Ideas for date nights or date days

[Pic from my graduation ball in 2011]

Since having Miss M over 2 years ago, date nights and days have been few and far between! It was certainly easier with 1 child, than it is now with 2, but even with 1, life seemed to get a lot busier, and time with just Brendan and I got pushed to the bottom of the to-do list. Before kids, and even once we were married, we used to meet after work for coffee a couple of times a week downtown at a café, we went out to Thai every Thursday night for dinner, and often had breakfast or a morning coffee out on the weekends. I really miss our time alone to just chat, catch-up and hang out, and two weekends ago we got the opportunity to spend two nights away from the girls when we travelled to Newcastle for a friend's wedding. It was just what we needed, and we are both so thankful to my mum and Miss M's godparents for looking after the girls while we were away.

A whole weekend away is not usually or always possible as parents, especially when babies are breastfed or clingy, and when multiple kids are involved, or if the parents or kids don't feel comfortable being away from each other. That's perfectly fine, and up to each individual parent to decide what is best for their kids. I'm not sure I would have liked leaving Miss M when she was only 4-months old for two nights, but for me now, I've just been so tired lately, and every conversation is about how tired I am, and with being in the process of moving towns, selling the house and a new job for Brendan, we both needed this weekend to just be us.

If a weekend, or even a night away is not possible (or not in the budget), there are lots of other things you can plan for a date day or night with your husband or partner (for those without kids too!) I love the idea of giving your partner 12 pre-planned dates for Christmas, and each month do something fun that is pre-paid/organised ahead of time. One Christmas I will plan to do that! Here are some ideas:

 - Catch a movie together
 - Coffee at a café
 - A takeaway café at a local park (you could even do this while the kids play at a playground)
 - Breakfast / lunch / dinner out
 - Dessert or morning or afternoon tea out
 - Progressive dinner - entrée at one restaurant, main meal at another, and dessert at another
 - Take a trip together: book accommodation, or just wing it!
 - Go on a road trip
 - Watch a TV series together, one each night after the kids are in bed
 - An afternoon playing golf or at a bowling alley or another sport together
 - A walk together
 - A trip to your favourite shop together (e.g. Bunnings or Kmart)
 - Make pizza or cook a meal together at home
 - Have a picnic together
 - Go swimming together
 - Ride a bike together
 - Take a class or do a course together
 - Go hiking
 - Work out together
 - Stroll around the markets one weekend
 - Go to a concert together
 - Star gaze one night together
 - Roast marshmallows in a fire pit together
 - Enjoy a drink together
 - Take a balloon ride together
 - Enjoy water sports together
 - Go camping
 - Watch the sunrise or sunset together
 - Go op-shopping together
 - Do the grocery shopping or go to the Farmer's Markets together
 - Wine tasting together
 - Make a fondue and enjoy it together
 - Couples massage
 - Play board games together
 - Recreate one of your favourite memories together
 - Go horseback riding together
 - Visit the next town and play tourists
 - Go strawberry picking together
 - Go to the zoo
 - Visit the drive-in movie theatre
 - Kick a footy or fly a kite together
 - Go to the beach together
 - Take a nap in the park together
 - Have a double date with friends
 - Split a milkshake
 - Buy matching outfits (think Kath & Kel!)
 - Read books together
 - Write each other letters
 - Have a water fight
 - Go to karaoke together
 - Go dancing!

My absolute favourite date was the concert we went to in the Hunter Valley a few years ago to see Matchbox 20, INXS & Evermore (before kids). We were sitting so close outside to the bands who were all incredible, they had amazing food which we eat as a picnic dinner until it got dark, when we stood and sang loudly and just soaked in the awesome atmosphere. We've had lots of great date nights and days since then, but everything about that date was magical! Like I said, it's a lot harder with kids but not impossible! Find someone you trust to look after the kids, even just for an hour (or bring the kids, and keep them occupied/work around it), and make an effort to spend quality time together - you will not regret it, I promise!

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