Kids love a chance to join their parents for a date night. Family togetherness grows boding experiences and memories, as well as helps kids grow.
Whether it’s painting the town red or staying inside on a rainy night, taking an evening away from the routine helps restart everyone’s batteries. Here are a few family date night ideas to keep that family spark alive.
Try a workshop
From painting nights to learning to cook to board kits that suit your home decor (cornhole, anyone?), families can learn new skills. Some workshops can be taken remotely and others in small groups in a store. Check ahead and schedule in advance for your favorite.
Best night ever: If you’re all making the same thing – like painting a picture – post the photos on social media to have family and friends vote for their favorite. The “winner” earns a prize.
Mural memory making
If you’re missing the art galleries, take a drive to a few of Detroit’s favorite murals. Hop out of the car to snap shots for your holiday cards in front of a few. Learn about the artists in advance and let your kids help decide which to see (there are more than 50!).
Best night ever: Plan your route to include a progressive takeout meal. Find your favorite new or old haunts to pick up everything from hot dogs to pizza to ice cream for dessert.
Movies in the park
Try a drive-in movie to see an old family favorite or even one you as parents remember when you were kids. If the hours don’t match up with bed time, make your own by projecting a movie on the side of your house or garage. Save old boxes to let kids paint their own “cars” to watch the movie in.
Best night ever: Pop some popcorn before you head out the door and add savory or sweet spices instead of salt and butter. Try parmesan cheese or steak marinade in one bowl and melted white chocolate or pumpkin pie spice in the other.
OK, sure, you feel like you’ve exhausted all of your options for game night, but have you tried switching all the pieces? Play “Sorry!” with the pies from “Trivial Pursuit” or use the “Candy Land” characters in “Monopoly.”
Or, introduce your whole family to a new game. If you haven’t conquered the “The Settlers of Cataan” or introduced your teens to “Codenames” (there are LOTS of variations for Codenames), now is the time to take those for a spin.
Best night ever: Let your kids create a game. They make the rules, they decide the pieces and the gameboard, and they can even use members of your family as inspiration for characters or advancement in the game.
TV game night
Does your family have a favorite reality game show? Maybe it’s Jeopardy, or Minute to Win It, or Lego Masters. Now what can you do to make one at home? How about set up Minute to Win It water games in the backyard or create a trivia night with Jeopardy questions and “betting” of Monopoly money.
Best night ever: Use your technology to get more family involved. Have a trivia night over Zoom or take videos of your kids’ cousins playing the same games in their backyard.
Relive your best night ever
What was your favorite date with your partner (pre-kids)? How can you work to recreate that? Maybe it’s reservations at your favorite restaurant (with new outfits for the kids to show off) or letting the littles help you make your best dish at home. If it was skiing in Aspen, that might seem a little harder, but you can always rent a Wii player and take some in-home “ski” lessons.
Best-best night ever: Show your kids any photos you might have of the first “best night ever” and then let them take the reigns. You might be surprised at how well they’ll surprise you or which parts of the story they’ll latch onto to recreate.
If you and your partner love the links, teaching the littles the proper stance to putt-putt is not just Instagram-worthy. Find a new favorite spot, with or without a windmill trap at the end.
Best night ever: Can’t get to your favorite course? No problem. Set one up in your backyard using your kids’ outdoor toys – slides, kiddie pool as a water trap, trampoline – as hazards.
Skip to dessert
It might seem small to us as adults, but kids will talk for weeks about escaping for their favorite ice cream or Krispie Kreme after dinner. Once a month or once a week, plan an outing for dessert. Take it to your favorite park to finish with a flourish.
Best night ever: Let your kids get the double scoop.