You loved the post about frugal date ideas for couples so much I decided to make a list of budget friendly mom and me date ideas for the kids!
Mom and me dates have become pretty popular here lately and I never really understood why it was a thing. I mean, I was spending quality time with my kids at home and didn’t really see the whole point of adding more to everyone’s schedule. Until I did it. I gave it a shot and wish I had started it sooner.
It gives such a new meaning to one-on-one time for each child and parent. What I’ve learned from our mom and me date experiences is that it strengthens our bond and I finally get to be the ‘fun parent’ for once! And it doesn’t have to be expensive for you both to enjoy it.
Just a few tips before we get started with the mom and me date ideas! Outings with littles like mine can be stressful at times and there’s no fun in that for either of you. So here’s a few tips to keep in mind as you plan out your mom and me dates.
- Plan it ahead of time. Write it on the calendar. Talk about it with your child and you’ll see how important it is to them – which will motivate you to do it more often.
- Pack a snack, just in case. Mine are always hungry so I’ve learned to never go anywhere without a snack.
- Keep it short. I don’t have to tell you about their short attention spans but I do want to reiterate that the shorter dates are the most successful.
- Follow through. This is pretty self explanatory but schedule other things around it and don’t cancel. Your relationship with your kids is a priority. Make sure they know that by your actions.
We’ll start with the mom and me date ideas that are totally free!
- Go to the local park. Pack a picnic for a nice lunch. PB&Js are always our pick.
- We love books so the library is a good choice for us and it’s free if you have a library card. If your little is still too young to sit and focus on you instead of the distractions, you might just pick some books up to take home to read together.
- Feed the ducks. Be sure to check ahead of time what’s allowed in your area.
- Volunteer at the local food bank. You can often find soup kitchens, shelters, or nursing homes that can use the help too. Call your city hall and see if they have any suggestions.
- Visit an outdoor store like Cabela’s or Bass Pro. They often have the displays and fish tanks that kids love to check out and it’s free so win-win!
- Take a trip to your local animal shelter and love on the fury friends. Call ahead to see if they have certain visiting hours.
- Visit your state capitol. Who said its only good for school field trips?
- Gather some art supplies like paper, paints, brushes, markers etc. from the craft drawer and head to the park. Be artists in the park and create an art piece together or one for each other.
Almost Free Dates
- Take a train ride. We haven’t had the opportunity to do this yet but it is definitely on our list.
- Go to dinner. Let them pick where or get all fancy and take the opportunity to teach chivalry and manners.
- Take a local class and learn a new skill together. These usually consists of art, cooking, dance, exercise etc.
- Find a local show or play to attend.
- Going to the movies is a classic but it’s always a hit. Take advantage of the discounted pricing of matinees or rent a Redbox and recreate the theatre mood at home with some cheap snacks and comfy P.J.s.
- Everyone loves ice cream! McDonald’s has ice cream on their dollar menu. If you have milk allergies or lactose intolerance, Sonic slushes are a good alternative and you can use their app to get them half price.
- Fly a kite. You can even get creative and make your own kites. Find a space in the yard or at the park to fly them.
- Mini golf is a family favorite for us and perfect for spring or summer.
- Go on a photo scavenger hunt. Make a list of what you think you will find at the park, on a nature walk, at the river etc. Then head out and find the things on your list and take photos of them. Once you’re finished you can print the photos pretty cheap at the self serve kiosk in Walmart and grab a cheap photo album to put them in for your child to keep.
- Stay in and make a homemade pizza together. Don’t stress over any messes, it’s the memories you’re aiming for.
- Take a stroll through your local farmer’s market. This opens the perfect opportunity to learn about fruits, veggies, and healthy choices. (It can be a free date too – unless you’re like me and can’t resist fresh foods.) You can bring the colors to their attention too if your little is still learning about them.
- Give them $5-$10 and take them to the thrift store. They learn about money management and get a fun treat.
- Find an apple orchard to pick your own apples. Bake a sweet treat together with the apples you picked.
- Chick-Fil-A. Need I say more? Check your local restaurant for kid’s night. They get to have fun and eat for free with the purchase of your meal.
- Take a trip to a chocolate factory and see how chocolate treats are made.
- Go to a museum.
- Attend a local sporting event such as a football or basketball game.
- Go on a coffee date. Salma over at TWB put together this list of 6 Starbucks drinks for kids. You can use their rewards program to save a few bucks too.
Keep in mind that your end goal is to just spend quality one-on-one time. Remember to keep it simple and fun for both of you. I hope you have enjoyed this round up of mom and me date ideas. If I missed any, please share your ideas with us in the comments.
Coming soon: Free child’s coupon book!