20 Mommy-Daughter DatesAug 10th

A while ago, I talked about how my Mom took me on a really awesome date as a kid, and it transformed me from being a she-devil to a proper member of society. The simple act of taking me out, by myself, to frozen yogurt literally transformed me from an evil ferret she-devil into a fairly decent little girl. I truly remember changing my behavior after that date because my relationship with my mom had changed.

I’m not a parenting expert, so the minute I start acting like I know it all is when I get poop thrown at me in Target by my screaming, naked child. (For the record, this hasn’t happened. Yet.)Β I do, however, consider myself an expert, so to speak, in mommy-daughter dating. This has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with my Mom. I am a product–a success story of mommy-daughter dating.

And I want that same success with my daughter!
My hope is to provide y’all with some ideas that will fuel your relationship with your little girl! Β And you know, if you just happen to “Pin” it well golly-gee-whiz I’ll probably do a little happy dance in the kitchen. Go ahead. Hit Pin the tail on the Hilljean.

This is a whopping list. Β I think some of the ideas transfer from younger to older children, but this is definitely geared towards the youngsters because this is what I know so far. But if you have older kids and have already done some of these activities please tell us how it went and maybe share some extra tips.

mommy daughter date

20 Super-Sensational, Fabulous and Fun Mommy Daughter Dates

1.) Frozen Yogurt. Ok, had to put this in here since it’s got that sentimental value for me. This is one of Coco’s favorite things to do with me to date. Probably because it involves chocolate.

2.) Park Play Date. Go to the park and actually play with her on all the toys. Go down the slide, swing with her, pull your arms out of socket on the monkey bars.

3.) Manis and Pedis. Go get your nails did!

4.) Plan a scavenger hunt or give her a treasure map and discover the clues together.

5.) Roller Skate. Take her to a skating ring and pad every exposed limb and skate at risk.

6.) Paint Pottery. Take her to a place like Color Me Mine and paint some pottery together.

7.) Shoe Shop. Girls love shoes. Let her try on high heels and model them for you. Walk away with some new duds for the both of you.

8.) Gift Shop. Take her to a dollar store and let her pick out some gifts for family members and friends. Give her an allowance and let her plan out how she spends her wad. This is a fun way to introduce the joy of gift giving while spending time together.

9.) Go to a movie. Very basic, but very fun as long as you don’t see a lame movie.

10.) Go to a ballet. I did this with my mom when I was little. We saw the Nutcracker. While I loved all the pretty costumes and the dancing I was horrified by the men in tights. Their junk was gigantic and grotesquely encased in white tights. This was the determining factor that I would not be in ballet. Ever.

11.) Go to a play. My mom actually took Coco to a local performance of Wizard of Oz. It made a great impression on her and exposed her to another art form.

12.) Take her to an American Girl Store. They offer fun services like a Beauty Salon and Doll Hospital.Β I imagine this could be a rather expensive little trip–so I’d definitely wait until my daughter was a little older. But it seems like it could be a fun experience for a kid who likes dolls.

13.) Bake together. Kick everyone else out of the house and have a baking extravaganza. This is probably one of Coco’s favorite activities to do with me and essentially all it costs is a little time and a lot of clean up. You could even do something so awesome as make a Nacho Cheesecake together like Sue did over at The Spin Cycle (do yourself a favor and visit her blog–she is in the top three for me).

14.) Girls Night Out. Get gussied up and go out for a fancy dinner. Just make sure the restaurant is semi-kid friendly πŸ˜‰

15.)Β Take her to a children’s museum. You’ll feel like you’re doing something to make her smarter in the end. This is always a good feeling to end with.

16.) Go to the farmer’s market. Eat fruit, listen to local bands play, and buy really expensive balloons.

17.) Go on a coffee date. Contrary to popular belief, it’s never too early to introduce your child to the wonder of coffee. I get Coco decaf with a bunch of milk in it, but if that weighs too heavy on your conscience you could do flavored steamed milk, or hot cocoa. But your kid will be cooler if they drink coffee, just sayin’.

18.) Go to the mall. You don’t have to really buy anything but there’s always a fun attraction like a carousal or fountain, or Sees Candy.

19.) Do a craft together. Go to Michaels or JoAnn’s and buy a little craft kit that you can make together.

