Having kids is the most amazing experience but sometimes it takes its toll on romance without us even noticing. That’s why I’ve decided to liven up my relationship by coming up with a list of simple date night ideas for busy parents. One for every day of the month.
Having a baby should be the beginning of your happily ever after. However, the sad statistic shows that a high percentage of couples break up within a year from the baby’s arrival.
I know what you think. I love my guy, he loves me too, and we both love our kids. But think about when was the last time you had an actual date. When was the last time intimacy was more than a routine?
That’s where my list comes in. And why 30 days? Because a month is enough to turn something into a habit. And what I’m hoping to achieve is the habit of paying attention not just to your baby but to your relationship as well.
What you need is only an hour or two after the kids are already in bed.This post includes affiliate marketing. If you make a purchase through one of the links I will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.
Date night ideas for busy parents
1. Cook or order his favourite meal
Set the mood for what’s about to come in the next month with a romantic candle-light dinner. Don’t forget to mention that you picked this meal because you wanted to do something nice especially for him.
If you usually have dinner with the kids, prepare for a candle-light after-drink when the kids finally go to bed.
2. Buy some exquisite lingerie
This is the easiest way to spice things up every once in a while. I don’t know a man who can resist his wife when she’s wearing sexy lingerie.
All you have to do is take a shower and dress up as soon as the kids are in bed.
3. Look at photos of your greatest moments together
Remember the good old days? Put the photos in a slideshow and take a trip down memory lane.
If you have some time during the day you can prepare all the photos you want to watch in the same folder so you don’t have to browse around your computer in the evening.
4. Cocktails night
Fancy a cocktail? Find some cocktail recipes you’ll both like and add the ingredients to today’s grocery list.
Don’t know what to look for? Here is Cosmo’s list of 42 romantic cocktail recipes.
5. Rewatch your favourite movie or TV show
Remember the days when you used to go to the movies, grab a huge bucket of popcorn and some soda, and just watch a movie (yes, a whole movie without any interruptions!). That’s really not that hard to do at home.
Well, there may be some interruptions from your baby losing the pacifier in their sleep, but still…
To make it more authentic go and grab a couple of big popcorn buckets too.
6. Give each other a massage
Getting and giving a massage to your loved one serves both as a great way of relaxation and as foreplay to a steamy evening.
For extra points, grab a massage oil online or from a local store first.
7. Plan your dream vacation
With the whole pandemic situation and small kids around, I somehow doubt you have recently had a dream vacation.
But it doesn’t hurt to dream, right? So talk about your dream vacation or trip and who knows, one day soon you may actually be able to make it happen.
How? Write down the essentials on the day after and start saving a little bit every month until you’re ready to pack your bag.
Need help to start the conversation? Here are some questions to cover:
- What’s the vibe you are looking for? Relaxing and tranquilent? Exciting and adventurous? Fun for the whole family?
- Where would you like to go?
- What would you like to do?
- Will you take the kids with you?
You can even take things one step further and write down your plans directly in a travel planner.
8. Cook something nice together
There’s something about cooking together that is really romantic. Maybe because the two of you have to work as a team, or maybe because it gives you time to chat and reconnect in the meantime.
However, to qualify as one of the date night ideas for busy parents, make sure there’s no TV on. It will just distract you both and you’ll end up listening to the TV instead of each other.
9. DIY something together
Speaking of working as a team, doing a project together is another way to spend some quality time.
It could be something for the house, for the kids, or for the two of you. Pinterest is an unlimited source of inspiration for DIY projects.
As long as the weather allows it, lying down under the stars could be extremely romantic.
For an adult version of stargazing, grab a bottle of wine with you (glasses optional) and make sure there’s no one around.
11. Shower together
Ok, 15 minutes under the shower may not count as a date, but it is still a way to lift things up. No pun intended!
Admit it, you used to do it and love it when you were still casually dating.
So why not try that again. Just be very careful with the wet floor.
12. Game night
Having a board games night is probably one of my favorite date night ideas for busy parents.
First, it can be done both with the kids and without. And second, because it’s tons of fun and a great bonding opportunity.
You can even make a habit out of it and have a game night every month, for example.
