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15 Free (Or Cheap) Dates That Don’t Require a Babysitter!

I am not a big Valentine’s Day person. Neither is my husband. It’s just never really been a holiday we get all worked up about. But I am big on quality time together, and the older we get and the more busy our lives have become, the more important it is. We both have full time jobs and two young children. We also don’t have family down here to act as our built in babysitters and we are on a very tight budget. So it can be tough to fit good quality time in with those factors. Our nights tend to consist of putting the kids to bed, making lunches for the next day, making sure the dishwasher is filled and ready to run, and then making popcorn and watching a show on Netflix.

Don’t get me wrong, we like that truthfully. It’s a way to decompress from the day and it’s a bonus that we have the same taste in shows. PJ’s and Netflix it is. But, there are definitely times I miss a good date night. It’s important to have that time together!

Date ideas that don’t require a babysitter!

1. Pick out a meal together that you’ve never made and make it (bonus points if you can look extra cute like they do on the Blue Apron commercials).
2. Sit outside, with a beverage of your choice. You can keep an eye on the kids with a monitor. Start a fire if you’ve got one and maybe even make S’Mores!
3. Sit down with no TV or phones and do a puzzle or play a card game (phase 10 is a personal favorite).
4. Give each other massages.
5. Enough time for a day date? Pack a picnic lunch and go to a park. The kids can play on the playground while you enjoy lunch. You can (almost) pretend like they aren’t there.
6. Really into Harry Potter or Lord of The Rings? Have a movie marathon together.
7. Plan your ultimate dream vacation together! It gives you more motivation to save for it down the road!
8. Have the kids Wii or Nintendo? Play old video games that you used to like. We recently broke out our Guitar Hero that we haven’t played in years!
9. Play your own version of the Newlywed Game. You can look up questions online.
10. Have dinner after the kids go to bed. You can even dress up and light candles in your own home. The best part is no waiting!
11. Go on a walk. And hold hands!
12. Grab your kids Nerf guns, go in the backyard and have at it! You could even come up with silly (or steamy) prizes for the winner.
13. Play an old school game with each other. Maybe you have Guess Who lying around or Go Fish or… Twister!
14. Pretend you have millions and look up dream homes together. We’ve spotted ours on Sullivan’s Island if anyone is interested.
15. Get a bunch of your childhood pictures and look through them together.

There are so many more, but these are some good starters. A date night doesn’t always have to mean going some place. It’s about being present with each other. And turning off the phone and the computer. It’s about really talking to each other and laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Don’t get hung up on dates that look like they came out of the latest episode of the Bachelor. Maybe it is just Netflix, PJ’s and a “fancy” $15 bottle of wine instead of your usual $7. It only has to work for the two of you!

What are your favorite free (or cheap) date ideas?

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