Image by: Steve Hillebrand
By H. Daniels
A “Date Nite” is a fantastic tool to keep your relationship fun and fresh but sometimes you just can’t get a night away from the kids. Your parents are in Bermuda. Your friends are boycotting children in general. Your neighborhood teenagers have fainting spells because of the Bieber Fever epidemic. If they are prone to fainting, it is unsafe for them to watch my kids. I’m just saying…
Either way, in place of a romantic, “only-the-two-of-you” date, why not do a Family Date Night? It is a great way to keep your family unit strong. Here are a few suggestions just to get you started:
#1) Go to the Zoo
The zoo attracts all kinds of people from all walks of life. There are generally shows or presentations in addition to all of the wonderful animals. Better yet, try this fantastic zoo scavenger hunt idea from datingdivas.com.
#2)Blue Ribbon Dinner
This suggestion comes from a guest blogger on the Dating Divas website. The theme for the night is blue: décor, food, drink, and attire. I suggest watching a family movie as well. Can you say “Smurfs?!”
#3) Family Art Gallery
Surprise the kids by framing their artwork and displaying them around the house. Pretend you are at an art gallery. Dress up, invite your friends, serve hors d’oeuvres (kid friendly hors d’oeuvres like tiny octopi made out of hot dogs), serve sparkling apple cider in champagne flutes, and toast to your favorite artists.
#4) Go for a Hike or Day Camp
It is summertime, which means camping season. Camping is a great idea for a family because:
1. It gets your kids outside, breathing in the fresh air, and
2. No electronics.
That means mom and dad too. Put your cell phones in the glove box of your truck/car at the campsite. Of course, if you’re leaving the campsite for a hike, then take it with you, just in case of emergency.
Can’t afford to go camping? Camp in your backyard. Pitch the tent in the corner of the yard and plan some hiking events around the neighborhood or a park. Create a scavenger hunt for the kids. Best part? Indoor plumbing is only a few yards away.
#5) Drive-in Date Nite
I did this project with my kids when I worked at a before/after school program. Have each individual pick out a cardboard box or a big plastic tote and decorate it like a car. Then park your “cars” in front of the TV so that you can enjoy a movie. Yeah, sure, you can go to the actual drive-in since they are open for the summer season but this is just more fun. Making the cars adds a whole new level of family togetherness.
#6) Go on a Picnic
Have the kids make their own special treat to bring along on a family picnic. Enjoy the sunshine and the great company. Bring your dog and your mosquito repellant. Bring the badminton set or a Frisbee.
#7) Mad Scientist Nite
I love old sci-fi B-movies. My boyfriend, his dad, and I love to make a night out of old monster movies and a tub of popcorn. Why not take our idea of a fun night and kick it up a notch. Organize some awesome science experiments with your kids and then watch your favorite monster/mad scientist movies. Babble.com has a great list of 25 At-Home Science Experiments that you can try out with your kids.
#8) Movie Theme Nite
I am a sucker for a good theme night. My favorite has been Tombstone/Tombstone Nite with my boyfriend, where we watched the 1993 version of the movie and had Tombstone pizza, fresh out of the…well, the freezer. It was still pretty fun. Like everything else on this list, it is more fun when you go all out and find themed attire and décor.
The best part of Movie Theme Nite? The popcorn. Here is an incredible website filled to the brim with 40 different popcorn recipes.
I am planning on trying the Bacon Caramel Popcorn NomNoms (yes, that’s what it’s actually called), paired with a Kevin Bacon Marathon. Then when we need to run to the kitchen to get more popcorn, I’ll play the Flashdance theme and make him dance to the kitchen instead. And, of course, we will have to dress up like our favorite Kevin Bacon character. I’m thinking Balto.