The days go slow, but the years go fast. No truer words have ever been spoken about childhood. To slow down time, we try to focus on experiencing as much as we can together, and spending less time on the non-fun stuff and more things on the ‘real’ fun stuff, the stuff that’s going to create the memories – like mother daughter dates. On days like today, when we’ve had one of those especially long and trying days, I try to plan a mother/daughter date to remind us of all of the good stuff.
Here are some of my favorite mother daughter date ideas, for that special night out.
1. Go to the Make Up Counter
If your little girl is anything like mine, she’s already make-up obsessed. At six, she’s watching youtube videos about her favorite Disney princesses, getting the same ‘look’. A visit to Sephora, MAC or even your local department store means that you can get a free make up application, and maybe go home with a little something. This is one of Olivia’s favorite dates – one that she still talks about.
2. Browse the Greenhouse
There’s more in the greenhouse than plants. A lot of the local greenhouses have fountains, things to look at, shops and lots to browse while you’re there. You can get inspiration for how to plan your garden at-home or find supplies to start your own fairy garden.
3. Lego Shop + Build
Take a trip to the Lego store, and choose something together. After you’ve chosen, head home and build what you bought together. For an impromptu date night at-home, I like to have some kind of kit stashed away, like Lego or Goldiblox that we can work on together and make a night of it when a little sister is in bed and an older one needs a bit more attention.
4. Movie Night with Popcorn in Bed
If you’re anything like me, you don’t really sit down and watch a movie. While I’m watching a movie with the girls or Jamie, I’m usually answering emails, making a list or reading a book. The last time we laid in bed to watch a movie, we snuggled, sang along, and had a lovely time watching Annie together.
5. Take a Midnight Walk
This one is one of the most exciting things that we’ve done. After bedtime, and she was asleep, I woke her up and we went out for a walk, held hands, as we walked around the block and gazed at the stars. It’s something she is going to remember, the time I woke her up and we went for a walk – at night.
6. Plan a Special Night Out
The ballet, cirque du soleil, the Lion King, there are many options coming to Edmonton where you can plan a night out together. Check groupon to score a great deal on tickets, or find showings for a performance that’s pay what you will, to reduce the cost of the night out.
7. Have a Picnic
Pack her favorite foods and plan a picnic for two at one of her favorite places. The food doesn’t have to be difficult, just pick some of her favorites and surprise her with lunch on the go.
8. Splatter Paint Together
Take an art class, or paint together at one of the local workshops. How fantastic would it be to have a piece of art that you’ve worked on together and that you can hang in the house.
9. Switchin’ Portraits
Get dressed, and let her take your picture. Then, you take her picture. After you’ve finished, take a photo together. It’s the perfect opportunity to let her use your ‘real camera’ or snap a quick picture with your iPhone. Let her direct your posing and you’ll get the chance to see yourself through her eyes.
10. Swing, Swing, Swing
Usually, at the park, it’s my job to give underducks and pushes on the swing. Get together and swing together. Swing as high as you can together – at your favorite local park.
11. Browse Chapters and Read Books Together
Chapters is one of our favorite places to go for a Mother Daughter date. We can read through the latest books, and maybe find one to bring home. It’s the perfect time to get her a ‘grown up’ drink from Starbucks and spend a couple of hours together.
12. Go to the Farmer’s Market
Go to the Farmer’s Market and try something new. Bring home new ingredients and cook a meal together with the ingredients that you’ve brought home from the Market. It’s an easy way to get a small treat while you’re there, introduce your daughter to a new food and spend an hour outside, walking around.
13. Make Friendship Bracelets
Throwback to your childhood or take a refresher course on Youtube and teach her how to make Friendship bracelets while you lay on a blanket in the back yard, in the sun. The supplies that you will need are under five bucks, and you’ll create something for her to show off to her friends.
14. Pedicures on the Cheap
Rather than getting the whole shebang at the nail salon, you can head to your local store and get a polish change for only $10/person. You can get the experience of heading into the shop, choosing the nail polish, and getting the spa experience for less. Or, you can do it at-home.
15. Enroll in a Cooking Class
Cooking classes for parents and children are easy to find. Classes are offered at Superstore, through the PC Cooking School Program, through Williams Sonoma and through local schools. For daughter’s that enjoy being in the kitchen, it’s an easy way to have a mother/daughter date.
16. Go For Formal Tea
Get dressed in your Sunday Best and take part in the fun and formal teas offered. You can snack on canapes and small sandwiches, drink tea and act like ladies while teaching valuable lessons about manners.
17. Put on a Show
Putting on a show is a simple, and easy date night idea at-home. Plan the script, practice and put on a show for Dad and other siblings when they get home. Let her plan your costume and choose the name, turn down the lights and get ready to perform.
18. Paint A Piece of Pottery
Paint a piece of pottery at a night out at Pottery painting cafes. Work on the same piece together, or work on two of the same items and paint one for each other. It’s a lovely way to create a keepsake that can be used for years to come.
19. Learn Constellations
Grab a blanket, bundle up, and head outside to lay on the blanket and look at the stars. Take the time to learn one of the constellations, pointing it out in the sky. There are some fantastic apps that can help you to find specific constellations in the night sky – and you can print out activity sheets too. While you’re outside, you can wish upon stars.
20. Get All the Toppings at Frozen Yogurt
Usually, when I take the kids to get frozen yogurt, I try to make sure that most of the toppings they’re choosing for their dessert are fruit. When we go on dates, I let them choose any toppings they want, as much of the topping as they want – and it’s a fun way to go all out, once in a while.
21. DIY Tattoos
Visit one of your favorite girls boutiques, like Claire’s and find some cool tattoos. Apply them together, or grab some washable markers and go to town creating your own designs (after all, it washes off!). It’s a fun way to get creative and do something out of the ordinary.
22. Camp-in Sleepover
Sometimes, it’s fun to mix it up a little when it comes to date night – and same goes for when you are planning special times to plan with the kids. Set up a tent in the living room and camp-in, snuggling, reading books and eating s’mores that you made in the microwave for a fun night in that’s bound to get them excited about the upcoming camping season. Don’t have a tent? Make one with blankets.
23. Mother Daughter Sleepover
Invite your best friend, and her kid over for a mother daughter slumber party. Watch movies, eat popcorn, lounge on the sofa with a buffet full of snacks and let the girls fall asleep wherever they want. It’s a fun way to have a sleepover and get a night of fun in, with your best friend (and hers).
24. Photo Booth
Find a photo booth at the mall, you know the ones. Bring your $5 (I think that’s how much they are now) and your funniest face to the booth and create a keepsake that will be treasured for the memory of the mother daughter date. When you’re finished grab dinner or ice cream, to top off the night.