Date night

A few weeks ago, J and I decided that our marriage was in dire need of some courtship. We were in parent/provider mode all the time, and by the end of the day I was so exhausted by kids, I had no energy or inclination to connect as a couple. We hired a babysitter {no small expense on our tight budget!} and took off.

The first time, we had no idea where we were going or what we would do. We just wanted to get 'away'. We ended up at Tempe Town Lake and spontaneously rented a paddle boat for an hour. We drifted out under the lights, made out, then walked through the park to buy ice cream. It was terrific. ;)

Last Friday, we went to the Pumpkin and Chili Festival at Schnepf Farms. We went on a hayride, walked through a corn maze in the dark {and scared a bunch of teenagers by sneaking up on them}, ate chili, roasted corn and apple pie; watched the fireworks and rode a haunted train. The weather was perfectly crisp {I finally got to wear boots and a scarf!} and by the end of the night, I felt young again!

Having a regular date night feels like such a luxury and a necessity at the same time. I look forward to it all week, giddy with anticipation. However, it can get expensive. Paying a babysitter means that ideally, the date itself has to cost next to nothing in order to stay in budget.

Do you have a regular date night? Any ideas for low/no cost dates that don't involve movies?


The Dragonfly said...

The very best thing to ever happen to our marriage was for our oldest to turn 13 and become a responsible baby sitter to his siblings. I know you're a few years away, but it is a light at the end of the date night tunnel. We need our twice monthly dates about as much as air, water and sleep. Glad you had some time out together!

Marci said...

We mystery shop restaurants so that the date part itself end up being free (since we get reimbursed for our food). When are signed up with a few companies and have been doing it for 2-3 years now. Our status has increased as we've done more and now we get to shop some pretty nice restaurants that we could never ever afford on my husband's high school teacher salary. It's not always fun to pay attention to details during the meal and feel out the questionnaire later, but to us it's worth it at this time in our lives! (plus I'm opinionated, so I like knowing someone is listening if we have bad service, or rewarding someone who did a great job)

annie (the annilygreen one) said...

our favorite date night activity is running errands! it's such a luxury to buy groceries or whatever without kids. i love holding hands as we walk through the store, and it's not free, but it's money we were spending anyway. plus it feels productive. plus i feel less guilty asking family or visiting teachers or other people who have offered to babysit for free ( because we're doing something "important."

Singin' Heart said...

One of my favorite super cheat dates (feel like I've become a pro at it :) is going to a coffee house. Colt and I LOVE our coffee houses (even though we don't drink coffee). And im NOT talking about starbucks , it has to be a Seattle type coffee house. Great atmosphere, artsey, indie music...in Seattle you can choose your style of coffee house. If you want a more 40's swing atmosphere, they have it! They even have a chocolati house of melted chocolate, hot chocolate - colt's heaven ;)
I love it cause we can go somewhere cozy, sit by the fire, not feeling any pressure from a waiter of "overstaying" for the amount we pay. And just talk, daydream and reminisce! It's really romantic!
Another thing I have found is weekday dates are cheaper than weekend dates. If you like live music, like us., during the week they usually don't have a cover charge. Plus, you don't have the usual weekend crowds - we like our intimacy!

Well, there is more than my two cents worth ;)

Em said...

Love this. My husband and I were just talking a few weeks ago about how we need to make these date nights a priority. Sounds like you've had some good dates so far!

Apis Melliflora said...

Date nights are a treat! For us, freebies include window shopping in a fun neighborhood, going to the library or bookstore (reading without buying), going to a friend's house and making an adult only dinner, going to a local museum on the free night.

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