Date ideas for busy parents

Why is it so important to date?

It is so easy to fall in to a routine as a couple, especially as parents. I know for Rob and I, by the time the children have gone to bed of an evening, it really only leaves us a few hours of adult time if that.

We also get very few weekends or evenings free to be able to go out and do something together minus the children, without the cost of a babysitter.

We wouldn’t have it any other way. How I see it is they are small for such a short amount of time and we have many many years ahead of us to spend time alone.

But isn’t it lovely to do something out of the ordinary together. Break up the routine and remember why you fell in love with each other.

I have put together our go to list of date night ideas. I have tried to find some free ones, low cost and slightly more indulgent ones.


Date night ideas


  • An evening picnic

You could either do this at home if you’re unable to go out but I’d suggest turning the TV off and all other electronics. Or you could go out and find somewhere that you can watch the sunset.

Sitting on a big hill watching the sunset
Sitting on a big hill watching the sunset


  • Recreate your first date

This is a perfect way to remind yourself of how wonderful those early days were. We often go back to the place where we had our first date and I always come away feeling more in Love with Rob than ever. In fact he proposed to me there, so it is really special to us.


  • A games night

This is a great way to switch off for the evening and perfect if the children are in bed. It can even become a double or triple date if you invite some friends over to compete against!


  • Spa day

How lovely would it be to swan off for a day at an expensive spa for some real luxury time with your partner? In reality you can easily achieve the spa effect at home. Turn those lights down, light the candles and you could do facials for each other, use face masks, massage each other, even a manicure or pedicure if you’re confident in your partners skills!

Of course, if you can manage a spa day… Go for it!!


  • Beer Garden

You can’t beat a beer garden in the sunshine. A quick pint even with children in tow if you can find somewhere with a play area. Even better if you can tie it in to a nice walk before ending up in the pub. Can’t get out? Why not recreate in your own back garden?


  • An overnight city break

OK so this might not be so easy to make happen but I do think that at least once a year you should take the opportunity to visit somewhere, maybe a place that the children would not enjoy as much. Book a cheap air Bnb or hotel and just enjoy some much needed adult time.

A cute air Bnb with a hot tub
A cute air Bnb with a hot tub


  • A music night

If, like me, you’re a big music fan and love going to concerts, it can be a big deal getting out to a concert. So why not share your music choices at home with each other. Rob and I have hugely different musical tastes but we have had a lot of fun sharing some of our big loves and some really nostalgic moments. We’ve also indulged in a good dance together. Very romantic!


  • A romantic meal

I do the bulk of the cooking in our house so it is lovely when Rob cooks for me. Take it in turns to make something special and get those candles going and enjoy a romantic meal at home. If you want an easy affair, why not head to the supermarket and pick up a meal deal, very indulgent but fairly low cost and minimal effort.


  • Get to know you quiz

You can pick up some great ideas for this on Pinterest or in the run up to Christmas, they have some great little stocking filler quizzes. We’ve had a lot of fun but also learnt a lot about each other thanks to these.


  • Binge a series

We are so organised that we have an unwritten schedule for our TV viewing, in that each night we watch one episode of a series we are Watching. Downton on a Sunday, mindhunter on a Monday, Made in Chelsea on a Tuesday etc. This means we don’t often binge watch anything. This makes for a great date night idea.


  • A coffee date

A spare half an hour could make this a reality. Rob and I have only done it once in our time together but it really felt like the epitome of adulthood!

photo of coffee near flower vase
Photo by Elina Sazonova on


  • Read old love notes

A few years ago I made Rob 365 notes to work through each day. I love nothing more than going back through them. If you’ve not got any love notes, maybe it’s time to write some to each other.


  • Create your Bucket list

We all have things we want to do and see but what about spending an evening creating a list of things that you’d love to do together as a couple? You might be surprised just how many wonderful things you could fill your future together with.


  • Workout

Seriously, I know it sounds like hard work but it can actually be quite fun. Rob out fits me massively so it really spurred me on to keep up with him and we just laughed so much.


  • Make Sushi

This is something that maybe you wouldn’t do on a normal evening which makes it all the more special. Sushi is great because you can both get involved and make your own variations and have fun along the way.


