Date nights aren't cheap these days. Even in troubled economic times, a night out can set you back $200 or more (of course, a tasty bottle of wine at dinner adds to the cost.) So, last weekend, when we were in desperate need of a night out, we decided to "play restaurant," just like my kid play, but instead of pretend food, we'd use the real thing.
And, of course I enlisted the help of my 2 kids to be the sous chefs and waiters... then voila... Trattoria Valentino!
Even though the date night didn't relieve me of much of the dinner prep, the change in pace was definitely what the family needed. Just the act of setting a "fancy" table and sitting in a different spot than usual made the night feel different.
The candles, the real napkins, table cloth, champagne and hand designed menus also set the tone! During dinner we played an italian CD called "Bella Luna." The ambience was just right.
So, I don't suggest completely getting rid of nights out-- for sanity, adult time is a must... but to shake things up a bit, try the restaurant at home... and if you're smart, perhaps have your kids sit at their own table!