Married couples with kids don't get a lot of nights to themselves. Especially not the ones that fall on major holidays. Let's face it: Getting a sitter on the big ones -- New Year's, July 4th, Halloween -- is just not usually in the cards. But it's not impossible. On the off chance that you are able to secure a family member or a sitter crazy enough to take on the holiday with little ones, then you have no excuse NOT to make it a night to remember.
In the early days of dating, weren't you always especially excited to have a boyfriend on the Fourth of July? All that hand-holding under the stars, watching the fireworks in each other's arms, snuggling on a blanket together and listening to live music ... Sigh. What's more romantic?
Well, never fear. Those days can be back again! If you and your guy can manage to steal time away, here are eight ways to make the Fourth of July the ultimate date night:
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1.) Find a secluded spot: If the weather is good and you can sit under the stars, find somewhere private for the fireworks. Every summer, my friends used to gather on a roof deck downtown to watch. Our friend even had a hot tub up there. We were a big group, but can you imagine if it had been just a couple? It's totally possible. Run from the crowd to a spot where you can still see the fireworks -- and then you can REALLY make some of your own!
2.) Bring a picnic: There are plenty of places online to help you plan the perfect picnic. By all means, look at them. Pack the napkins and the utensils in a basket, but be sure to also include the romantic basics -- chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne (and plastic flutes!), a little cheese, and some grapes. Whether you have all day or just an hour to yourselves, eating al fresco just the two of you is romance personified. Bon appetit!
3.) Set the mood: Looking for music that is both patriotic AND romantic? Well, maybe that's a tall order. But you know what's nice? Some instrumental stuff. Every July 4th, the Boston Pops gives a free concert on the esplanade to accompany the city's fireworks. If you can't get there, you can certainly recreate it with your iPhone and a Boston Pops Pandora station. It's not the same as being there, but the upshot is you don't have to deal with the crowds. It's just you. And your love.
4.) Bring sparklers: Think there's nothing romantic about sparklers? Well, anything can be sweet if you put your mind to it! Write your partner's name in the night air with sparklers. Hold one, light it, and kiss until it stops sparking. Or make up your own "adult" game using the childhood toy.
5.) Water fight: If you want to be a little risque (and you're alone with no chance of kids walking in on you), put on white T-shirts and nothing else. Then break out the hose. Squirt each other until there's nothing left to the imagination. Alternative: Have a water balloon fight in only white clothing. The suspense! The romance! The tease! It's all there.
6.) Stay in: Let the grandparents fight the crowd with the kids at the fireworks and stay home with your husband. Curl up, watch a movie. Enjoy the AC ... and the silence. Everyone else will be outside, getting eaten alive, but you'll have the whole house to yourselves. Bonus points for choosing a patriotic film for the par-tay.
7.) Hide the blue: Fourth of July is the one day a year it's OK to be a little corny for your country. Take advantage by making sure you both wear something red, white, and blue. Better yet, wear read and white on the outside and let him FIND the blue somewhere underneath! God Bless America!
8.) Celebrate late night: If you decide to do the family thing, that doesn't mean you can't have a date night. Wait until the kids are in bed, then go out in the backyard. Make and light a little campfire, get a few roasting sticks, and toast up some marshmallows. Feed them to each other and enjoy the feel of the summer night air.
The fact is, July 4th can really be the perfect romantic holiday. The summer sun and vacation feel put almost everyone in a good mood (no work!). Plus there's free entertainment (fireworks!) and plenty of family babysitters on hand to share the kid load.
Take full advantage. This opportunity only comes up once a year. Happy Fourth!
Have you ever turned July 4th into a date night & what did you do?