When you’re a parent, it’s not easy to keep romance alive. Crying babies, precocious toddlers and obnoxious teenagers have a way of draining all of your romantic impulses. But staying connected to your spouse is important and your marriage relationship deserves some nurturing.
However, planning a date with your spouse has it’s own set of difficulties. Near the top of the list (after babysitting) is the cost. The slow economy has made it hard for couples to save any discretionary income. Therefore date nights are often postponed until couples can afford the extra expense.
But dates don’t have to be expensive to be fun. The most important part of the date is spending uninterrupted time with your spouse. The activity is secondary. If you’re looking for inexpensive and fun date night ideas, here are 10 that you should try.
Take a class together
Most community colleges have adult education classes. You and your spouse can enroll in a subject that you both enjoy. Local businesses also offer a variety of courses such as cooking, art, and dance. Many are free or have a nominal fee.
Attend a minor league game
With the costs of major league sports tickets escalating, it’s hard for a sports-loving couple to attend games. Minor league games are a great alternative. They offer high-caliber competition at a fraction of what the professional games cost. With the savings, you can even spring for some peanuts and Cracker Jack.
Browse through an independent bookstore
If you’re looking for a low-key date option, independent bookstores are your best bet. You and your spouse can find a quiet spot in the corner and read Rumi’s love poems. Buy one of these books and place it in your nightstand drawer for later.
Support the local music scene
Restaurants, bars, music stores, and other venues hold free or reduced priced concerts year-round. Scour your local alternative weekly newspaper for venues that showcases unsigned, local musicians. You just may discover your new favorite band. Also, if either or both of you are musicians, you can participate in jam sessions.
It’s sometimes hard to find the motivation to workout. You and your spouse can encourage each other by turning your exercise time into couple time. Not only will you feel better physically, but you will also get the emotional boost that comes from spending time with your spouse.
Visit a museum
Most major museums have days when the public is invited to visit for free. Take advantage of these days and meander through the exhibits with your spouse. Take turns talking about what you like or dislike about each piece. There are also several independent galleries that are free to browse.
Do some people watching at the mall
Go to he mall, find a great viewing spot, and watch the shoppers as they go about their business. Select interesting people in the crowd and take turns creating stories about their lives.
Act like a kid
Relive your youth by doing some of the things you loved as a kid. Join a kickball league, enter a hula hoop contest or go skating at your local roller rink. Go all out and have fun just as you did when you were kids (also see “5 Ways to Improve Your Marriage by Acting Like a Kid).
Be a tourist in your own town
It’s easy to take your city for granted. Get reacquainted with your hometown by spending an afternoon visiting the sites that make it special.
Find a cause that you and your spouse are passionate about and dedicate a few hours volunteering. There are few activities more fulfilling than helping others and you will enjoy doing good with your spouse.
Have an at-home date
Send the kids with family or friends, rent a movie, order take-out and spend the time reconnecting with each other in the comfort of your own home.
Question: What are some of your favorite date night ideas?
Originally published as Babble Slideshow: 10 Inexpensive and Fun Date Ideas for Parents