No excuses, just make a date...
Ditch the kids and make Valentine’s day special.
Miss the days when you and your spouse were dating? When you could decide on the spur of the moment to spend Friday night enjoying dinner and a movie? Well, what’s stopping you?

Aah… we can hear your responses: “Children”, “My job”, “I’m too exhausted”.

There are all these excuses and as a result, more and more parents are choosing to just stay home and save themselves the money and effort.

There’s something wrong when you decide to lump it all the time - don't underestimate the power of date night.

Experts say that pencilling in regular one-on-one time helps parents of young children keep those martial sparks alive. After working, maintaining a household and nurturing our children we all need a break.

Making note of regular date nights on the family calendar can give you a ‘time out’ together that you can count on.

Whether it’s once a month or once a week you and your spouse can’t go wrong with a regular date night.

Pencilling in a weekend escape or a short holiday just for the two of you can be just as beneficial.

It’s a time to let your hair down and re-ignite the sparks of interest that brought you together. Or if the flame is still as steady as ever, it’s a way to make sure it keeps flickering.

Here are some ideas on where you two love birds can go:
• The movies are always a great idea. You get to sit alone in the dark with your loved one, away from the bustle of your children and just relax with each other. Remember to sneak in a kiss…

• The theatre is also a great way to spend time as a twosome. Find out what’s playing at the Baxter Theatre or especially this time of year, the Maynardville Open Air Theatre. Its superb productions, great for those parents who love the ideas of cuddling under a blanket while watching their favourite Shakespearean play.

• Go out to dinner. It’s extremely romantic to share a meal with a candle burning between the two of you. There are so many places to choose from, it just depends on what you are craving that particular evening.

Why not try Primi Piatti Restaurant for your next dinner date? It has great ambiance and an array of dishes and drinks to make your mouth water.

• Bend the rules a little. Why have desserts at the same place you had dinner at? Satisfy your sweet tooth and prolong your date night at a dessert parlour. Try Sinnfull Ice cream parlour in Camps Bay? All the ice-Cream is made on site so quality and freshness is guaranteed.

Call them for more details on: (021) 461 0849.

• For those parents who aren’t scared of a little fun, if the carnivals in town, why not check it out? What could be sweeter than riding the Big Wheel together and looking at the beautiful star lit Cape Town sky? It’s enough to make any heart swoon.

• Rekindle your inner-child and take your loved one to build a bear. Yes, you read that correctly. It would be totally unexpected and something you would both enjoy. Create your very own bear with extra special characteristics to suit you. Build-a-Bear Workshop is a bundle of fun and a great memento to your night out. Best part is, you can keep adding to your bear every month. It could even become a great part of your date nights.

Why not make it “date weekend”?
If your schedules simply don’t allow for a regular date night every week, why not go all out? Go for a weekend getaway once a month. Just the two of you.

And it’s not difficult to plan. Click here to find out how.

Some great places to consider are:
• The Protea Hotel Saldanha in Cape Town is a great place to getaway. The hotel has its own slipway and jetty and the bay is a haven for fishing and water sport enthusiasts so be prepared for some blood boiling action.

• The Southern Sun North Beach in Durban you're just a few steps from the beach and apart from a gorgeous view, the hotel promises really comfortable rooms and friendly, personal service.

Gorges Lodge in the Vic Falls has stunning views and its proximity to the legendary Victoria Falls is in itself a great tourist appeal, never mind being oh so romantic!

An extra cool tip:
Send your partner a multiple choice date invitation. We encourage you to be creative and come up with your own but here’s an example to get you started:

• Would you like to go out to dinner with me on Friday or Saturday? I’m thinking Italian or Chinese. And since the carnival is in town, how about an ice cream and a stroll afterwards? I’m sure your loved one will think of an equally creative way to reply…

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