Who says you actually have to go out? Some of the best times can happen in your home sweet home after the kids are asleep.
"It can get pretty expensive to hire a sitter for our girls, so we have become masters of the at-home date. We like to pretend that we're at our neighborhood wine bar: We sit on our bed and share sliced cheese, fruit, and a bottle of wine. We try—usually in vain, but still try!—not to talk about parenting or bills."
—Felicia Pinkney, mom of five, Dallas, Texas
"My husband and I start planning our night out at the beginning of the week. On the day of our date, I let my daughter skip her nap so she’ll go to sleep early. Then we cook together in the kitchen and dine with soft music in the background. We may not be going anywhere fancy, but it’s enough for us to enjoy a couple of quiet hours together."
—Maureen Smithe, mom of two, Chicago, Illinois
"I’ve started making themed ‘date boxes.’ I'll take a shoebox and fill it with, say, cupcake mix, temporary tattoos, and Pop Rocks for a night of goofing around like kids. We’ve had such a good time opening the boxes on date night and using what’s in them, I’ve turned my idea into a business."
—Lindsay Christianson, mom of one, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Here’s the next best thing to a date night: After our kids are in bed on weekdays, my husband and I both sometimes end up in front of our computers with work to do, him upstairs in the TV room and me downstairs in the office. We each turn on iChat and some music, then talk and make each other laugh as we work. It gets us ‘face time’ until we get the chance to go on a real date."
—Juliette Wilson, mom of three, Modesto, California
"When it’s a warm evening out, my husband and I like to take that day’s newspaper, a magazine or two, and whatever books we’re reading out to our porch. We read and catch up, usually with my feet propped up on his lap. It’s pretty much the opposite of a hot date, but we love it."
—Barbara Turnmire, mom of two, Provo, Utah
Want fun ideas for great date nights out? Check out Great Date Nights Out