your local theater

Many theaters have on-site day care. If you can't figure out another date, find a theater that offers day care and enjoy two hours of respite and a lovely movie.

10. Date as you paint

Go to a local art class for family bonding. Your children will enjoy the opportunity to get crafty, and you and your spouse will enjoy the freshness of a new activity. There might even be a BYOB policy, if you're lucky.

More about Valentine's Day with kids

Ways single moms celebrate Valentine's Day with their kids
Be my smitten-kitten valentine
Valentine's Day ideas for family fun

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