If we hear one more relationship expert tell us that busy parents need to make time for date night we’re going to…listen. It’s true. We know it. Whether you’re working on keeping your relationship fresh or starting a new one, making time for dates is important. Relationships are so much stronger when we have even a little time away from the craziness of the household, connecting over something besides the kids’ homework and household chores. But we also recognize that sometimes we don’t really plan dates like we should, because we hear the word DATE and it’s like OMG I HAVE TO PLAN SOMETHING HUGE.

The truth is, a date can be something small. It doesn’t have to be wildly expensive and it doesn’t have to be a seven-hour production. It doesn’t even have to be at night!

So we’re really thrilled to welcome back SitterCity as a sponsor, since they’ve just launched their new online sitter booking service, Chime. And parents? You are in for a treat if you need a night out. The app features a range of sitters all handpicked after a strict vetting process — in fact, only about 20% make the cut as one of their sitters. You can then select the perfect sitter based on experience, ratings from other parents, and video interviews, and even book and pay through the app so there’s no need to dig up cash at the end of your date.

Plus, all readers get a $100 credit toward babysitting the first time you try Chime! (See details below.)


Chime by Sittercity is an amazing new online service providing vetted, hand-selected sitters for impromptu date nights and beyond.


Need more incentive to give Chime a try? How about these 21 date night ideas for when you’ve only got a couple of hours. That plus a $100 credit will get you, well…a date!

(Also, okay, you need the actual person too. But that’s another app entirely.)


1. Camp out in a local bookstore.

2. If the weather is nice, spread out a picnic blanket and chill with wine and cheese.

3. Find the best view in town and go there.

4. Have an adults-only ice cream date.

5. Slum it at a local pub, maybe one you used to go to before you had kids.

6. Get physical: 90 minute or so of rollerblading, ice skating, rock wall climbing, squash, Frisbee, you name it.

7. Hit a coffee shop and have breakfast for dinner. Mmm…waffles.

8. Have a ping pong tournament. Make the stakes worthwhile.

9. Browse a local gallery or shopping area.

10. Settle in somewhere, open a paper, and do the crossword puzzle in peace.

11. If you have an Apple Store in your city, go there.

12. Bring a board game or a deck of cards to a park bench.

13. Visit a local…purveyor of adult items, shall we say?

14. Visit the mall that has a lingerie shop with the late hours.

15. Sit at a bar and watch a game together.

16. Chill in a local botanical or community garden.

17. Rack ’em up at a pool hall.

18. Warm up with a hot chocolate date at a local coffee shop or patisserie.

19. Test drive a car you can’t afford. Yet.

20. Go to a romantic location, bring two pairs of headphones and a splitter, hold hands and listen to a streaming playlist of your favorite songs. Making out optional (but encouraged).

21. Go to a china shop, vintage store, or anywhere with lots of breakable things. Gloat.


Thanks SO much to our sponsor, Chime by SitterCity for offering a $100 credit to our readers who are first-time Chime users (whoo!). Just use coupon code COOLMOMPICKS when you book. The service is currently available in Boston, New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C.; other cities coming soon.