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High-Fun, Low-Cost Date Nights

Times are tight, but parents still need special evenings together to decompress and reconnect. These ideas are high on fun and low on price.

Explore. Take a stroll at a favorite park or waterfront. Investigate the hiking and biking trails near you. Consider a picnic dinner at a park or botanical garden. Grapes, strawberries, wine or cheese can seem luxurious. You will be surprised how relaxing a night outdoors can be.

Find a freebie. See the MetroKids calendar to learn about free upcoming events. Concerts in the park, free museum admission days, a visit to your local farmer’s market or a swap meet (with a modest purchasing budget) can be pleasant amusements. Free events may stretch your imagination; you might find that dueling banjos are entertaining after all.

Take a ride. Pack some snacks and drive down a scenic route. A quiet, kid-free ride can lead to great conversation. Or give public transportation a whirl to explore someplace new in your area.

Book it. Check your favorite bookstore for author meet-and-greets, book discussions and other events. Usually these are free. Or just head there, grab a cup of coffee and browse interesting new releases together. If you find a picture book you’re both interested in, turn the pages together.

Cheap eats. Dining doesn’t have to be expensive to be enjoyable. See how low your bill can go. Even fast food can be fun when the company is too. A hot dog and a soda are $1.50 at Costco. Going out for part of a meal, such as appetizers or dessert and coffee, can give you the experience of dining out without the big bill..

Go fly a kite. It’s fun (or funny) to fly a kite if you haven’t tried it since you were a kid. If you can’t get the kite in the air, you’ll have a laugh together. Or try another activity together, like riding bikes.

Choose a frugal flick. Look for a bargain movie theater or discounted movie nights or showtimes. Also consider watching movies at home. Many local libraries lend free DVDs. Redbox rentals are a $1 option (Redbox.com). Plan ahead to secure a preferred title.

It’s the time together that matters most. Enjoy each other’s company and you’ll feel relaxed and enriched.

Jessica Fisher is a wife, teacher and mom of five children. She lives near Kansas City, MO.
 

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