20.)Β Stargaze. My kids love to go outside and say goodnight to the moon and stars each night. Grab a blanket, hot cocoa, and bug spray and have some quality time looking at the beautiful night sky. I bet you anything you’ll have a deep conversation. When we look at the stars we end up talking about God, heaven, and when she can have a bunk bed. Sometimes zombies work their way in there, too.

Welp. There you have it. Got any other ideas to add to this list? Have you done any of these activities with your daughter before?


***If you have older daughters or are on the lookout for more ideas check out my 20 Mommy-Daughter Dates: Older Daughter Addition. These scenarios are geared for girls from young teen to adulthood.

298 Responses to 20 Mommy-Daughter DatesAug 10th

  1. robyn August 11, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    This came at a perfect time! Since my baby came along, I'm always looking for ways to spend special time with the older kids. I was going to use an old gift card to pay for a mani/pedi, but it turned out the salon couldn't do them side by side (sort of defeats the purpose) – thanks for all the other ideas for dates we can go on! πŸ™‚

    • CATERINA July 18, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

      Hi this is a girl named Caterina her mommy is awesome!

  2. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 5:23 am #

    This is a sweet post. Great ideas and most of them work for boys too πŸ™‚ Also, #10 had me laughing so loud!!!

  3. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    Seriously though, I think they must have packed their tights :0

  4. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    Such cute ideas!! Childrens Museum is one of my favorites! (Returning comment from SITs :)!)

  5. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    These are all great ideas – I remember so well what an epiphany it was for me to realize that you were a lot of fun when you weren't being harassed by older brothers:) #10 made me laugh out loud too….who knows, that experience may have changed your future career from ballerina to writer!

  6. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Yep, these are great ideas! I recently took my five year old daughter on a weekend get away to Grandma's (a 1.5 hour ferry ride, and another 2 hour car ride away), and we had lots of fun. It always amazes me how grown up she acts when she isn't with her younger brother. I would definitely do it again, and possibly some of your suggestions too. Thanks for the ideas!

  7. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Great ideas! I've done several of these with my girls. I've learned something pretty simple really makes a difference to them!

    Visiting from SITS.

  8. hilljean August 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    If we have a daughter (too early for us to know yet, only 10weeks pregnant), I'll have to print out this list. Awesome ideas! And so very important! Thanks for sharing these!

  9. hilljean August 12, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Oooh congrats on zee beebee! I'm gonna talk about little boy dates next week!

  10. hilljean August 12, 2012 at 1:56 am #

    Its so true! My daughter remember's each date and looks forward to them like Christmas!

  11. hilljean August 12, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    That's something I forgot to mention– how mature and pleasant she is when it's one-on-one time we're sharing. It's so nice because I get to see a little bit of that person she's growing to be and it makes me look forward to having a relationship with her when she's grown up. And then we come home…hahaha

  12. hilljean August 12, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    Yeesh! I don't these here feet or my innate clumsiness would have allowed for a career in ballet. That was hilarious though, remember how we were laughing during the performance?

  13. hilljean August 12, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  14. hilljean August 13, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    I followed you and I just started a blog, it's dutch. But you could use translate of course. Following would mean alot to me! (I have a blog hop atm)

  15. hilljean September 9, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    I give my 2 year old decaf coffee all the time, he's not much of a milk drinker, but a splash of coffee in a cup of milk and he downs it like there's no tomorrow! However we often go on coffee dates and almost always at a coffee shop he wants juice… I think it may have to do with the non watered down factor he probably thinks it's the most amazing juice ever, haha. My 7th month old also has already had one sip of coffee… that was the day I found out she had learned how to drink from a straw… πŸ™‚

  16. hilljean September 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Great list! I love to take my daughter to Build-A-Bear Workshop. She has so much fun there and loves to buy new outfits and accessories for her bear. I think it's pretty fun, too — wish those would have been around when I was a little girl πŸ™‚

  17. shannon Weaver September 11, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    Another one close to star gazing but during the day looking up at the clouds and making shapes out of them… I use to do it with my mother and sister all the time growing up.

  18. hilljean September 11, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    OK…How tardy am I to *this* party? I was just checking my stats and noting that a WHOLE mess of views came via this post. Thanks for the shout-out…and the admiration is mutual, girlfriend. xo

  19. hilljean September 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I love your “dates”… my daughter and I do just that too πŸ™‚ and yes, drinking coffee with mommy makes her cooler … oh, I had to laugh out loud on this… I said those exact words to my hubby when he asked me if I was crazy πŸ˜‰

  20. hilljean September 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

    Hahaha! Sounds like you've got some serious little coffee drinkers on your hands πŸ™‚ This always brings a smile to my face because I believe we coffee lovers are all kindred spirits πŸ™‚

  21. hilljean September 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    That's so cute! I have yet to take my gal to Build a Bear shop. I'm waiting for a special occasion to go splurge!

