Are you married, with kids? You need these three different types of family date night ideas — our household can't live without them!

bed with three family member's feet hanging out with text overlay "married with kids? family date night ideas for you"Date night is all the rage right now (wait, saying ‘all the rage' is still all the rage, right?).

So I thought I'd blow open the topic by talking about date night ideas for married couples we've used in our own household.

Because they look kinda different.

It might help for me to first tell you a few things about us:

  1. My husband and I are both introverts.
  2. We're madly in love.
  3. We have a 15-month 2-year old (honestly…where does the time go?).

So we don't just have “date night”. We have several different types of date night ideas for married couples that are all important in their own right.

We don't just have 'date night'. We have different types of date nights that are all important in their own right. Click To Tweet

In fact, I daresay our household wouldn't function without these.

Date Night for Parents Ideas #1: Family Dates

Ever since the little guy came along, it's been important for the three of us to reestablish what family means.

I mean, it used to just be us + the kitties.

So we like to have family dates.

Inexpensive Family Dates include:

  1. Daddy Lunches: There's a Mom's support group that meets right next door to where Paul works in the medical district. If you go, parking is validated. Then afterwards we meet up with Paul and gobble up a gourmet lunch for under $20.
  2. Game of Thrones Walks: This is what my husband came up with, and I'm a super fan. Basically in the evening we take the little guy out and walk down these beautifully landscaped alleyways near our home where we strategize how to take over the kingdom talk about anything.
  3. Meet Up in the Museum District: Paul works right next to the zoo now, and on the first Tuesday of the month (except summer months) from 2:00-6:00 p.m. it's free here in Houston. So we've met up 3-4 times to check out the new gorillas, catch up with the meerkats, gaze at the jellyfish, and get in some exercise. We also met up over the holidays to see the Christmas trees in the hobby of the Houston Museum of Natural Science (you don't need a ticket to get into the hobby, and they always have organizations decorate around 10 trees in really unique ways). I brought some egg nog and homemade cookies I baked that day!
  4. Strawberry Picking: We used to hit up Froberg's market as a couple, so now we go there as a family. Once a year we grab our buckets and go strawberry picking together! Then when we come home, Paul watches the little guy while I bake us some strawberry shortcake. Mmmmm.
  5. Pokémon Go Hunts: I heard about Pokémon Go, of all places, on NPR. So decided we should give it a try…as a family (hey, date night ideas for married couples need not be boring!). We haven't yet, but I'm super excited to buckle the little one into his stroller, and go on long hunts along our bayou.

Date Night for Parents Ideas #2: Couple Dates

Couple dates have had to partly be reinvented in our household.

Because let's face it: couple time sans baby is kinda rare.

Plus, if we were to get a babysitter and go out for the ol' movies + date night every week, it would take a megamouth-shark-sized bite out of our savings.

Cheap Couple Dates include:

  1. Couple Workouts: We already have a membership to our local JCC. They offer 90 minutes worth of babysitting a day (at $91/month, talk about cheap daycare!). So once a week or so we meet up after work, drop the little guy off to babysitting, and get 90 minutes of kids-free workout time together.
  2. Pillow Talk: After Conner goes to sleep and after we finish dinner, it's usually just 8 or so at night. Sometimes we skip trying to squeeze in a show and just hang out in our bed talking and laughing and whatever else…it's a time for just us, and it's become super important in keeping our coupledom going.
  3. Drop the Kiddo Off to His Grandparents + Go to a Matinee: We're lucky in that Paul's parents, while 45 minutes away, are super happy to watch him from time to time. So we can drop him off and catch an early movie just the two of us (bonus: earlier movies are cheaper!). Bonus #2 is Conner gets to develop a relationship with his Mee-Maw and Pee-Paw (they chose those names!).
  4. Play a Round of Couple-Opoly: Sometimes, we like to stay up and do something together. My gals over at The Dating Divas came up with this super cool Couple-Opoly (free printables) that let's us play a very personalized game while honoring our couple history. Talk about setting up something special for your someone special!
  5. Church Date Nights: Our church does this super cool thing where they open up their babysitters (the same awesome people who watch our little guy during church sermons so that we can actually pay attention) so that Mommy and Daddy can go out on a date! All for just $3/kid. The last one? We went to a nearby Escape Room!

