When we go out on a date, we're generally gone for a few hours and our date nights at home are at least two hours long. But there are some stages and situations in life when you might only have 30 minutes or less to spend together. And honestly, I think that couples would go on dates more often if they didn’t feel the need to make every one a long event. So I’m here to tell you that your date nights can be short! They can be less than an hour or even less than half an hour. In case you needed that permission, I’m giving it to you.
Maybe it’s been a long week and you’re both really tired but you still want to make date night happen so you go out for a short date before turning in early for the night. Or maybe you’re date swapping with friends who are willing to take you kids for a short time. You can also take advantage of the time that all of your kids are magically gone for a play date, just be sure to let the parents of the kids they’re hanging out with know that you won’t be home for a bit and how to reach you if there’s an emergency. You might have a brand new baby who you can only leave for an hour between feedings and a grandma who’s in town and willing to snuggle that sweet little one while you go out. Or you might take that baby along with you on date night and have a short window when you know they’ll nap while you focus on each other. Other couples work opposite schedules that only overlap for an hour or two in between.
Whatever your situation, short date nights can be a good thing! If you are intentional with your quality time and focus on each other while you’re together, those 30 minute date nights can be just as beneficial for your marriage as the ones that last six hours. Below are a few ideas for activities you can enjoy together when your time for date night is limited for one reason or another. These can be combined or added onto activities for longer dates but are perfect on their own as well.
Short Date Night Ideas for Married Couples
Go for a walk
This is one of our favorite activities to do together. We’ve been going on walks together since the beginning of our relationship. Sometimes we’ll put the kids in the stroller before bed and go on a short walk. If you can get away while your kids are sleeping, if they’re old enough, or while they’re with friends, you can take a walk as long or short as you want. Hold hands and talk while you’re on your walk to make it a little more special and date like.
A lot of restaurants have “happy hour” with half priced or discounted appetizers. If you aren’t able to leave your kids for bedtime or at dinnertime, earlier in the afternoon might be a great opportunity. A lot of kids nap in the afternoons, so you can ask someone to come for an hour and sit while your kids sleep and you go out for a little snack and quality time.
After the kids are in bed or while your little one naps in the car seat, stop by your favorite dessert place for a quick date. We have a dessert studio in our area that makes the PERFECT date. You could grab shakes and take the long route home after running errands or another necessary outing.
We love lunch dates because food is a bit cheaper and we’re not completely exhausted after a long day. Maybe you meet in the middle of your workday on your lunch breaks. If you have school aged kids, it’s the perfect opportunity for a week day date without having to hire a babysitter.
Nerf gun war
A nerf gun war is a fun activity for indoor or outdoor. Unlike a squirt gun fight, you don’t have to dry off and change your clothes afterward. If you have some downtime, or in the moments between the kids going to bed and your lights out, grab the nerf guns and have a little friendly competition.
I love stargazing for date night! It’s low key, relaxing and can be done almost anywhere. Grab a blanket after dark and lay out on the grass, a trampoline or your driveway and see how many constellations you can spot. Don’t forget to cuddle, hold hands and talk about life and your dreams.
Get a drink
I’ve heard a lot of people say that you should make your first date with someone a coffee date because it gives you a chance to talk and get to know each other, but it’s short and minimal commitment. I think it makes the perfect date if you have a short amount of time to spend together. Grab coffee, hot chocolate, or your favorite soda and talk.
Take a drive
There are a couple of places in our area where we really love going for drives. If you have kids napping in the backseat or a babysitter while you’re out taking care of responsibilities, take a few minutes to go on a scenic drive together. Listen to your favorite songs, enjoy the scenery and talk about your life and the things that you want to do in the future.
Don’t let a time limit keep you from dating each other. Take advantage of every moment you have together and make the most of it! Shorter dates can be a lot of fun and the perfect primer to get you excited to plan even more dates for your future. They’re also a great place to start if you’re struggling to make date night a priority in your marriage or find ways to make it happen.
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography