Saturday, February 13, 2010

Date Night for Parents

I like to post ideas I find from different people or websites. Below are list of ideas I've read about or seen on at

When you add the expense of hiring a babysitter to the cost of going out for a meal or catching a movie, date nights can be especially expensive for parents. However, there still are budget-friendly ways to spend time with your spouse without giving up date nights altogether. Here are a few:

On a nice evening, spending time outdoors can be particularly romantic. Pick a quiet park, a beach or a nature reserve. Bring a bottle of good, but inexpensive wine or champagne along with some nice meats, cheeses and breads. Even if you buy the gourmet or upscale varieties, you won’t spend as much as a night out at a restaurant. Sam’s Club®, Trader Joe’s® and most supermarket deli cases have more exotic cheeses and meats, so there’s no need to go to high-end stores to find them.

Coffee Shop
If you’ve given up your designer coffee habit to better manage your budget, splurging on coffee once in a while can feel like a luxury. Combine your java with something yummy from the pastry / dessert menu and you’ve got a hot date that doesn’t cost much. Bookstores that also sell coffee are great spots for this type of date. Even if you each decide to buy a book, you’ve typically spent less than you would have on dinner and drinks at a restaurant. Plus, you have something to take home with you!

Game Night
If you enjoy hanging out with other couples, consider organizing a game night. The couple that hosts the party is in charge of selecting the games and hiring a babysitter. Potlucks work great because they take the pressure off the hosts, financially and otherwise. Select a babysitter (or two) that is comfortable with the number of kids. Make sure the sitter is well prepared with activities and games for them. Have all the parents contribute to paying her and she’ll make a great wage. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Wine Tastings
Take a tour of a nearby vineyard or brewery and enjoy some free samples when the tour wraps up. Visit for a directory of tasting events and locations near you. If you’re not close to any wineries, organize your very own tasting event with friends. Instruct guests to spend no more than $10 on an interesting bottle of wine and pair it with some cheese. Conduct a blind taste test and have everyone vote on their favorite variety.

If kids are in the mix, it’s sometimes hard to find a babysitter. No worries! You can create a romantic (yet frugal) date at home. The trick is to feed the kids and put them to bed early so you can enjoy time alone. Set your dining room table as if you were heading to a fancy restaurant: tablecloths, cloth napkins, mood music, candlelight – the works. Crab legs or lobster tail are especially good on special nights like this because they’re easy to prepare and cost just a fraction of the restaurant price when purchased at the supermarket. You’ll feel like you’re living large without spending a lot of cash.

Some other ideas I've read about:
1. Wine and cheese tasting at home or on a picnic or with friends
2. Puzzle night
3. Go to Gameworks or Dave n Busters for a game night. You could do dinner there too.
4. Window shopping at a nice outdoor mall where you can stroll and talk.
5. Drive to the beach or mountains for a sunset. Bring some goodies with you like sparkling cider to add to the moment.
6. Hang out at a place like Downtown Disney where there's music, restaraunts, and many shops to stroll in. Fireworks at night.
7. Minor league baseball game can be cheaper than a movie depending on how much you spend on food. (Go to Costco for hot dogs before the game to minimize food spending).
8. Hangout at Border or Barnes n Nobles to check out some new books and enjoy some coffee.

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