  22. hilljean September 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    Aww πŸ™‚ glad to help you out. I seriously love every post you write!

  23. hilljean September 12, 2012 at 12:28 am #

    This is a GREAT list! And pretty universal! I like that u didn't use things that you have to live in a big city to do. The only thing I don't know about being close to us is American girl store, but we do have a build a bear and she LOVES going there!!

  24. hilljean September 12, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Crazy? No way! It totally ups the awesome factor πŸ™‚

  25. hilljean September 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I didn't grow up in a big city and I had plenty of fun with my mom. And I've never taken my daughter to Build a Bear or American Girl. I probably should have qualified that. But they are two things I would like to do someday!

    • Nancy September 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      My daughter and I visited Chicago when she was fifteen and the one thing she wanted to do was go to American Girl…it was a lovely mother Daughter
      date and ranks high in her favourite childhood memories.

  26. hilljean September 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    In the fall my daughter and I LOVE to go to the local orchard/pumpkin patch and all the corn-mazes! We also have a penchant for hiking/geocaching, since we live in such a geologically rich state (Ky). All it costs to hike is the gas to get us there!

  27. hilljean September 14, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    I cannot wait for the pumpkin patch! And I'm jealous of your geological bounty πŸ™‚

  28. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 2:43 am #

    What great ideas! I tried to take my oldest (3) for an ice cream date before my youngest (now 6 mos) was born, but she wanted to stay home with her Dad and sister instead! Now that the baby is getting bigger, I will be trying again. Another good one is taking my middle child (2) to storytime at the library when her bis sis is in school πŸ™‚ – Amy

  29. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I love these ideas! I'm 18 but I can definitely say that I love going on mother-daughter dates. My mom and I try to pick out a time we can just spend with each other and talk. It's a great way to connect with each other and not have to worry about anything else. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a mani or pedi, a great way to still get nice toes is to give each other a mani or pedi. There's great tutorials online for stuff to do and it's definitely worth it! πŸ™‚
    Oh and for all the Moms out there who might be skeptical, these mother-daughter dates may sound cheesy, but they can be a lot of fun!

  30. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    Just found your site. How sweet to hear of all the fun times of young children. My youngest is 15 now and we have an awesome relationship. I definitely would say it's because of all the Mommy-daughter dates we had together. We did all the above and it has given us such great memories to laugh at now. At 15, our dates are a bit different, she still likes her pedies, but just going out to eat at a restaurant and talking is surprisingly pleasant. Never underestimate the power of mommy-daughter dates. Thanks for reminding me that we haven't had one in a while. Think I'll go find her now.

  31. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    I just found this post on Pinterest (congratulations – now let's see that happy dance!). My daughter is 14 and people have told me they admire my relationship with her. I guess not all 14 year old girls want to spend time with their mom. Our biggest thing is that we scrapbook together. My hobby started when she was an infant. By the time she was five she wanted to do it too. We've been going to crops together for the past five years or so (she's well behaved and the adults don't mind her there and now that she's a teen she fits right in). We've also done the shopping trips, movies, I've taught her how to cook and we took a couple of trips alone together up to the White Mountains when my husband and son couldn't make it (4 hours away). This coming November we're going on a day trip to NYC to see the Rockettes! How cool is that? Her dance instructor is putting a bus trip together so it'll be us with a bunch of other dancers and their moms. It's pretty pricey but I justified it by reminding myself that my son got to go on all kinds of cool trips with his father when he was in Boy Scouts. His trips were paid for by the Scouts (because he did a lot of volunteer work) but he's had more life experiences than she has. Fair is fair!

  32. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

    Aww! I hope my daughter is as enthusiastic as you when she's that age! I remember my mom and I were friends even when I was a teen. I loved those dates even more then!

  33. hilljean September 15, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    I need to add story hour to this list! Even at bookstores they do that and it would be such a great way to foster a love for reading!!

  34. hilljean September 16, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    I think at 15 it's all about the conversations and quality time! I really look forward to those times one day!

  35. hilljean September 16, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Ooh! Thanks do much for stopping by! πŸ™‚ ok, the NY trip is gonna be epic! You guys will make such fabulous memories!