13. Dance to “your song”
I believe all couples have that one song that brings them the memories of a special moment. For some, it’s the song they danced at their wedding. Ours is the one we kissed for the first time on.
Find that one song and dance to it like you used to. Maybe even add some more pieces to your playlist so you can slow-dance all evening.
Or until you’re ready to crash down cuddled together on the couch.
14. Talk about your fantasies
Two weeks of everyday romance should have opened you enough to be able to share your most intimate fantasies.
Don’t hold back and be honest about what you want. That’s the only way it may actually come true. And be sure to remember his fantasies.
Pick the one you feel most comfortable with and do any preparations if needed, as you’ll need this later on.
15. Learn something new together
Another great bonding opportunity is to learn something new together. Pick a topic that would interest you both and find an online class for it. Nowadays, there are plenty to go around.
My personal favorite platform is Skillshare that offers tons of amazing courses! And of course, there’s always YouTube where you can find pretty much anything for free.
16. Plan for the future
When you’re raising kids together, you just assume that you’ll spend your life together. But have you ever talked about how you both imagine it?
Maybe you have common goals and dreams you never discussed.
Talk about how you see yourself personally and as a family. And then what you need to do to achieve your dream life together.
17. Just cuddle up in bed
Learn to appreciate the simple moments and you’ll have a lot more joy in your life.
So once the kids are asleep, leave everything be and go to bed early. Just find comfort in each other’s arms and relax after the long day.
18. Make one of his fantasies come true
Remember we talked about fantasies a few days ago. Time to make one come true. It’s as simple as that.
19. Movie night #2
Ok, so we were talking about 30 date night ideas for busy parents, right? Then why is this on repeat?
Having a movie night once every couple of weeks is a great way to get into the habit of spending some alone time together.
20. Workout together
I don’t know about you but getting sweaty together sounds pretty sexy to me.
So put the kids to bed for a nap and get to it. After that, you could even take another shower together if you feel like it.
21. Spend your lunch break together
If one (or both) of you is a working parent you can find some extra time by having lunch together during lunch break. Just call beforehand. Surprises at work are not always a good thing.
Once you have confirmed your date, book a table at a nice place, take the toddler to a play center for a couple of hours, put the baby in the stroller, and go enjoy your lunch.
22. Chocolate, strawberries, and champagne
Does it really need any explanation? Take them with you to the bedroom to set the mood.
Tip: Chocolate-covered strawberries are best served cold. Leave them in the fridge for a few hours but make sure to hide them well so your kids don’t get to them first.
23. Talk about the serious stuff
Yes, this may not be one of the most entertaining date ideas for busy parents but it may be just what you need to put all your burdens behind you and end this month stronger as a couple and as a family.
Don’t hold back, share what has been bothering you and find a way to overcome it together.
Some things you may want to talk about:
- Relationship problems you have been experiencing.
- Debt that has been holding you back.
- Any insecurities in your role as parents.
24. Family picnic
Who says an activity cannot be romantic with kids around?
Prepare some snacks together, grab some drinks, put them all in a picnic backpack, and head to the nearest park for a family afternoon picnic.
Want to make it even more romantic? Here are some ideas:
- Lie down and look for shapes in the clouds.
- Feed each other food (or play a toss game and try to catch it with your mouth).
- Hold hands (yes, you read that right).
- Talk about how you feel right now.
- Try NOT to yell at the kids.
25. Get an adult game from Amazon
There is such a wide variety to choose from. Pick one that you believe will make you both open up to each other.
It could be something romantic like the Conversations 201 for Couples or something a little spicier. Or absolutely anything you like.
As long as at the end of the date you feel more confident around each other.
26. Talk about your expectations vs reality as parents
How did you imagine being parents before you had kids? I bet it was a lot different than the reality today.
Take the time for a serious conversation. Some topics you could cover:
- Did you think about having children before they were on their way?
- How did you imagine it?
- How did you feel when you got the news that you’re expecting?
- When did you feel your true bond with the child (during the pregnancy, at birth, sometime after the birth)?
- How do you imagine their future?
- Do you want more kids?
27. Read the same book
Find a book you’ll both enjoy and read, either together out loud, or at your own pace. Then discuss the book just like you would any movie you’ve watched together.
