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Date-Night Freebies

No sitter, no money, no worries. These date-night ideas can be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home.

When was the last time you and your spouse did something fun together – without the kids? Children and family time are one of life’s best gifts, but connecting with your spouse (no kids allowed) is essential for a happy marriage. Plus, it’s fun! We all know that it’s a lot easier to talk about having a date than it is to actually do it – especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget, you crave spontaneity or you simply don’t want to leave your kids with a sitter.

Luckily, free and spontaneous opportunities to connect (or reconnect) with your spouse are all around. You simply have to slow down enough to find them.

Check out this list to find an idea that works for you! Then go have some fun.

Go play. Take a look around your own yard. Do you have a fire pit (make S’mores), a hot tub (ahhh, relax), a swing or trampoline (find your inner child) or swimming pool (you get the picture)? After the kids are tucked into bed, step out back and enjoy some adults-only alone time in your very own yard. Then pull out a blanket, cozy up together and take a look up at the night sky.

Grown-up meal. When was the last time you sat down at your table and enjoyed a relaxing meal? No peas and carrots flying through the air, no kids complaining about the food you prepared, no talk about school and homework. A calm meal shared only with your spouse is no small accomplishment, but it can be done. Put the kids to bed or sit them in front of the television (just this once) and enjoy a meal together. Adult conversation only, please.

Bedtime snack. Sneak into the kitchen and put together a snack tray to share with your spouse in front of the TV or fireplace. Snacks don’t need to be complicated; choose wine and cheese, tea and cookies, veggies and dip, chips and salsa, pizza rolls. It doesn’t matter what you eat, as long as you are sharing a moment alone together.

Rock out. Do your children reign supreme in Rock Band or Guitar Hero? It’s time for mom and dad to get in on the action. Ban the kids, pick up a guitar or some drum sticks and have fun with your spouse. Download or purchase songs that take you back to the early days of your relationship, or jam to childhood favorites. Remember, this activity requires lots of smiles and laughter.

Big turn-off. Often, the most effective way to connect is also the easiest. Make the decision to turn off every distracting piece of electronic equipment in the house. You choose what works for you (once a week, one hour a night, all the time). No kids, no television, no cell phones and no computers are allowed. Now that you have each other’s undivided attention, there’s no telling what opportunities might arise.

Julie enjoys writing about parenting and her adventures as a military spouse.


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