Date Night: We've Got a Sitter, Now What?
As parents, we all know that time alone with your spouse is a very precious gift. Especially in the summer, when kids are out of school, they expect us to keep them entertained at all times. As you spend your time carting your family from water parks to pools to beaches, do you ever stop and think what it would be like to go back to life B.C. (Before Children). Well, if you've managed to track down a sitter, or your parents have agreed to keep an eye on your little ones so that you can finally go out together, here are some great date options:
1. Picnic in the Park - Back when I lived in Manhattan and was literally steps away from Central Park, one of my favorite past times was to pack a basket filled with wine and cheese and find a cozy patch of grass where my boyfriend (now my husband) and I would listen to a performer my friends and I used to call "Guitar Man" (he sounded exactly like James Taylor, but sadly never achieved the same success). Recently, we revisited that romantic spot and sadly, there was no sign of Guitar Man. At least we had our wine, cheese and each other!
2. A Bicycle Built for Two - During the summer months, it's fun to spend quality time with your partner by experiencing the great outdoors. And what better way to do it than renting a tandem bike where you can pedal together along beaches and bike paths? Plus, if you get tired, your spouse can take over and you can enjoy the ride.
3. Rent a Sailboat, Rowboat, Canoe, Paddleboat...you get my drift - In my opinion, setting sail on a boat is one of the most romantic things you can do with your spouse. A few years back, we got the chance to sail from Larchmont, NY all the way to Manhattan and along the way, marveled at the skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the incredible yachts and speedboats that were passing us by. If your budget is tight, you can still capture that romantic spirit in a row boat and even a canoe. Just don't go out during bad weather and if you're a novice, avoid water rapids at all costs. There is nothing that will incite an argument quicker than when your spouse starts shouting at you to row faster because you happen to be doing it the wrong way (Um, that would be me).
4. Take a weekend trip away from your kids - Every year, my husband and I ask my parents to watch our kids so we can celebrate our anniversary (it's August 18 if you're wondering). This year, we'll be celebrating 14 years together...can you believe it? For the record, I married young. While I'd love to jet off with him to an exotic getaway for our special day, he's more the road tripping kind of guy - he has a thing about flying without our kids and in light of the recent airplane turbulence scare, I'm on his side this time of year. Over the past decade, we've hit a host of romantic getaways including Montauk, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod, Newport, Block Island, Hilton Head and Manhattan, where we opted for an overnight stay in a luxury hotel and then caught "Jersey Boys" - a must see if you plan to take in a Broadway show.
5. Pick a Flick Friday - When all else fails and the sitter has ditched you for a date of her own, I say, do not despair. Over at the Lifetime Movie Network, they've got a really cool offering called Pick A Flick Friday where you can actually vote on which of the five movies you want to air that night. Many of the films are suspense thrillers - which are always personal favorites of my husband's. Me, I'm a chick flick girl every day of the week but am willing to take one for the team in the name of romance.
Bonus Option: Movie Night: If you do happen to head out for a movie, I'm hearing that "Inception," starring Leonardo DiCaprio is a must see. Plus, I recently attended the screening for "Charlie St. Cloud" starring Zac Efron (will have more on that next week including interviews with the cast) and if you're looking for a great tear jerker, then mark your calendars and make a date July 30 - that's when the film will be released!
Have any great date ideas you'd like to share? We'd love to hear your personal tips and stories!