Date Night Ideas for Parents without a Babysitter

It’s Friday night and you desperately need some “alone time” with your partner, but all your favorite babysitters are booked solid. What do you do? Check out these date night ideas for parents without babysitters, for starters!


Let me tell you a secret: although I’m probably considered incredibly liberal when it comes to most aspects of parenting, I’m super picky about who my son stays with. Even back when I had him in daycare/preschool, I put every center through a rigorous interview process before choosing the right one. I’ve never, ever hired a babysitter before. In fact, outside the family, I only have two friends that I’ve ever left my son with for a few hours.

Date night can be a real challenge when you can’t leave your house without your child! Take a look at a few date night ideas for those nights that you really need to reconnect but can’t get a sitter.

4 Great Date Night Ideas for parents without a babysitter

  • Romantic dessert date: If you can’t get a sitter, chances are you’re dining for the main course with your kids. That kind of takes a romantic dinner off the table (pun intended!). Instead, wait until the children go to bed and have a romantic dessert date! Whip up a batch of Raspberry Clafoutis (even the name sounds romantic!). Then set the table as if you were at a fancy dinner and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Midnight Movie Magic: Stay up late together and enjoy a movie that you can’t watch with the kids around.  I love scary ghost stories, but my son would move back into my bed for another four years if he even caught a glimpse of one. So we wait until he’s completely asleep, then enjoy a spooky flick. For weeks after, though, I turn on every light in the house to go to the bathroom at night!
  • Daytime Date Night: When it comes to date night ideas, sometimes you need to rethink your idea of “night.” Take a sick day if you work, then do lunch and a movie instead of dinner and the same while your kids are in school.
  • Camp out under the stars: If your family loves the outdoors, take a camping trip. How does that make a good date night? Hear me out. Spend the day hiking, swimming, and so on so your kids are good and tired. Then tuck them into the tent and do a little stargazing with your partner. Nothing is more romantic than relaxing together under the vast night sky.

These are just a few date night ideas for those times that you can’t get a sitter. Be creative and I’m sure you can come up with more! The whole point of date night is to reconnect as a couple. Sometimes all you have to do is find the time to sit down and talk to accomplish that.

What are your favorite date night ideas for those times you can’t get a sitter?

5 thoughts on “Date Night Ideas for Parents without a Babysitter”

  1. I love watching movies at home on “date night.” It is a great way to make time for each other even when we are busy and have many obligations to take care of.

  2. We swap date nights with another family. Getting a sitter for a family of 3 or more kids is hard, and expensive. We’ve found other big families on our hockey team (all the boys love their teammates, and all their sisters are fast-friends from so many days & nights killing time together in arenas!) that will invite our whole brood to sleep over, and we return the favour. Sitter-Free date night that goes all night (even if the old folks don’t, LOL)

    1. That is such a great idea! I hear you about the “old folks.” I remember the days that I could stay up till 5am, then wake up four hours later and be fine. Not anymore!

  3. We will often do movie night after the youngest goes to bed. In fact, we also grab dinner to go from our favorite restaurant and will eat it at home. Then we will rent a movie from “Redbox” and go into our bedroom and enjoy our movie without the kids. It is a great way to connect and spend time with your spouse and it is a cheap date too.

    I can’t wait until my older kids are a bit more responsible and can handle watching my youngest son so we can sneak out every now and then.

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