Remember when you were in your 20s when dating seemed to be the most natural thing to do even on weeknights? You would catch the last full show of the new Nicholas Sparks’ movie adaptation and when done, you’d spend time stargazing from the back of your truck and hug the night away. Fifteen years later, you come out on the dating scene again, but this time, you have a toddler (and no nanny) to consider.
Romantic dating when you’re fresh out of a serious relationship can be challenging especially if it involves your kids. It’s particularly difficult when both of you have kids from your previous partners, as you’re not only going to date your significant other, you also have to date his daughter or son. You don’t only want to know each other more, but you also want your kids to relate and bond together. After all, this is a potential family you’re considering. This scenario is not at all uncommon, as many couples do have their own kids to tow along as they date. And in these kinds of situations, you have to be creative when it comes to romantic dating.
Steaks and wine over dinner may no longer be your first option, and staying out late for a movie doesn’t sound practical, too. Here are some fun and unconventional date ideas for the couples who both have kids.
1.Trip to the waterpark
If there’s one common thing that kids and adults enjoy the same, that would probably be the water, because admit it, everybody loves the water. While a trip to the waterpark on a hot, sunny day may not seem like the most romantic date idea of all, it sure is a fun way to spend time with your partner and bond with the kids. It also gives your kids the opportunity to actively interact and share common interests with each other. Plus, who wouldn’t love a waterslide?
2. Board game night
Board games are boring, said no one ever! Spending your weekends at home over some fun board games can be a great step to really bonding with your partner and his or her kid/s. Board games are effortlessly exciting, so it guarantees you a lot of fun every time. You can play against each other in Monopoly or Game of Life, or test your vocabulary in pairs or teams over a Scrabble board. Either way, board games are certainly an amusing way to spend the night with your significant other and their kids. Don’t forget to prep some chips, cheese and crackers, and drinks for the whole gang.
3. Go on a picnic
Possibly one of the most inexpensive yet romantic ways to date your partner and your kids is to bring them to a nearby park. Setting up a picnic is quite simple, just grab some tarps, lay down your basket of snacks, and let the kids play and run around the area, while you and your significant other spend quality time sitting on the tarp while watching the children. Planning a picnic doesn’t take too much time either – just prepare some of your favorite snacks, sandwiches, and refreshments, and you’re good to go. Honestly speaking, you can even do this at the last minute without the actual planning! Just hop in to your car, drive by a convenience store for some snacks and drinks, and enjoy the rest of the afternoon of relaxation and cool breeze.
4. Go fishing
Fishing may not be the first thing that comes to mind for a romantic date, but when you have kids in tow, it can definitely be a pleasant way to bond with your partner and kids. If you have never done fishing before, that’s fine, as most fishing enthusiasts say that the key to doing it right is confidence! So apart from your fishing tools and accessories, just bring your 100% confidence with you and you’ll be good. Outdoor and by the water activities like fishing create a sense of appreciation for the kids, detaching them from their digital gadgets and letting them enjoy nature and what it offers.
It also teaches them patience, tons of it, actually. Most importantly, fishing also gives you, your partner, and your kids the time to share stories, interests, and just spend some quality time together. And just think about the freshly grilled dinner at the end of the day!
5. A Weekend Road Trip
Needless to say, travelling is an exhilarating and liberating experience, especially when you travel with your significant other. The experience, however, can be otherwise if you bring your kids along with you, particularly if they are at the age where they are a little difficult to handle. But don’t let that pull you back from going around places because no matter how hard it can be to travel with kids, the experience and memories are still priceless! The best way to go about road tripping with kids is to hire an RV, where kids can be comfortable for long rides, while you and your partner can drive calmly and in peace (with no kids wailing at the back). Just make sure you stock up some snacks and maybe play “I Spy” to keep the kids entertained!
Now that you have kids, your dating life will never be the same. But that doesn’t mean it’s nowhere to go but downhill at this point – you just have to innovate new ways to enjoy your partner’s company while letting your kids have a good time, too! But remember, you don’t have to go hard about it and spend too much in organizing the date, even if you install the best hammock in the world in your backyard, your kids would be on cloud nine, I guarantee.