“Let’s go on a date!” he said. “Ok!” she said. After finding a sitter and finally figuring out what they wanted to do, they were off. Off to feeling young and hip again. A nice dinner at 7 pm was perfect, but that wasn’t enough, they hadn’t been on a date like this for a year. So, cozying up in a theater with popcorn and sweets sounded great.
This is how the rest went: 9 pm movie, 9:30 pm snooze fest, missing more than half the movie dreaming about their own beds. They yawned, stretched and rubbed eyes wondering where they were…
Oh, yeah… a date.
Why do I tell you this sweet story? Well, it’s not as sweet as it could be! Especially when you forced yourself to stay up later than normal just to sleep on each other’s shoulders in uncomfortable chairs. When you finally snuggle into your own bed, your night of sleep is short because you have early risers. You later realize that even just that little taste of a date makes you want to have more time together, but dates can be so far apart. So, when opportunity arrises, it’s vital to make the best of it. I say vital because I believe connecting with your spouse and spending real quality time together makes for a happy and healthy family, and that should be a priority!
So, my husband and I have fallen in love with day dates and even more in love with each other (insert: “ahhhhhhhhhhh“).
Here are 10 reasons why day dates are better for parents:
1. You’re not so exhausted. We always look forward to a date, but more often than not, we find ourselves ready for bed when an evening date isn’t even half way over. Throwing a date in the middle of the day is a nice little break and a much needed boost of energy!
2. It’s best to reconnect when your brain is most awake. At the end of the day and a long week with children, I am ready to shut off shortly after dinner. Whether you stay home or work, most parents exert so much energy during the day and have very little left in the evening. If you have the opportunity to exert some of that energy while dating and reconnecting with your main squeeze, take advantage of it!
3. Finding childcare can be easier. Of course this may depend on the day. But I’ll say, as a past babysitter/nanny, I was much more available during the day, especially if I worked somewhere else or wanted to hang out with my friends in the evening.
4. Napping kids? Keep it early to make it home after they have gone down for naps, then you can let the date continue and the r&r commence. Kids don’t nap? Even better, then they’ll be worn out all day by someone else and ready for bed early or already sleeping when you get home, giving you even more time to relax!
5. More things to do! Mixing in food, exploring the town, shopping and/or an activity? You’ll have a lot to choose from in the daytime. With this lovely weather, I see many future day dates outdoors. As a Minnesotan, we only have a few months to really soak up the sun and enjoy the warm weather before the parkas and heavy boots make their way back into our front closets!
6. Great food choices and availability. While some restaurants may have later hours, it can sometimes be difficult to make a dinner reservation or you may end up waiting longer than you’d like for a table (cutting into your date time). You might also find more menu options. Mid morning you can often choose from the breakfast, brunch and lunch menus. Eat in the later afternoon or early evening and some lunch and dinner menus will overlap.
7. Easier on the budget. Despite the fact that breakfast and lunch are generally cheaper than dinner, many restaurants also have great daytime specials. I love a good brunch or lunch special. Movies are cheaper and you can also choose from more outdoor activities that are free or low cost (walk, hike, bike, explore a city, picnic in the park).
8. Healthier to eat early. If you’re looking for a heavier meal with some drinks, eating and drinking in the afternoon or earlier in the evening gives your body time to compress and digest before you rest. My experience and many health experts may concur that eating and drinking earlier can lead to a better night’s sleep! Yes, please. I will take that any day.
9. Bedtime ease. If your kids are anything like mine, bedtime can be a very drawn out process. After a rejuvenating day date, you just might discover some extra patience and may find this (bedtime) process less labor intensive than usual. Or, as mentioned above, you may come home to peace and quiet, thanking your sitter for relieving you of that (typical) drawn out evening parenting duty.
10. Kids need a break from you too! On top of that, they especially need some happy parents.
My husband and I have had some fun day dates but we have so much more to explore!
If you’re looking for ideas, here are some to consider:
•A fun lunch, dessert, games, and mini golfing at Can Can Wonderland.
•Distillery tour and tasting at Tattersall Distilling. Note: they don’t serve food inside but you’ll find a great food truck ready to serve you or you can have bite squad deliver you a meal while you sip on a lovely Tattersall spirit.
•Restaurant hopping and window shopping in the Minneapolis North loop. Enjoy a coffee and pastries at The Bachelor Farmer and try lunch at Tullibee’s in the Hewing Hotel or grab a specialty burger and brew over at Red Cow Restaurant & Bar. Before heading home to kids, get your refill on caffeine over at Spyhouse.
•Hang out in Uptown and make your way to Lake Calhoun. Walk the lake or rent a bike, kayak, pedal boat, or stand up paddle board from Wheel Fun Rentals.
•Check out The Chatterbox Pub for lunch and choose from a great selection of retro board games to enjoy.
•Head a little outside the metro and check out Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings – Minnesota’s oldest operating winery. Sip on some fantastic wine while playing a little bocce or having your own picnic. Head over on a Sunday (July-August) for some Jazz in the Vineyard!
•Need an indoor activity in between meals? Enjoy a matinee, explore a museum, check out Vertical Endeavors for a little workout and light competition, try a cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill or The Kitchen Window. Or, attend a DIY workshop and create a master piece at Projects in Person (many workshops start later but you can find some earlier ones on the schedule).
…just to name a few.
This just skims the surface of places to go and things to do so, we want to hear from you! Recently experienced great food, awesome atmosphere, or a fun activity during the day while on a break from your little ones? Where have you been around town? Please share!
Cheers to you and many day dates in your future!