Four Creative Ways to Redefine “Date Night”

In the BC {Before Children} era, the hubs and I would spend many Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays alone together. We would watch movies, go on bike rides and do dinner at a place that didn’t have a kid’s menu. I never realized how much I needed those moments until they were suddenly replaced by late night feeding sessions, or Saturday afternoons at the ballpark or Sunday evening school preparations.

Our days, nights, weekends and every second in between became all about the kids’ activities and schedules. Eventually due to lack of reliable childcare and the monetary obligations involved {at what point did a babysitter cost $10 / hour?} our time together transformed into a nightly binging of our favorite TV show, followed by me falling asleep on the couch at 9 pm.

THIS is not conducive to a healthy marriage. In fact, according the Internet, because it knows everything and my friends, because they know everything too, a successful marriage includes some quality alone time. It offers a respite in the storm known as parenting.

But what if the odds are against you – schedules, money, childcare and the chaos of life.

Then it’s time to redefine date “night”.


Date Night


The Quickie Breakfast Date

I have yet to do this, mostly because of work. However, our contributor Sherri swears by it. A morning stop at the Bluebird Diner downtown before work for some cinnamon roll French toast, a cup of coffee and some quality time with the hubs sounds like the perfect way to start the day.

No time for full breakfast? Try a quick coffee date at the Java House instead.


The Lunch Break Date

I’ve decided that at least once a month we need to squeeze in a lunch date. Since my husband works downtown, lunch options are in abundance, and the college students provide some nice entertainment.

On the days when childcare is an issue, we could have lunch at The Bread Garden and sit outside watching the kids go nuts at the playground.


Date Night


The Get Fit Date

If your local gym offers drop-in daycare take advantage of it, and have a get fit date with your hubby. Take a yoga class together or a spin class, not only will you get in a workout, but you can spend some time together.

Another option, and my personal favorite, a bike ride on one of the many trails in Iowa City or Coralville. Before we had children this was one of our favorite activities, so the ability to relive those days is priceless.


The Stars Have Aligned Dinner Date

My husband and I are movie fanatics, and are always up for a good flick and dinner. On the rare occasions when all the stars align and everything falls into place, we splurge with dinner at El Banditos, they have THE best shrimp tacos followed by a movie at Film Scene, and Whiteys ice cream for dessert.

If you haven’t been to Film Scene yet, it’s a great alternative to the standard movie-going experience. The theatre plays movies that aren’t your typical big box office hits, like the now playing Snowpiercer {which is awesome by the way}, and they even serve food and beer while you are watching the movie. Film Scene also shows kid-friendly movies like the Muppets and HUGO.

Date Night

All it takes is a little ingenuity to redefine the traditional date night and find some quality time together.

What creative ways have you and your spouse found some quality time together?

Brook {without the "e"} is a spunky faux redhead and former UI grad who has decided to call Iowa City her home for over 10 years. She met her husband on the internet, and they spend their days playing superheroes with their two boys, Edison (2007) and Grant (2010). She juggles mom life with a full-time job as a marketing consultant, competing in triathlons and writing her heart out on her personal blog She believes life is a journey, not a destination.


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