I've got loads of other creative, at home date night ideas for married couples, as well as our culinary date night trail.

Date Night for Parents Ideas #3: Self Dates

I know, I know; this is supposed to be an article about date night ideas for married couples. Bear with me here.

Remember how I mentioned we are both introverts?

I wasn't just rambling. This has importance. Both of us need time for ourselves. Time to refresh. Time to grow. Time to chill.

Cheap Ideas for Self Dates include:

  1. Workout Time: It is so refreshing to be able to drop Conner off to be watched for 90 minutes at our JCC and just workout by myself. Doesn't happen often (because I usually use the free 90 minutes per day to work in their cafe), but when it does, it's awesome.
  2. Go for a Hike: I'm an explorer. One thing I've missed and have recently reincorporated into my life is going for a hike on my own. Yes, yes, I still take Conner with me. But he's mesmerized by the great outdoors in our jogging stroller and so it feels like I'm getting a solo hike (or as much as I can with a baby!).
  3. Read at a Coffee Shop: Both Paul and I enjoy hanging out at coffee shops. Normally it's to do school work (he was in college full-time for three years and just graduated! Go, Paul!) and work on my biz, but sometimes, it's just to read and decompress.
  4. Taking A Long Hot Shower: Anyone who laughs at this has never had a newborn:). Sometimes, taking a long, hot shower is all the alone time you get. And I soak up every second of it!
  5. Do a Yoga Session While Conner Naps: At the start of this year, my friend invited me on a 30-day Yoga Challenge with Adriene (free on Youtube). Not only did I miraculously do something I've never managed to do without a baby — actually do a yoga session for 30 days in a row — but I've kept it up and have only missed around 20 days of Yoga this entire year! Tune into one of Adriene's yoga videos for free. What an amazing way to decompress (though Conner is not always cooperative, so warning for you, Mama Bear).

Bonus Date Type #4: Money Dates

How could I not talk about Money Dates? It is crucial for the Maverick money manager in the family to meet up with other family members weekly or at least once a month to talk about finances.

You need to discuss things like: changes in spending habits that affect the overall budget, ideas/hopes/dreams that need funding, investments and whether or not to move them, etc.

How to add some spice to your money dates? Tack something fun onto the end of them. Money date night ideas for married couples can include things like:

  1. Spoil-Your-Spouse Night (free printables): Take turns on this one.
  2. Babysitter in a Bag: These free printables will help keep the kiddos entertained while you're talking money.
  3. Ghostbusters Date Night: Did I mention I'm a huge fan of the original Ghostbusters? So for us, it'd be super fun for my spouse to set this free date night up (*ahem*).

What kinds of date night ideas for married couples do you have to share with us below?

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Amanda L. Grossman is a Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 10 years, her money work helping people with how to save money and how to manage money has been featured in Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here.
5 replies
  1. Rene JS says:

    Ha, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article, Amanda. As a mother of two and with a husband who travels, it’s pretty rare that we have dinners together. So something that I recently did was to have food at home whenever he comes. The only request I make of them is to show up because family time matters. And on the way, I also save a lot because going out is not cheap these days.

  2. TPOHappiness says:

    I have never thought of having family or self dates before. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this perspective!

  3. Jack @ Enwealthen says:

    With 2 boys at 2.5y and 10m, I can completely relate. Couple-only time and alone time is very rare.

    Our go-to family date is the local kid’s museum. Kids love it, and part of our avoiding entitled kids via too many gifts from the relatives is that our parents give us a family membership there each year. Win-win-win.

    • Amanda L Grossman says:

      Oh my, I’m sure you double-get it, Jack:). Thanks for sharing what you guys do as family dates! That’s a great idea to get memberships as gifts instead of more plastic.


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