Every August 30, my husband and I celebrate the anniversary of the day we became a couple. This year, we celebrated 20 years. (Please don’t call us high school sweethearts—that term is just so cloying.)
Anyhow, I spent years fantasizing about how we might mark the big 2-0. It had to be Europe, I figured—Spain, maybe, or France.
But as the big day approached, I realized I’d have to scale down my plans—a lot. We have two young kids at home and a very tight budget. On top of that, we took a couple of family vacations this summer, so more travel didn’t seem that appealing.
In the end, we decided to just go out on a date. But even the idea of a typical dinner-and-a-movie date had its downsides. Lately, we’ve been shunning date night in favour of date day. Date night is slowly but surely losing its appeal. Here’s why:
- We’re tired. By the time evening rolls around, we’re exhausted. When we do go out for a dinner date, we find ourselves ready to come home and zone out on the couch by 8 p.m. A day date means that we are full of energy and aren’t secretly thinking about when we can come home and conk out.
- We have more time for the date. Date night usually lasts a couple of hours—max. A day date, as its name suggests, can last an entire day! Especially if we’re celebrating a big milestone, like an anniversary, we’d prefer to spend a big chunk of quality time together, not just an hour or two.
- Babysitting is optional. If we choose to take our day date on a weekday, with both of us taking a vacation day from work, we don’t even need to arrange for a babysitter. The kids are well taken care of at school and daycare while we have our kid-free fun. And even if we choose a weekend, our moms are more than happy to spend the day with the kids as opposed to just sitting in our living room watching TV while the kids sleep.
- More things are open during the day. To be clear, more things we like are open during the day, like cool shops, museums and art galleries. Parks are still sunny (and not sketchy) during the day. The places that are only open at night, like dance clubs and bars, aren’t really our thing anymore. (Concerts are an exception.)
- We like having the house to ourselves. When the kids go to bed, that’s our only time to have the house to ourselves. Date night means giving that up. A day date means we get a fun date and the house to ourselves in the evening.
For our anniversary, we arranged for our moms to come over right after we put our toddler down for his nap, around 12:30 p.m. The grandmas hung out with our seven-year-old, took both kids to the park for the afternoon and fed them dinner. We returned at 6:30 p.m., threw the kids in the bath, put them to bed and then had even more time together as a couple.
If you’ve never done a day date, you have to try it!
This article was orginally published online in September 2015.