Christi and I maintain a date night once a week. With little kids, it’s necessary for us to stay connected with one another beyond “business talk” or “kid talk.”
However, like most couples, spending money on a babysitter and the date itself can get pretty expensive over time. That’s why we’re creative in what our date nights often look like.
Need to stick to your monthly budget?
Here are 10 fun, cheap date ideas for you and your spouse this summer:
1. Create a Love Playlist. You remember love tapes? You would record your favorite music and give to the one you were dating. Download your favorite love songs and create a playlist called “Love Playlist.” Make sure it has at least four or five songs at minimum.
Don’t stop with one playlist. Create a list together from each decade. You can date the playlists or even create different playlists for special occasions. If you can’t secure a babysitter, wait until the kids are down, set the ambience, and then turn your living room into a dance floor.
2. Plan a Picnic. Fill a basket or cooler with bread, goodies, cheese, fruit, drinks, etc. Grab a blanket and head to a park, lake or hillside.
3. Go to a coffee shop and take your own board games. This is one of our favorites! Play checkers, cards, etc. while having your favorite coffee (or in my case, Frappuccino) together.
4. Visit a zoo or museum. This one can cost a few extra dollars. But depending on where you live, there are quite a few museums and zoos you can access for a reasonable price.
5. Choose a favorite activity from your junior or senior high days. This is great especially for couples that didn’t know one another in high school. Go bowling, roller-skating, go-karting or play miniature golf. Share together some of your favorite childhood activities and memories.
6. Cook a multi-course meal. Play with various recipes and serve one course at a time. A great way to have fun with this is to prepare a five-course meal together. Enjoy the longevity of it, making each course a memory. Style it as formal or as informal and goofy as you’d like. If you want to add ambience, play the love songs from #1.
7. Go fishing on the weekend. This is a great date whether you catch fish or not.
8. Sing karaoke. To add some random fun to your evening, find a place with karaoke and sing your favorite songs as loud as you can with people you’ve never met before.
9. Go on a picture date. Find random sites around your hometown and take pictures of one another. To add more fun to it, make a theme around your pictures.
For instance, go out as a tourist. Visit civil war sites, national parks, or historical landmarks only tourists tend to visit. Or, depending on your area, go out together as if you were living in the 1950s, dress the part, hit a diner and take fun pictures. You could also go as outdoorsy folks and take pictures in a sporting goods store or wearing camouflage.
10. Decide on a new hobby or activity together and begin practicing. For instance, you may decide you’re going to run a 10k or a marathon together. Start training together for it.
Perhaps you want to do some home projects together. Christi and I just went on a date night to Lowe's to purchase the boards we need to build wall hanging bookshelves together.
What other fun, cheap date ideas can you add?
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Joshua Straub, Ph.D. serves as the Marriage and Family Strategist for LifeWay Christian Resources and is the President and Cofounder of The Connextion Group, a company designed to empower parents, spouses and families. Josh speaks and writes on emotionally safe parents and spouses and the influence of technology on today's family. He is the author of the newly released Safe House: How Emotional Safety is the Key to Raising Kids Who Live, Love, and Lead Well (Waterbrook Multnomah) and along with his wife, Christi, is the producer and co-author of the video curriculum The Screen-Balanced Family: Six Secrets to a More Connected Family in the 21st Century. Josh and his Canadian wife Christi reside in Nashville, TN with their son, Landon, and daughter, Kennedy.
For more encouragement and ideas on marriage and parenting in the 21st century, you can join Josh and a growing tribe of awesome families at www.joshuastraub.comand follow him on Twitter @joshuastraub or Facebook.