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The Parent Trap

Parent beware! All too often, the importance of our own ‘playtime’ without the kids falls by the wayside. As we get older, our priorities shift to expanding our family, spending evenings and weekends running household errands, picking up our kids from extra-curricular activities… the list goes on and on. Of course, these obligations do take precedence, but what about the importance of spending time with your friends in order to maintain strong relationships?

That day will come when your child moves out of your home to attend post-secondary education, or they secure their own apartment to begin life on their own without the help of mom or dad. Then what? If you aren’t maintaining your friendships with other couples right now, what does one do when the nest is empty?

To avoid this predicament (and have some fun in the meantime), here are some great ways to get you out and about now, spending quality time with other couples.

Get Active

An easy way to enjoy time out together with your friends (and get some physical activity in to boot) is recreational fun. Now that spring is finally here and summer is fast-approaching, these local destinations are sure to please any fitness buff.

Eaglequest Douglasdale Golf Course – Fore! This golf course can deliver a fun and enjoyable round of golf for both the novice and the experienced golfer. The course meanders through the beautiful Douglasdale Estates neighborhood, and is a great destination to relax with friends. For more information, visit

Calgary Sport & Social Club – Ultimate Frisbee – Ultimate is an exciting, fast-moving game. It’s a non-contact competitive team sport, and easy to learn. It’s a five-on-five game with a minimum of two females on the field at all times (making it the perfect sport to enjoy as a duo husband and wife team)! For more information, visit

Canoeing in Banff National Park – This past summer, my husband and I went for a leisurely canoe ride in Banff. It was a great way to exercise and relax while taking in splendid scenery. What a great activity to do with another couple! Canoes can be rented at Blue Canoe, located at the north end of Bow Avenue (also accessible from Wolf Street). From the canoe docks, you can choose to canoe up a gentle leg of the Bow River or follow the 40-Mile Creek into the Vermilion Lakes.

Enjoy Delicious Food

Not the ‘sporty’ type? How about dining together?

‘Supper Club.’ Create a Supper Club with your friends. For the past year, my husband and I look forward to our Supper Club with our closest mates. How it works is each month, one couple hosts the other couples at their home for an evening of drinks, appetizers, main course and dessert. Or, if it’s too much for the host couple to handle, divvy up the food: one couple brings drinks and another couple brings dessert - then the host couple only has to make appies and the main course. It’s also a great way to travel the world without leaving the comfort of your own home. Each supper club meal can have a theme: Serve food with a Mexican flair, Southwestern, Italian… the options are endless.

The Cookbook Co. Cooks – Hands-on Classes – Under the guidance and instruction of a seasoned chef, you will work with two to three other participants to create one menu item. Each group of three to four prepares one recipe to feed all participants. At the end, you will be presented with a 4-course meal and two glasses of fine wine specially paired for your enjoyment. (I can just see the flour flying now as you and another couple create food and fun!) For more information, visit and click on the ‘Cooking Classes’ tab.

Parents, just as you encourage your child to get out there and have some fun with their friends, I encourage you to follow suit and do the same. With so many options available, there’s no reason to hold off and wait until every chore, errand or the last kid is out of the house before you indulge in playtime of your own.

Melissa is the Copy Editor for Calgary’s Child Magazine.


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