  • Invite another couple for Dinner

Sometimes inviting someone to join you on your date night can make for a lot of fun, We have done this with friends on a few occasions. We’ve fed the children and left them to entertain themselves or watch a film while we relax over dinner.

white and brown cooked dish on white ceramic bowls
Photo by Chan Walrus on


  • Go on a childhood tour

This could be done with children I guess, but it would be fun to do it alone. Drive or walk depending on the distance around all your childhood haunts. Old homes, your old schools, where you used to play, significant places to you. You’d be amazed how much conversation will come from this, it’s a great way to get to know the person you love from a time before you.


  • Simply spend the whole day together

This one can be difficult but for example, I am on half term currently and F is still in school. Rob has booked a day off so we can spend the whole day together. We are off to buy curtains… Super sexy! But we will fit in a coffee date and some lunch. Perfect.


  • Watch the stars

We live pretty close to a City but we are still very lucky to have a wonderful view of the stars most nights without much light pollution. I love sitting outside watching the stars. Just imagine a glass of wine or hot chocolate and snuggled up under a blanket hoping to see a shooting star. The ultimate in romance.

silhouette of boy under black sky
Photo by Маша Реймерс on


  • Go for a walk

This is such a simple way to spend time together, but away from the daily stresses and completely switched off in nature. It’s a great chance to dust off those cobwebs and enjoy a conversation without distraction.

A walk on the beach
A walk on the Beach


And there you go, my go to date ideas for those evenings we get to be alone and for the ones where we have to get the children in to bed first.

I honestly think that every time you make a conscious decision to have a proper date night, you come away feeling refreshed and more connected to your partner and maybe you’ll fall a little harder in love.

(Maybe that’s just the soppy old romantic in me!)


Do you get the chance to date your partner often? Is it important to you to make that time?

What is your favourite date activity?









54 thoughts on “Date ideas for busy parents

  1. This is such a good blog post, and is also useful for couples who are very busy! I like the idea of doing a workout together, its a good way to raise energy and once done is the perfect excuse to be lazy 🙂


  2. Great list. I really like the couple bucket list and even a family bucket list when the kids are a bit older to participate. You are so right grab the time where and when you can get it. What about babysitting friends kids for free and do a trade off? Friend just had first sleep over and they had a date night.


    1. These are great ideas. Similar to you, me and my partner have very different choices in music. He’s also not from the UK so our nostalgic music evenings are often really sweet and very different 🤣. I prefer the music he grew up with to what he listens to now 🙉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He likes a lot of what I think it referred to as ‘grime’ and rap 😂 I like Dancehall / reggae music or something with an Arabian twang. I think our common ground seems to be music with a Latin spirit! I like his traditional Asian/Middle Eastern ‘nostalgic’ choices better than his modern day!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh man, Grime is not my bag at all. Rob hates it thankfully but he is full on obsessed with Kanye west and he drives me nuts but does make some great music… much to my annoyance!


  3. This list is great, love it. A reminder that we need time together as adulation and as a couple without kids to maintain that connection as husband and wife. This may sound funny, but every weekend, at least one of the weekend days, we go grab coffee and go grocery shopping without kids. We love it and try not to miss it. Our kids are old enough to stay by themselves for a little while. But, my favorite is a steak dinner with wine 🍷!


  4. Love this list and it’s great that you still like each other enough to want to do these things lol. I find family life can be tough particularly as the kids get older and learn how to pitch to against one another so date nights are so important to keep the connection!!


  5. We rarely get date nights either as we have three kids no childcare and my husband works shifts. Like you I don’t mind though as kids are only small for a short time and we will have time when they are big, when we do get the odd night off parent duty we always make the most of it though x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Completely agree, children are amazing and life would not be the same without them but I think having the adult connection and time will help protect your future with your partner, especially when the kids pack up and leave home! Nurture it now for sure x x


  6. It’s not just busy parents that have to do this. Plenty of couples have competing work demands and even different working hours. You need to keep the connection going somehow. And making time and being in the moment are very important!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Absolutely love all of these ideas. The ‘gastro pub’ where we had our first date has since closed and we both got quite sad and sentimental about it!!
    One of our favourite things to do used to be listening to music and drinking wine whilst we cook a (usually overambitious) meal. It’s hard to do it so much now with kids though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We rarely find time for a date night. However, we occasionally sneak in a quick Starbucks between the school drop off and start of the working day. A date night suggestion – that would be us if ever we could arrange it – would simply be a drive to the coast and a bag of chips while gazing out to sea!


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