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It can be hard to find the time and energy to go on traditional dates when you’re a parent, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on date night altogether. In fact, it’s more important than ever to make time for each other.

Dates are important for parents because they give them a chance to connect, talk about what’s going on in their lives, enjoy each other’s company, and just be two adults intentionally spending time together.

Hard to leave the kids in the evenings aka dinner, baths, bedtimes? Go on a Day Date! Don’t wanna leave the house? No childcare? At-home Date after the kids go to bed!

Here are some ideas for daytime dates and at-home dates that will help you connect with your partner and enjoy each other’s company.

couple holding hands day date ideas

Why dates are important for parents?

It can be hard to find the time and energy to go on traditional dates when you’re a parent, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on date night altogether. In fact, it’s more important than ever to make time for each other.

Dates are important for parents because they give them a chance to connect, talk about what’s going on in their lives, enjoy each other’s company, and just be two adults intentionally spending time together.

Here are some ideas for daytime dates and at-home dates that will help you connect with your partner and enjoy each other’s company.

couple outside day date

Fun Daytime Date Ideas

It’s not unusual for daytime dates to work better for parents for a number of reasons, such as childcare, dinner and bedtimes, energy levels, the family schedule of homework, sports, and other commitments.

Here are some ideas for fun day dates:

Go Roller Skating

One of many ways on our list to play like a kid again, check out the hours for a local skating rink, such as Three Fountains Skating Rink, or lace up your personal roller blades and hit the paths at Riverwalk on Laurel St in Columbia.

Or Ice Skating

You won’t find outdoor, in-nature ice skating in Lexington, SC. However, you can still bundle up, pack some Motrin, and head out to your local indoor rink. Flight Adventure has locations in Irmo and over in Sandhills.

Geocaching around town

Geocaching is a great way to have fun on a date adventure. It’s a modern day treasure hunt that will keep you and your partner entertained for hours. Geocaching is also an inexpensive activity, since all you need is a GPS device and some free time.

Explore a Local Park

Exploring the paths and trails of a local park is an excellent idea for day out with your love! Get outside and experience the beauty of nature. Gibson Pond has paths tucked away in the trees or walk out to the bridge of the dam. Irmo Park by their police department has beautiful flowers and paths. It’s on the opposite side of Lake Murray Blvd from Irmo Community Park which also has extensive paths but is usually busier and faster paced in general.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game – Year Round Options

USC Mens and Womens Basketball games are always a good time in the winter.

Spring and summer sun means it’s time to head out to the ball fields.

Lexington Blowfish play at the Lexington County Baseball Stadium, April thru July in the Coastal Plain League.

Columbia Fireflies, an MiBL team, play at Segra Park in Columbia, April thru Sept.

You know what fall means in South Carolina. Are you ready for some football?! Get on your way to see the Gamecocks play! Or hop in the car to drive to one of the other college team games. There are plenty to choose from.

Venture on a Self-Guided Tour of Public Art

Street art and public murals abound at the West Columbia Interactive Art Park on Meeting St and the Cayce Art Lot just down the road on State St. The Cayce West Columbia area is full of beautiful art displays, cool businesses, and fun events.

Want to explore other parts of town? Search this map of public art to find displays near you.  

Grab lunch with a side of history. Or maybe it’s history with a side of lunch.

Take a tour through town that is both a history tour of the area and a tasting tour stopping at several local restaurants. Two Gals and a Fork Food Tours hosts a tour through the Vista in Columbia once a month, a tour down Main St in Lexington once a quarter, also well as a tour in downtown Newberry once a quarter.

couple in kitchen at home date

Stay At Home Date Night Ideas:

Whether the kids are at Grandma’s and you have the house to yourselves or you have carved out time after the kids go to bed to focus on each other rather than the dishes and Hulu, at-home dates are great way to intentionally spend time together.

Have a game night for a date night at home

Game night is a great date night option for couples. Trivia or conversation starter games can help spark conversations about all kinds of topics that have nothing to do with the kids, the house, the usual things. Like to be spontaneous? Play a few rounds of Uno, the game where the whole world makes up their own rules because nobody actually knows the official ones. Or … ya know … Twister is always a a good time.

Pretend the electricity is out for a cute at home date night idea

No lights, no TV, no wi-fi, no distractions. A great way to shake things up and focus on your time together. Build a fire and make s’mores. Tell scary stories with flash light.  Flash light tag. Hide and seek. Cuddle up on the couch and just talk.

Travel Inspired Theme Date Night

Can’t jet off to your dream destination for the weekend? This is also a perfect way to curb wanderlust when you can’t travel. Pick a country you’ve been wanting to travel to and cook a dinner inspired by that country. Play music from your chosen destination. Add special touches with decorations or in the outfits you choose for the evening. To really immerse yourself, use sites like Unify Cosmos to play the sounds of the area, such as the monsoon rains in Thailand. 

Challenge each other to a cook of day

Add some spice by competing with each other! Challenge your partner to a cook off. Choose a specific course to create for the competition or ingredient that must be part of the recipe. You can do this by assigning each other a dish or going through your favorite recipes and picking one to make from scratch. This date is great for foodies who also enjoy cooking (or even just watching cooking shows together).

Canvases with Candace Date Night Paint Kit

Have a DIY Wine and Paint Night

If you and your partner enjoy art, why not try a wine and painting night? Canvases with Candace offers at-home kits that you can do right at home. All you need is your food and drinks and the kit Candace will send you which has all the supplies. This is a great way to spend a creative evening together, and you’ll end up with a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall.

Set up an at home date night picnic

Who says you have to set the table and sit in the dining room or kitchen for date night? Lay out a blanket in the middle of the living room and have a picnic at home. You can go old-school with your picnic and have sandwiches, fruit, cheese, and crackers. Or go for a charcuterie board that is overflowing with meats, cheeses and breads.

Have a video game marathon

One of the most fun date nights we’ve ever had was when we stayed in and played Wii Sports for half the night. Part competitive, part hysterical, we had a blast! You could go on a quest playing a Legend of Zelda game or battle a wide variety of bad guys with Call of Duty, Halo, um … there are many but there is not my area of expertise. Hit the gas with Gran Turismo or skip down memory lane with some good old-fashioned Mario. 

Take a tour

One very cool thing that has blossomed in the last two years is the wide array of virtual tours available online.

Pretend you are on HGTV or old-school TLC

Do you remember when TLC had shows like “Trading Spaces” and Christopher Lowell? I may be showing my age. Bust out your hammers and glue guns for an evening of DIY crafts or home projects. Jazz up a flea market find. Craft some gifts for the next round of holidays. Do a speed round makeover on your room.

Spend intentional time and energy on your relationship 

Do what you can when you can. Dates does not have to be expensive or elaborate. It can be something as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood or sharing a meal together. The most important thing is that you are intentional about making time for each other.

If you’re a parent, day dates and at-home date nights are perfect for reconnecting with your partner. They can help keep your relationship strong when the going gets tough which is why it’s important to make time for each other during these day or evening outings. You don’t have to spend much money on day date ideas or at home date ideas either! Whether you want some old fashioned fun playing video games together or making over one of your rooms in an HGTV style, there are plenty of budget-friendly ways to get creative with day dates and at-home dates that work well for busy parents like us.

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