The Importance of Dating Your Kids

I value the importance of making time to date my husband, but being in a new city without the natural supports of friends and family, it was not possible for us to have a kid-free date night.  We were lucky to enjoy the day with our children, decorating heart shaped cookies and giving lots of squeeze hugs, followed by our version of date-night which included catching up on The Flash through Netflix and snacking on Little Debbie Valentine Cakes.

Valentine’s Day really got me thinking about the concept of “dating” not only my husband, but my children as well!  Growing up I have fond memories of my Father celebrating “Meghan & Ashley Day” with my sister and I, and I want to leave my children with similar memories, and honor my late father by continuing his tradition.  With 4 kids, it’s rare that anyone gets time away from their siblings in our house, so we rotate through 1:1 “dates” with each of the kids (sometimes with mom, sometimes with dad).

When we think of dates, many of us picture dressing fancy for a nice dinner, which can be fun and special, but dates with your kids can truly be as fancy or casual as you’d like!  Often times our kids place a huge value on some of the simple things we often take for granted, which can make for pretty amazing memories!

  1. Grocery shopping.  Many grocery stores can be a mini-day trip with your child, too!  Grab a bite to eat in the cafe, then get your shopping list out and let your child help you find all the items, check them off the list, and maybe even make a couple impromptu purchases!
  2. Get the car washed.  Kids love going through the car wash!  Head in and pick up some snacks before you embark on your soapy journey – make sure your windows are up!
  3. Dollar Store.  There is something about knowing you can get ANYTHING you see – go on a little shopping spree with your kiddo.  Set a budget of course, but remember that even one dollar will be fun!
  4. Bowling. Bowling can be a great activity for kids of (almost) all ages.  Many alleys have bumpers and ramps to allow kids as young as toddler-aged kids to have fun bowling.
  5. Museum/Indoor Play Center.  Spend a day at the local children’s museum, art gallery, science/history museums, or one of the area’s Indoor Play Centers.  Let your date call all the shots about where to go, then allow yourself to let loose and make memories with your kiddo!
  6. Zoo.  It’s open year round – so whether its snowy or sunny there will be animals to see and memories to make!
  7. Library/bookstore.  Read a book together on site, or choose a book to bring home.
  8. Picnic.  Whether you pack your picnic as a part of a larger excursion, or as the highlight of the date, picnics are fun for kids, and can keep costs low by avoiding pricey restaurants if you’re on a budget!
  9. Sledding.  Pack a thermos of hot cocoa, bundle up and hit a hill!   (Might take a little more planning if you’re near Phoenix like me, but apparently it’s not a terrible drive up to Flagstaff, AZ where they get plenty of snow!)
  10. Live Theater. Seek out a family-friendly show from a local live performance theater or one of the local middle/high schools!
  11. Sporting Event: Whether it’s high school, collegiate, semi-pro, or pro – cheer on your favorite teams or explore a new sport!
  12. Home “Alone.”  Sometimes we send one parent out with all but one of the kids – allowing “date night” to happen right at home.  Get a snack and play a board game, make a craft, or read a book together.
  13. Restaurant.  Going out to eat can be a lot of fun, whether it’s a fancy restaurant, dessert only, or fast food.  Check your area for local kids meal deals too, and save money on your date night!
  14. Special Events. Last (but definitely not least!) check the local libraries, malls, and community centers for special events going on – storytimes, make-and-takes, and other special events will all make perfect dates with your kids!

I’d like to leave you with a little reminder that it’s not about the MONEY you spend, but the TIME you spend together.  <3

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with your children!”

Share in the comments below: What is YOUR favorite kid-friendly date?

Fearlessly Creative Mammas

36 thoughts on “The Importance of Dating Your Kids

  1. I make it a habit not to say “I can’t wait for/until…” When it comes to my son because I know he’ll be grown before I blink. However, this really makes me look forward to being able to do some of these things with him. Great list and concept!

    1. It’s definitely a balance between enjoying every moment and looking forward to the new adventures! I think that’s why we kept having kids – to relive some of those little moments 😉

  2. I agree 100%, and too few people don’t already do this. I did it, heck I still do it, with my nieces and nephews, and I can’t wait to do it for our own children as well!

  3. Such a great reminder to us moms with multiple children that they need time with us alone. I was thinking about a fashion day with my oldest girl. I need a makeover and we can have one together.

  4. Love these ideas! My wife and I rotate date times with our kids. They usually do he planning of what we are going to do and then we just set aside the time. We love them!

  5. This is so great! We really sometimes forget how memorable those little experiences with our little ones are. Some of my favorite childhood memories were doing some of the things you’ve mentioned with my mum.

    1. Exactly! Sometimes places/activities that we find “boring” are the most exciting to our kids. A quote I love that you reminded me of is “Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with your children!” I may have to add that to this post as a matter of fact!

  6. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I fondly remember all the day trips my mom used to take my sisters and I on when we were younger. She always made sure we were making great memories together–and now we’re the best of friends. Enjoy your special time together! This list is a great reference for the future!

  7. I don’t have kids yet but I really agree with spending day dates with your kids! I remember my family going on trips to the zoo, aquarium, painting pottery ,etc. This is a tradition I will continue with my children 🙂

  8. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I totally agree with spending day dates together. I remember my family going on trips to the zoo, aquarium, painting pottery, “spa” days, etc. This is a tradition I will carry on with my own kids one day 🙂

  9. The other day I took my 12-year-old stepdaughter to Panera to get drinks and then a locally owned pet store to look at the puppies in the windows (even though we don’t BUY from pet stores the girls like to look at the puppies! 😉 ), just the two of us. Other times, I take the 6-year-old places. My husband always does exactly what you suggest above and takes one or the other with him to the car wash, or the grocery store. They both love these “fun” little outings where they are singled out. Great post!

  10. Awesome idea of taking each kid out for some special one-on-one time! Most of these ideas require little cost & planning, and tackle a necessary chore at the same time! I’ll be sharing this with my readers.

    Visiting from Family Joy Link Party #8 🙂

  11. I love having that one on one time with both of my kids. I think each kid needs this with both parents. Thanks for linking up at Family Joy Blog Link Up this week. So glad you joined us.

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