©iStockphoto.com/Dean Mitchell Photography Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/Dean Mitchell Photography
Surprise: you've finally found some time alone with your special someone! But what's there to do? Here are 10 fun, no-reservations-required dates you and the one you love can enjoy in 90 minutes or less.
1. Have a hotel rendez-vous
Tacky? Um, yeah. But who cares. Find a hotel and hit the sack. You know you'll never be this uninhibited at home.
2. Do a vinyl search
Scout a used CD store in search of your all-time fave albums, preferably in vinyl if you still have a record player. Nothing will take you back to your high school days faster, or generate more laughs! Cheap Trick?! ‘Nuff said.
3. Check out an upscale kitchen boutique
If you love to cook, hit Williams-Sonoma or your local cooking boutique for a dreamy browse, the kind you can't indulge in when your kids are threatening to capsize a display of Riedel wine glasses.
4. Hit the pond
If you live near a park that has a large pond, grab your skates for a romantic date in winter. In summer, look for a pond with paddleboat or canoe rentals and give it a whirl. The water's calming and so what if it's not Venice – you've still got your personal gondolier!
Whatever the season, enjoying some fresh air and exercise together will be good for your heart – in more ways than one.
5. Go for a drive
If you don't mind commuting to nowhere, a nice scenic drive minus whining kids is a great opportunity to just talk. If you've got something on your mind, this can be a less taxing conversational style for men who dread sitting down for a serious, face-to-face honey-we-need-to-have-a-talk talk. Grab a couple of lattes and hit the road.
6. Hit the gym
Never have time to work out together anymore? Why not pair up for a game of squash or spot each other in the weight room? (Get a sexy endorphin rush and agree to continue the action later, once the kids are asleep.)
7. Shop at an outdoor market
Don't feel guilty about multitasking. If you need groceries, fill your fridge in a more relaxed, discovery-oriented manner than when you've got to speed-shop with kids in tow. Visit an organic, outdoor or ethnic market and ask questions: find out about what's best this time of year, where it came from, maybe even some new cooking techniques. Try something you wouldn't normally buy.
8. Eat and explore
Hit an ethnic market and sample the takeout foods on offer. Don't waste time sitting – try some home-cooked convenience foods you can eat while you explore the neighbourhood: South American empanadas and pupusas, Chinese stuffed buns, Japanese yakitori on a stick, Indian samosas, Vietnamese subs, Jamaican roti and more.
9. Go lingerie shopping
Chances are, you threw out your sexy lingerie soon after your lifestyle became a lot more – how do you say? – “wash ‘n' wear.” The challenges of raising babies, then energetic kids sort of preclude maintaining the killer boudoir wardrobe you may've once had. So visit a lingerie boutique à deux. If you have time, try to fit in the Motel Rendez-vous, but if not, at least you're ready for your next bit of stolen time together.
10. Just chill
Find a place to just relax. Bring a blanket to spread out under a tree in the park, and don't try to do anything productive/romantic/sexy/purposeful at all, including maintaining a conversation with your partner. (There's something to be said for the concept of a comfortable silence.) Just close your eyes and take it easy. You'll be surrounded by mayhem soon enough!