Book the Babysitter: Date Night Ideas for Parents

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After living in lockdown for over a year, it’s no wonder parents are itching to get out for some romantic “just us” time. Taking time to nurture your relationship is an important part of good parenting. If you are ready for a real date night but aren’t sure what to do, start texting your sitter because we have some ideas for you. Whether you are dying for an afternoon out or a reason to get dressed up for an evening out, we’ve got some great date-night ideas for you.

photo: via Produce Row

Finding Care

Maybe you’re lucky enough to have childcare, if not there are options you can look into. If you are part of a “social pod” with other families, you may be able to trade day-time playdates, or have another parent stay with your kids after bedtime so you can go out. If your own parents, in-laws, or other family members live in town see if they can watch your kids. Or perhaps reach out to friends for recommendations for a regular babysitter or nanny-share. Once you come up with safe childcare options, here are some ways to get out and get some distance from your kids for a little while.

Dine on a Heated Patio

While the weather may be getting colder, you and your partner can stay warm and safe, dining on one of Portland Restaurants many heated patios. If there is one wonderful thing that has come out of  COVID, it is that local restaurants rose to the occasion and created gorgeous, date-worthy outdoor seating that includes an element of warmth. One of our favorite date spots is Produce Row, which features a giant outdoor patio area that stays toasty warm during the cold months. There's also plenty of indoor seating as well. Check out more heated patio dining options here.

Produce Row
204 SE Oak St

Hit the Zoo

Think a day at the zoo is just for kids? Think again! Taking a stroll together through the Oregon Zoo can be a great way to reconnect with your special someone. The zoo has reopened and you can now reserve timed-entry tickets 10 days in advance. There are guidelines in place to reduce crowds and ensure social distancing, so be sure to review the guidelines before making your reservation. Then, get ready for some outdoor fun with all the animals!

Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd.
Portland, OR
Adult: $17.95
Daily 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

photo: via pexels

Scope the Art at Alberta Street Gallery

Do you and your partner love art? Visit this artist collective featuring work from local artists. With and open and airy gallery, you can safely spend an afternoon perusing their current showings. Commemorate the romantic experience by purchasing a special piece of art to enjoy at home! When you are done looking at art, checkout the neighborhood. Alberta is a beloved area of town that is full of places to bring the kiddos when date night is done.

Alberta Street Gallery
1829 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR
12-5 pm daily

Drive-in and Wine-Down Movies

Head out to the Dalles for a slight twist on the drive-in experience. The winery at the Sunshine Mill now offers drive-up movie nights! Enjoy classic concession stand goodies, or choose from a selection of appetizers and wine from the winery, while watching a film broadcast on the side of the building. Get cozy with your beloved and watch a feel-good or seasonal movie. Think The Sandlot or The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Sunshine Mill
901 East 2nd St.
The Dalles, OR
Tasting room open daily 12-6 p.m.; until 6 p.m. prior to movie nights
Drive-up Movies offered Thurs.-Sat. after Sunset

Get Away

Got a little more time (and childcare) and want to get away? Consider one of these options for extended day time adventures, full day trips, and quick overnights that are (relatively) safe during the pandemic.

Get Lost in a Maze

Make the most of the fall season and get lost in a maze with your beloved. There are several corn mazes a short drive away, that can make for tons of fun during your afternoon date experience. Check out our full list of awesome mazes here. Don't forget to pick out a pumpkin before you head home.

Various locations throughout the Portland Metro area.

Kayak on the Tualatin River

Fall is the perfect time to spend a day on the water together, kayaking the Tualatin River. Surrounded by the changing colors of the season, romance abounds. If you don't have your own kayak, a number of rental outfitters are open and offer rentals for you to choose from. Tualatin Riverkeepers even offers guided tours to check out their calendar in adance

Tualatin Riverkeepers Cook Park Rentals
11675 SW Hazelbrook Rd.
Tualatin, OR
Fri., Sat., & Sun.; hours vary

Alder Creek Rentals
5855 SW Nyberg Lane
Tualatin, OR

Stay in a Tiny House with Getaway

Book a cabin for two in Mt. Adams with this new tiny-home vacation rental company. With hot showers, bathroom, heat and AC, a stove, and a comfy bed, it's the perfect mix of camping and comfort. The collection of 30 cabins (built on a shipping container base) is nestled in a quiet 80-acre park near trails in Glenwood, Washington, about a two-hour drive from Portland. Safety measures are in place to make your stay a healthy one.

Getaway Portland Outpost
From $119/night

—Annette Benedetti



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