With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our minds often jump to having a romantic date with soft music in the background and a table set with a white tablecloth, fine dishes, and flickering candles.
But for many of us who have young children, these kinds of dates don’t happen very often. Instead, we find that even the simple things can be an opportunity to spend quality time with our husband. Here are some of our ideas of ways we’ve put a little twist to the everyday-ness of life and turned it into an opportunity for a date!
Change up your meal routine. Sometimes it’s fun to just do something different for the evening meal. But different doesn’t have to mean extravagant–it can be very simple. For example, if you always make your meals from scratch, buy a frozen pizza and rent a movie for a pizza and movie night. Or, if you tend to make a lot of frozen meals, change up your meal routine by making pizza from scratch and setting out the nice dishes. Angie’s husband also surprised her once with a purchase from HelloFresh that ended up being an elegant, homemade meal!
Go out for dessert and coffee. This is cheaper than a full meal at a restaurant, but still gives you the same atmosphere. It’s also a relaxing time of evening where you can just unwind without feeling like there’s a to-do list waiting for you.
Play “Memory” together. For an easy twist to the classic game of “Memory” and a challenge for your over-tired, mommy brain, try just dumping out the box and leaving the cards scattered all helter-skelter rather than lining them all up. This makes it much harder to remember where things are at because there’s no specific point of reference. Chrystal and her husband have enjoyed many fun nights competing to grab the most matches!
Host your own “pop-up cafe”. The basic idea is to plan a menu and then give multiple options for sides. However, you can make this one as complicated or easy as you’d like.
For an easy version of a “pop-up cafe”, try something like lasagna, bread, carrots or green beans, cookies or brownies, water or juice, etc. Hand write out the menu and then assign a cost for each item with things like “1 hug, 2 kisses, 5 minute back rub, 1 foot massage, etc.” Husband can order what he wants off the menu but then you get to collect the payment at the end. Throw some lighted candles on your dinner table and voila! You have an easy but fun dinner for two! Cheesy, you say? Perhaps, but every marriage needs a little bit of cheesiness every now and then!
Go on a drive. Sometimes the best times of just enjoying each other’s company is in the car! So leave the kids with a babysitter, check out what others in your area recommend for a scenic drive, and then go for an afternoon drive when those fall colors are at their peak, spring is just making its most-welcome appearance, or when summer is in full-bloom. (And don’t forget to stop for some coffee at a quaint little coffee shop before heading home!)
Kidnap your husband. (This was Chrystal’s husband’s answer to the question “What date have we done that you’ve really enjoyed?”) It’s especially fun to do this with another couple.
Chrystal shares: “My SIL and I have gone together and planned several dates where we’ve kidnapped our husbands for the day. And boy, have we gotten them good! The first time my sister in law backed her car into our driveway and my husband came out to find his brother with a bewildered look on his face. They both asked ‘Do you know what’s going on? Are you in on this?’
“Another time my MIL came to pick up the kids and my husband was just chatting with her, thinking she was popping in to say “hi.” I nonchalantly asked my husband if he could grab the car seats and put them into her car for me. He readily agreed and then was like “wait, what?” Oh the glee! We’ve combined things like kayaking and a picnic lunch, dinner out and a play, an “Escape Room” and ice cream, etc. We girls have done all the planning, packing, surprising and driving. The surprise factor is really fun and the guys have had fun trying to guess where we’re headed next as we drive them around. And would you believe it? They even got us back and planned the last surprise date!”
Couples’ Mall Scavenger Hunt. Meet at the mall and hand out a list of items to find and take pictures of (such as red shoes, something patriotic, an umbrella, etc.). Split off as couples and then work to complete the list. The first couple to complete the list and arrive back at the host’s house wins. Have some dessert and then compare pictures! Here is that you can use for the scavenger hunt or you can come up with your own list!
Bundle up and get outside for a walk. Whenever you come to an intersection flip a coin. “Heads” you turn right. “Tails” you turn left. The fun part is that you never know where you’ll end up! Once, Chrystal and her husband did this and ended up in an entirely new neighborhood where they heard an older woman calling out “help!” She had fallen in her garage and had been laying there for a while trying to figure out how she was going to get up. What an unexpected adventure!
We hope this list has given you some fresh, new ideas of ways to spend some quality time with your husband! If you have an easy date idea of your own, we’d love to hear about it!