Date Night Ideas for Parents: 22 Frugal and Fun Dates (without kids!)

January 17, 2023

Build Family Wealth and Happiness.

Fill out this form to receive our free 39-page Family Wealth and Happiness guidebook. You'll also receive periodic updates from me to help you take your family to the next level.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links or links from our advertisers where we earn a commission, direct payment or products. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser. Information shared on this site is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice.

It’s common for couples to go months without a date night. Sometimes, life is too busy as you work hard to pay off debts or take care of your kids. When you’re not busy, you’re exhausted. Not having the energy or time for each other quickly becomes the norm. 

However, skipping out on a date night can quickly lead to the slow downfall of a relationship. Spending quality time together is necessary to keep the spark alive in a relationship. When you don’t, you slowly start to feel like roommates instead of a couple in love with each other. 

A date night can seem impossible. It can be challenging for busy parents to fit in a romantic night. When you’re living on a budget to pay off debts, you can’t help but think of the expenses that go hand in hand with a fun date night. Instead of canceling quality time with each other, check out these awesome date night ideas. There’s something for everyone, including date night ideas for parents with children at home, as well as every budget. 

Fun Date Night Ideas for Parents

Fun date night ideas are an excellent opportunity to have a blast together. They also encourage bonding and are great for couples stuck in a rut. Remember, every date night doesn’t have to be romantic. Instead, switch things up to keep your relationship exciting and the love alive. 

Make a Date Night Box

Before heading on your first date night, it’s essential to come up with date night plans. In fact, this area alone is where most people struggle. Couples experiencing a breakdown in communication might have difficulty agreeing on what to do for date night. That’s where a date night box saves the day. 

There’s no need to order a subscription box for this (but you certainly can!). Looking for a frugal alternative? Instead, grab an old shoebox and write down every date night idea you and your partner can think of. Fold them up, and put them in the box. Then, draw a piece of paper out of the box each week to determine what your date night will involve.

Escape Room

Escape rooms require teams of people, but that team can be as little as two people. Teams can also be as large as twelve people, making this a great double-date idea! In an escape room, teams work to find clues to get out of the room. It’s a great way to have fun with your significant other and a few other couples!

Go Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a relaxing way to spend time together. It adds a romantic element to a fun date night idea! Share a horse with your partner while enjoying a lazy trail through the woods. 

Plan a Scavenger Hunt

Order a pre-made scavenger hunt from an online marketplace like Amazon, or make your own! After, plant clues around the house that lead to a surprise present. Another great idea is to lead your partner on a small scavenger hunt that takes you somewhere sentimental, like the spot where you got engaged!

Mini Golf

Mini golf is a great way to have some competitive fun with each other. If both of you have a competitive edge, don’t forget to grab the scoreboards. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with forgetting the scorecards to have fun with each other! 

Roller Skating

Roller skating is usually thought of as more of a teenage activity, but there’s nothing wrong with married couples enjoying a night of nostalgia! Head to the roller skating rink, or pick up some skates to roller skate through the park. 

Home Date Night Ideas for Parents

Photo by Elina Fairytale

Sometimes, you’re bound to have a week without a sitter. Having the older kids watch the young children might not be an option, or your sitter canceled at the last minute. That doesn't mean that you should cancel your date night, though.

A date night is the secret to helping your marriage stay strong. Instead, consider staying at home for a date night. These home date night ideas are a great way to spend some quality time together. They’re also budget-friendly! Date ideas like these are perfect for busy parents that are in desperate need of a great date night.

Board Games

Date night ideas don't have to involve anything outside of spending quality time together. Break out your favorite board games for a night of competitive fun! Sit on the living room floor and play Splendor or a few games of Azul. Add a romantic twist by declaring the loser owes the winner a back massage. 

Play Video Games

If board games aren’t your thing, break out the video games! Go old school with a few rounds of Mario Kart, or order a new video game to try together like Just Dance, and see who makes a bigger fool of themselves! Make sure you pre-plan dinner because your hands will be too busy to cook.

If you both love date nights with video games, make sure that you make them a regular thing. 

Movie Night

Enjoying a movie is a great way to spend the evening at home. Turn off the lights to transform your own living room into your personal movie theater. Then, pick out a few movies to enjoy a movie marathon cuddled on the couch together. Don't forget to order pizza for dinner or your favorite takeout! Forget being healthy, and binge on movie snacks for the ultimate movie theater vibe!

Learn a New Recipe Together

Learning new things together is a beautiful way to spend quality time together. As the two of you dive into ingredients and new cooking words, you will start communicating and laughing. 

Enjoy Solving Puzzles

Couples who prefer quiet time, or need some downtime from their busy lives, will love date nights like this! Instead of spending money on home date night ideas, break out some puzzles that you already have. You can also pick some up at a local thrift store.

