Life gets busy. Stopping every so often to connect with your family and nurture relationships is vital to building a strong family unit.
While you might already take the time to bond with your spouse, it’s also important to connect with your children. Having one-on-one time can help you to talk about the tough stuff or create sweet memories. Use our ideas as a starting point for great parent-child date nights.
12 Great Ideas for Parent-Child Date Night
Dinner and a Movie
A sweet spin on a classic. Dinner and a movie is a sure-fire winner. Instead of going to a fancy place with white tablecloths, opt for a kid-friendly spot. A local diner can make good meals fast and the menu is usually pretty easy. Next, head to the theater to take in a new movie. If there isn’t anything playing, pick something to stream or rewatch a favorite movie at home.
Take a Hike
Getting outside will accomplish 2 goals. First, you’ll get some exercise and fresh air. Second, you’ll have your child all to yourself in the wilderness. Find a kid-friendly hiking trail near you and go. For added fun, pack a picnic with sparkling grape juice or seltzer water.
Bring your best game at the bowling alley! Most military bases have bowling lanes that offer shoe rentals and games at discount prices. Since bowling alleys usually have a snack bar, indulge in hot dogs, nachos and candy. You could make this a regular parent/child date and track who wins the most. There are also tons of bowling leagues to join.
Peanuts and Cracker Jacks
If bowling isn’t your thing, catch a few strikes at the baseball diamond. Whether you are going to a major league game or catching your local college team, baseball games are a great time to connect with a sports-loving kid. Buy some popcorn, cotton candy and, yes, Cracker Jacks to make the day extra special.
This type of parent/child date could be repeated for basketball, soccer, football and other spectator sports.
I Scream for Ice Cream
Parent-child dates don’t have to be expensive or over-the-top. Something as simple as grabbing a few scoops of ice cream together can be wonderful. You could head to your local favorite and order the usual. Or find another spot with rave reviews and take a short road trip.
While there are definitely many adult versions of this, some companies also offer a more family-friendly version. If not, this might be something to suggest to your PTO as a fundraiser. Laugh and be silly with your child as you both create beautiful works of art!
Take a Class Together
Wherever you are, there are sure to be lots of places that offer specialty classes. Many specialty stores also offer classes to customers. Find something that you and your child are both passionate about and enroll today. You’ll be learning a new skill and have regularly scheduled time together.
A great way to build a bond, especially with older children, is to play hooky together. Call into work and pick up your child early. Then go out to lunch, grab a coffee and swing through a few stores. It will feel like you’re breaking the rules together and give you great one-on-one time when the crowds at the mall are smaller.
Yes, it can be fun to bring the whole family to the beach. It feels even more special when you go alone with your child. For starters, there will be less stuff to trek to the sand. Second, relaxing on the beach together or splashing in the waves can help you to start conversations and connect.
This is a more extravagant date but is super fun if you live near a theme park or have a fair in town. Take your child out for the day, or night, to ride a few thrilling rides together. Just remember to eat the tasty theme park treats after you take on the roller coasters.
For the child that loves art, theater and music a parent-child cultural date might be the way to go. Pick a museum, concert or play to attend together. After, talk about your favorite moments or artworks over lunch.
All About Me
For this parent-child date, let your child take the reins. Let your child plan all or part of a day together. From where and what you eat to the activities, your child will be calling the shots. This is a great way to figure out what makes him or her tick.
An Important Parent-Child Date Tip
Make sure that you are creating dates based on your child and his or her interests. Taking an art-obsessed child to a baseball game might not go over too well.
It’s also important to remember to consider your other children. Arrange your dates so that your spouse is with your other children. Be sure to spread the solo time around evenly as well.