Most of us are very familiar with the concept of “once you have kids, say goodbye to romance.”
No, I’m not talking about sex. I’m talking about something (arguably) more important, but less flashy to the point where it gets pushed so far under the couch that it starts to set up shop and settle in permanently.
This not very flashy but oh-so-important thing is DATING.
My husband and I used to be the king and queen of dating. Sometimes we were fancy and dressed up for dinner on Church Street in Burlington, but most of the time we stayed comfortable and found things we enjoyed doing together, like playing tennis or having a drink at a local brewery.
I didn’t realize how important these dates were for our relationship until we had 3 little kids pulling us in different directions, wearing us down to the point where the idea of going out felt more exhausting than fun.
Without quality time together, I’m afraid my husband and I will lose the fun connection we’ve built through the years and possibly even drift apart.
I recently had the realization that if I can find time to schedule doctors’ appointments and plan meals throughout the week, why can’t I find time to plan a date?
So, I started scheduling one weekend afternoon date per month and it has been fantastic. Our old list of date ideas in Chittenden County is still super helpful!
We had previously hired a babysitter that we met on Care.com and thankfully, she is willing to babysit for us for our monthly dates, too. We chose 2 pm to 5 pm because it falls within Quiet Time (naps) for our kids, making it easier to leave them behind with the sitter. We’re home in time to have dinner together and do our nightly bedtime routine. Voila.
Here are four ways to find a babysitter in Vermont:
The key is to make your date time a priority, plan ahead, and stick to your plan! Sometimes we take turns deciding what we’d like to do during our date and surprise each other, while other times we talk about our options for days in advance. It’s fun to have something to look forward to, and especially helpful if we’re having an “off” month with more arguments than we’d like.
We have two rules: try not to talk about the kids the whole time and no double dates; it’s time for us and no one else.
We’ve even used conversation starters during these outings to help us stay in the zone. My number one conversation starter is: what is your favorite story about a tree? Sounds crazy but we have remembered some entertaining stories involving trees!
Here are our 7 favorite weekend afternoon date ideas in Chittenden County:
- Play board games at a local brewery, such as Four Quarters Brewing in Winooski
- Go for a hike at the Milton Town Forest
- Goof around with mini-golf at Essex Family Fun & Entertainment Center
- Rent snowshoes or cross-country skis at Bolton Valley
- Solve a mystery at Escape Room 60 in Williston
- Paint a masterpiece at Burlington Paint and Sip Studio
- Enjoy Lake Champlain on paddle boards or kayaks from Paddlesurf Champlain in Burlington
Just have fun together! The longer I’m married, the more I realize that important relationships (of all kinds) take effort to manage.
Through monthly afternoon dates with my life partner, I now appreciate the power that a strong connection can have on our home life. This is why I will keep planning these monthly dates for as long as I can and will continue to return to this list. I’d love to know if you have other suggestions for date ideas in Chittenden County- just let me know in the comments. Happy dating!
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