The best thing is that this will give you plenty of quality time opportunities since I doubt any of you have the time to read a whole book in a day or two.
A few years back, we read 1-2 of the Grimm Brothers’ tales every evening after going to bed (we had no children back then).
And let me tell you, it was very romantic.
28. Make time capsules for the kids
After you’ve discussed your hopes and dreams for your kids, you might as well share this with them. And if your kids, like ours, are way too young to appreciate this, make a time capsule for each one.
Add to each kid’s capsule all the keepsakes you’ve been collecting since they were born, or even before that.
Then sit down together with your hubby and write a letter to their future selves. You can write one letter together or two separate letters.
Share what you’ve written with each other and then close the capsule.
29. Create a couples bucket list
Do you know there are bucket lists for pretty much everything? Couples activities included.
All you need is a blank template and some ideas to fill it up with (you may need a nanny for most of them). Here are some to get you started:
- Go to a drive-in theater
- Kiss in the rain
- Kiss underwater
- Watch the sunset
- Book a professional family photoshoot
- Adopt a puppy or a kitten
- Go on a road trip
- Take pictures in a photo booth
- Go to a couple’s massage
30. List of creative positions to try in bed
Ok, this is not that kind of a blog so I won’t give you the exact positions to try. But here is what you can do.
Choose how often you want to try something new: once a day for a week, once a week or once a month for a year, etc. Then google something like “creative positions for couples”, make a list (preferably with illustrations), print it, and hand it to your SO as a gift.
And then try the first one this very night to keep the momentum.
Repetitive date night ideas for busy parents
Going through a whole month of romance will surely bring you back to your early dating days.
But why stop there?
Here are some date night ideas for busy parents that you can actually build into your schedule.
Talk about your day! Yes, it’s as simple as that.
Don’t be just co-parents. Be friends. Be best friends.
This will make you stronger not only as a couple but as a family as well.
Try to include small romantic gestures in your daily life or at least once a week.
Add candles to the table, play some relaxing music instead of turning on the TV, hold hands while relaxing on the couch. These are all things that won’t affect your routine as busy parents but will surely improve your mood and strengthen your relationship.
Have a movie night every other week. Cuddle together on the couch and enjoy the time together.
If you have a big enough couch you could also turn this into a family tradition too.
Call the nanny/grandma and go on an actual date.
Restaurant, movie, concert, or just a walk in the park, it’s entirely up to you.
Ditch the kids to their grandma and leave town for a long weekend. Heck, leave the country if you have an airport nearby.
Relive your honeymoon days for a weekend and learn to cherish every moment you have together!
Need help with your month of romance?
Does this plan sound like too much of a struggle?
Don’t worry, I got you. Sign up and get your calendar with all date ideas filled in. Plus, you get a blank couple’s bucket list to fill in together.
Mae Alexis says
I love this, I might have to do some of these with my boyfriend when the kids are away haha!
Our kids are never away, so I’ve selected mostly things that can be done after they are finally asleep. So don’t wait and just pick one 🙂
Carly | My Green Toddler says
These are perfect! My partner and I always default to playing a board game if we have a little time together but it would be nice to do some other things and I love these ideas.
Thanks, I tried to put together a list of ideas that can work even if you’re tired after a long day or if you don’t have much time so that they can actually fit in a busy schedule.
I absolutely love these ideas, especially the daily/weekly/monthly/yearly suggestions.
Thank you, I honestly believe that we need to find time for our spouses regardless of how busy our lives are. Even if it mean something small like a daily conversation or a weekly gesture.
Jessica Joyce says
Great advice and content ?
Thank you for the kind words!
These are great ideas. My wife and I love to play games together for date night. Super fun and frugal!
That’s great! We used to do that a lot before we had kids too. And now things are finally getting back to normal.
Great ideas. It’s nice to get back to finding the couple you once were before kids and have a little fun.
I absolutely agree! Having our kids is the best thing that happened to use but I do believe staying strong as a couple is very important.
Really loved those ideas! It sounds doable with kids and work. I’m excited to try that!
It absolutely is! We’ve tried it and it really brings back the feeling from the care-free times before all the responsibilities. And make sure to download the freebie. It will make things even easier 😉