When you’re busy kid-wrangling (and working, and cleaning, and life-living in general), the thought of making time for your relationship — let alone brainstorming great parent date night ideas — can feel more exhausting than exhilarating. But you don’t have to give up on date night altogether; there are plenty of good reasons to get out there with your significant other, even when the couch is calling. Date night not only gives the two of you much-needed one-on-one time to reconnect as a couple; sometimes, it’s just fun to have a break from the ordinary — to remember why you got together in the first place.
And while, yes, dinner or a movie probably sounds pretty great, why not try something a little more exciting? “Since doing something novel together releases the feel-good chemical endorphins in your brain, it’s a great way to feel exhilarated and connected — and you’ll be ready for more body-to-body physical action as your date goes into the evening,” says Dr. Sadie Allison, founder of the TickleKitty.com boutique and author of Ride ‘Em Cowgirl! Sex Position Secrets for Better Bucking. And who couldn’t use a little more of that in their life?
Take a cooking class
Learning cooking skills is a great way to do something together that’s hands-on. My husband and I recently took a vegetarian cooking class at The Farm Cooking School, and after we diced, chopped and stirred, we were able to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor. It was definitely a thrill to have made something we could enjoy together.
Do a distillery tour / go wine tasting
Instead of downing your usual Trader Joe’s wine at home, why not explore different wines at a local vineyard? Not only will you learn something new about wine, the two of you can take a walk together in a gorgeous setting (preferably with said wine).
Bike around town
Whether you own bikes or rent city bikes in your town, this can be a really fun date idea that will get your heart racing (literally) and let you be a tourist in your own neighborhood. Getting outside together, no matter what the weather is like, is sure to boost those feel-good endorphins.
Take a quick getaway
It’s all of the fun of a kid-free vacation with minimal planning and packing. Pick the cheapest destination you can road-trip or quick-fly to, and go for just one night (swap babysitting favors with another parent to minimize costs). You’ll get to explore a new place together (think lesser-traveled cities — like Memphis, Tennessee, for example) though it doesn’t matter so much where you go, but that you’re together.
Climb a rock wall
Rock-climbing centers from New Jersey to Seattle offer indoor rock walls with belays to allow even the most novice climber to reach their peak. The two of you will get all of the Free Solo excitement with none of the actual danger. A burger and a beer afterwards are definitely in order.
Go to a comedy club
If going to a comedy club sounds like a cheesy thing you did in the ’90s, think again; some of the hottest comedians out there often try out material at hole-in-the-wall local clubs. And the simple act of laughing together for an hour will have you and your partner connecting (and sharing in-jokes for days).
Go sex-toy shopping
If you’re feeling a little more risqué, take your loved one to a tasteful and informative sex toy / adult store like Please. It’s sure to get a conversation started about what turns you both on – something that can change over the course of a relationship!
Take a hotel staycation
Hotel rooms aren’t just for vacation. Check in for a few hours and it will feel like the most elicit date you’ve ever been on! Bonus – no need to pack a bag!
Do a double date
Sure, the point of going on a date is to connect with your partner, but sometimes this is even easier to do when there’s another couple you like there. That’s because as your partner regales your friends with stories (that you’ve heard a million times) you’ll suddenly see him or her in a new light and remember how funny, attractive and charming he or she is!
Attend a workout class
If the idea of being sweaty on a date doesn’t sound appealing, think again! Getting your body moving with your partner can definitely lead to other pulse-elevating activities once you peel off those gym clothes. For example, try taking a class at OrangeTheory together and let yourself get a little competitive.
Remember, the whole point of date night is to spend time with the person you loved so much you decided to procreate with! So don’t worry if the activity doesn’t go exactly as planned. As long as you’re out there, getting active together the result will be a deeper connection. And don’t just do it once in a while – get these days or nights on your calendar so you’ll have something to look forward to as a couple.