Date Ideas That Include Kids

Want to give your babysitter a break? Here are a few fun date ideas for single parents to try that include everyone.

By Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

ou’ve reached that point of no return for singles with children. Your child is ready to be introduced to your significant other. But how do you plan an outing that will please a six-year-old as well as a thirty-something? Where do you find places
The key is to provide opportunities to talk and get to know everyone.
that are child-friendly minus the video games and cardboard-stiff pizza? Remember, it’s important that your child as well as your date is comfortable, so active, minimal-fuss activities work the best for single parents on dates. The key is to provide opportunities to talk and get to know everyone — as well as have fun. Here are some ideas for enjoyable dates with children:

1. The great outdoors offer great dating opportunities
Getting out into the fresh air instead of being holed up inside is always a good idea for kids. There’s plenty of space to run, jump and get out any nervousness that they may feel about meeting your new friend. Leisurely picnics, horseback riding, apple-picking, visits to the zoo, nature walks, bike-riding, or a beach excursion all provide outdoor activities that keep children occupied and adults unstressed.

2. Dance your cares away
Taking a short, low-pressure group class, such as square dancing, Zumba or hip-hop will engage everyone’s bodies and minds. Just be sure that the dance form you choose is energetic and colorful — go for tap or modern dance over ballet. And be certain
Go to a kid-friendly karaoke restaurant that boasts tunes that your kids recognize.
it doesn’t focus on partner dancing so that your child won’t feel he or she has to compete for your attention.

3. Skate your hearts out
Whether it’s ice skating or roller-skating, flying around together at the rink is an easy way to bond. Even if you’re no expert at balancing on blades or wheels, skating is an enjoyable way to lose your inhibitions. Helping wobbly skaters up, allowing someone to catch your fall, or guiding your partner’s child around the rink helps build trust.

4. Tour a confectionary factory
Chocolate, cookies, cheesecake, gummy bears: Whatever the sugary product, kids are bound to be interested in how it’s made. Share childhood (or adult) experiences with sweets as you learn about food production and each other. A tour offers one method of sugar overload that doesn’t have to lead to jittery antics. Just watch out for all of those free samples!

5. Singing your way into favor
So, it’s silly and embarrassing. But kids go for both of these characteristics, especially if it involves you, your new mate and a karaoke machine. Watch shyness and constrained behavior melt away with each off-note you belt out. Go to a kid-friendly karaoke restaurant that boasts tunes that your kids recognize, grab the mike and watch the fun begin!

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a freelance writer based in Chicago who has written for the Chicago Sun-Times.
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