Solving puzzles is a great way to have fun, encourage teamwork, and be a relaxing way to spend some time together at home. After you’re done with the puzzle, glue it to a piece of cardboard to transform it into a picture for the wall or to put in a keepsake box full of memories from fun date nights. 

Try a New Hobby

New hobbies are always more fun when you try them with your partner, making them one of the best home date night ideas! This is an excellent way for you to step outside your comfort zone and do something the other person may enjoy. Pick up some canvas and paints to create artwork together! has a comprehensive list of over 100 new hobbies you can try with your partner!

Regular Date Night Ideas

Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

Trying new date nights can be fun, but sometimes you’re just not in the mood for something new. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a few classic date night ideas to relax at the end of a hard week. Making date night a priority is more important than stressing over finding the perfect thing to do. If you’re stumped for ideas, check out these classic date nights. 

Head to a Local Ice Cream Shop

Ice cream dates are never going to go out of style! Head to a local ice cream shop and enjoy a casual date during the afternoon before you have to pick the kids up from school. Make sure it’s somewhere with a cozy booth so you can cuddle in the back while eating your ice cream sundaes. 

Get a Couples Massage

Couples that work hard all week need some downtime. Taking a break is great for your mental health and your relationships. Turn your downtime into quality time with your partner by getting a couples massage together. This is a great date idea when you’re both exhausted and need to recharge. There’s no conversation required, but you can both still enjoy time together. 

Wine Tasting

Wine tasting can be an excellent idea for couples or as a double date. Wineries offer tasting tours for groups of every size! You sample a glass of wine, learn about how wine is made, and can usually take home a bottle of wine to enjoy during a romantic bubble bath later. 

Take a Dance Lesson

Dance lessons can be taken every week, or you can try them out once to see if you like them. For example, ballroom dance lessons are a fun way to enjoy something a little more on the romantic side, but you’re not limited to that! Salsa lessons or line dancing lessons are fun too! A quick Google search can help you find a dance instructor in your local area. 

Enjoy a Spa Day

Sometimes, a mere massage is not going to cut it. When you need to recharge with your partner, a spa day is in order. Book a couples massage, facial, manicure, and the works. Make sure you speak with your partner to book things you’ll enjoy!

Go for a Walk at the Local Park

This is one of the most peaceful and budget-friendly ideas. A relaxing walk through the park is a beautiful way to wind down after a busy week or take a break mid-week. Pick a park with easy hiking trails and beautiful scenery to go for a walk. 

Make it a romantic walk in the park by planning a picnic. Pack your favorite snacks and finger foods in a basket or backpack. Then, add a blanket. Once you find a cozy spot, lay on the blanket, look at the clouds and feed each other your favorite foods. 

Romantic Date Night Ideas

Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing on Unsplash

After so many years, it’s become common to feel like the spark is gone in a relationship. Romantic date nights are a flawless way to keep love alive in a relationship! These ideas provide the perfect opportunity to wear that little black dress again, stare into each other’s eyes and remember what romance is. 

Cuddle Around the Fire Pit

Romantic date ideas don’t have to be expensive or even involve a babysitter. After the little ones go to bed, light a fire in the pit and cuddle under a blanket together. Add a bit of nostalgic fun to the night by toasting marshmallows and feeding each other. Make it more romantic by lying on the grass and looking at the stars. 

Enjoy a Fancy Dinner

After working hard every day to keep your finances in order, you deserve a treat. A candle-lit dinner is just the thing to help you enjoy time with your partner, and remember that your partner is more than just a roommate. Pick a five-star restaurant (or whatever suits your tastes!), and ensure you have a sitter for the night. 

The romance doesn’t have to stop when you leave the restaurant! Make sure you don’t go home until after the kids are already in bed. Then, head home for a bubble bath, a nightcap, or whatever feels right.

Recreate Your First Date

As the years pass by, it can be hard to find that feeling you had during the beginning of the relationship. An easy way to bring that feeling back is to recreate the beginning of the relationship. Go to the spot where you had your first date. Then, you can enjoy your first kiss all over again. This romantic date idea will help you slowly rekindle the flame in your relationship. 

Give Each Other Massages

It doesn’t have to be a special occasion for you to enjoy a romantic evening in the bedroom. After you get the kids to bed, give each other a romantic massage.

For more ideas on how to bring intimacy back to marriage, check out our interview with Nick and Amy McKinlay, the founders of the Ultimate Intimacy App.

Final Thoughts on Date Night Ideas for Parents

To enjoy a happy marriage, you have to slow down for a bit to appreciate your marriage. Couples need to work together to keep the fire alive.

Date nights are a great way to stay connected when you’re both busy the rest of the week. Make sure that you switch things around to enjoy date nights. Enjoy regular date nights, such as dinner and a movie one weekend. The next week, forget regular date nights and do something a little more fun, like heading to a painting class. 

Browse the rest of the website for more tips and tricks to strengthen your marriage!

What are your favorite date night ideas for parents? Bonus points if they're frugal!

Please let us know in the comments below.

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top