Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
We all know how important it is to set aside time to be with our spouse. Many of us are watching our pocketbooks and get anxious when we add up how much it costs us to go out on a date. After dinner, a movie, and paying the sitter Ė it can cost a pretty penny. Week after week Ė thatís just not sustainable.
The following ideas are no-cost date ideas I hope you can use:
Go for a walk. Older children may be able to be left home alone while you go for a walk around the block. Itís an easy way to spend time together and work in some quality moments. Younger children will require a sitter, of course, but going for a walk costs no money, and itís easy to find nice neighborhoods, parks, or recreational areas nearby.
Keep your eyes open for free lectures at libraries, churches and synagogues, or grocery stores. Often advertised in local papers Ė if you find something of interest, mark it on your calendar and turn it into a date.
In the summer or fall (depending where you live), you might be able to find free music in the park venues. We have several shopping areas that offer free music on weekend nights and several parks that bring bands in for entertainment. Free festivals are also good to watch for.
Go on a picnic. When the weather is right, pack up a basket and head to a park, the top of a mountain, or sit by the river. Itís a time to eat together, be in nature, and enjoy quiet conversation.
Local resorts frequently have musicians playing in their lobbies and/or bar areas on weekend evenings. You can go and have a drink or just sit and listen without spending any money. Enjoy the atmosphere, the music, and the people watching.
If you donít have a sitter or anyone to watch the children, consider creating a hangout space for you and your spouse. The front porch after the children go to sleep can be a great place to relax, have a drink, and be in each otherís company. Put a fire pit in your backyard, and you can continue to sit outside when the weather gets cooler.
You may also consider converting your living room into a dance party. Are your little ones solid sleepers? Turn on the music and boogie. Will it be some slow dancing, disco, or square dancing?
Playing a board game is another great stay-at-home no-cost date. Scrabble, chess, or Trivial Pursuit are engaging games that will challenge you, allow you to have fun, and Ė of course Ė spend some play time together.
Pull out the family movies once the children go to sleep. While itís fun to watch these videos with your children Ė itís nostalgic to watch without them. You can laugh, reminisce, and fall in love with your children (and your partner) all over again.
Work on a project together. This can be done when the children are sleeping or during the day when you have a weekend sitter. Ask the sitter to take the children on an outing so you can get something done in the house. Itís a great time to repaint the living room, put pictures in the baby books, or clean the office closet.
There are many no-cost date ideas to help you and your partner give dedicated time to your relationship. With a little creativity, innovation, and a bit of extra thought Ė you can find a way to spend quality time together each week.