Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking to parents about how they manage to find time together as a couple without the kids. One thing we’ve heard again and again is that parents are ditching elaborate nights out in favour of taking an hour or two to themselves during the day when the kids are at school/nursery anyway or when they can leave little ones with a sitter without worrying about bedtime.
Here are our favourite daytime activities in London in case you want to jump on the trend too:
Listen to beautiful music
There are several free lunchtime recitals on offer in central London, which is perfect if you both work in town, and well worth making the trip if you don’t. Try St James’s or St-Martin-in-the-Fields, or you could discover the opera stars of tomorrow at Swiss Church in Covent Garden.
See another side of London
When was the last time you took a stroll around the capital without pushing a buggy or dragging tired little legs behind you? Planet Pass offers a selection of quirky and highly Instagrammable tours that cover a myriad of interests, including Harry Potter, gin, vintage fashion, music and food.
Work up a sweat
Take a leaf out of blogger Mamalina’s book and organise a regular yoga date with your other half, where you can bond over downward-facing dogs and sun salutations. If you prefer your exercise to come with a side order of competition, book a squash or tennis court instead.
Have fun on two wheels
If you don’t have your own bicycle, they are available for hire all over London from as little as £2. You may not like the idea of weaving in and out of London traffic, but you can always avoid the cars and ride through one of the capital’s many parks, by the Thames or alongside Regent’s Canal.
Have your cake and eat it too
Book a date for champagne afternoon tea at a place where you would never dream of taking the kids, such as Sketch or the Berkeley (both tried & tested by our team on your behalf – you’re welcome!). You usually get cakes to take home too, so share these with the kids and they’ll be begging you to go again.
Take in a matinee
Cinema or theatre, whichever you prefer, there are loads of options available for spending a couple of blissful hours cosied up in the dark together, eating sugary snacks and watching something created for the adult brain.
Have lunch in a local pub
When you only have an hour or two to yourself, staying local is the key to maximising your time. There’s bound to be a pub you’ve been staring longingly at as you’ve trundled past with the pram. Now’s the time to try it! And the best bit is that you can order whatever you want from the menu without thinking about anybody but yourself.
Soak up some culture
From the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A to the Saatchi Gallery or the Wellcome Collection, we’re spoilt for choice with the art on offer in London, so take your pick. Do one a week and see how long it takes you to see them all!
Play with small balls
The ping pong trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere so we may as well embrace it. It’s great fun, brilliant for working off stress, and provides a well-deserved break from adulting. Try Bounce in Farringdon or Old Street.
Go back to bed
While it might be tempting to catch up on some zeds while the kids are not there, don’t forget about the other bedroom-based activity. You know, the one that made the sleep-depriving monsters in the first place…
We’d love to hear about your daytime dating adventures (except the last one – you can keep that to yourself!) Use the hashtag #datelikeaparent on Instagram or Twitter and we’ll share your post.