  36. hilljean September 16, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Amazing list!!! To add on to the coffee date, my 3 year old loves drinking “coffee” with me in the morning! Just milk and coffee flavored syrup for her, and the real deal for me of course. Now that it's getting cooler I will probably steam her milk a little so it's like “hot coffee”. This is our morning tradition while watching tv when we first wake up πŸ™‚


  37. hilljean September 16, 2012 at 3:25 am #

    So sweet! That is a great routine to start and I am sure she'll cherish those memories!

  38. Unknown September 16, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    Lovely list! One I would add is taking her riding — whether a pony ride at a carnival, or a full-sized horse at a stable, there is just something so classic about girls and horses. One of my favorite days with my 2 year old was taking her to Grandma's to ride the same horse I did as a teenager (amazing as I am nearly 40!) –kym

  39. hilljean September 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey hun. Just wanted to let you know that I featured this on my blog today. I would love it if you could check it out πŸ™‚


    – Adele @ Mammy Made

  40. hilljean September 17, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    My daughter is 19 and the best date we do is a photo shoot. I'm a pretty good photographer and did her senior pics. Today we went to the river, brought different dresses and had a blast. Good times, good memories and happily she shares my efforts on Facebook. Any mom with a camera can take good pictures of her daughter! You know their expressions and moods the best and all girls like having someone make them look great!

  41. hilljean September 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    Here's an idea for older girls–Have your daughter teach you something! My daughter came home for spring break and taught me to knit

  42. krista pelton September 18, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    I have 2 amazing daughters and we do go on mommy/daughter dates. We go out for ice cream, go on picnics a lot. They love picnics and it's nice and low budget. They usually help me make lunch and pack it and we walk to a near by playground and find a nice shady tree to sit under and have our picnic. We usually bring some library books and read them sitting together. When we are done we go play on the park together. Lately we will go to the baseball diamond and pretend to play baseball and run the bases. They love to do that! They are 2 and 4 so we try to get in a lot of quality time. I want to always have a happy healthy relationship with my girls! Thanks for the post, I also found it on pinterest!

  43. krista pelton September 18, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    I have 2 amazing daughters and we do go on mommy/daughter dates. We go out for ice cream, go on picnics a lot. They love picnics and it's nice and low budget. They usually help me make lunch and pack it and we walk to a near by playground and find a nice shady tree to sit under and have our picnic. We usually bring some library books and read them sitting together. When we are done we go play on the park together. Lately we will go to the baseball diamond and pretend to play baseball and run the bases. They love to do that! They are 2 and 4 so we try to get in a lot of quality time. I want to always have a happy healthy relationship with my girls! Thanks for the post, I also found it on pinterest!

  44. hilljean September 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    I love hearing about the mom-daughter dynamic as the child gets older. I am so excited to grow as friends with my girl!!

  45. hilljean September 18, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I actually took my youngest camping, just the two of us. We hiked and made a 'big adventure' out of it and we talked about the adventures she wanted to have, while I supported her 'thinking big.' “Yes Honey, it is completely realistic that you can climb the tallest mountain in the world.” We had meals, took a little 'lift ride' to a sight we barely had time for and ventured over to a little town nearby that we found out was having a hoe-down. All of this in one overnight expΓ©rience that cost very little. To top it all, I had taken her out of school on that Friday early, just to do this. Totally worth it – nothing a 7 year old could learn on a Friday could be more valable than our adventure!

  46. hilljean September 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Subjective to your child's ability to bounce back from a day of missed school… my mom used to let me play hookie every once and a while and we would go to lunch and a matinee together. It was special because not only did I get to go do that stuff with my mom, I got to skip school on top of it!

  47. hilljean September 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I think you'd appreciate reading the book 'Cinderella Ate My Daughter.' It's all about giving a young girl a way to tap into her potential without putting her into a pre-established box of activities that are traditionally feminine.

  48. hilljean September 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Omg! Your mom rocks! I can't wait to do that some day!

  49. hilljean September 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    That is a memory you guys will share forever! I love the idea of going camping together! And a hoedown? How cool is that! I want to go!

  50. hilljean September 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    I'll check that out! Thank you! The title is very intriguing!

  51. hilljean September 20, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    I love this list! My husband and I have started taking our girls out one-on-one and these are some great ideas. Pinning!

  52. hilljean September 21, 2012 at 1:17 am #

    Good! I'm so glad πŸ™‚ The one-on-one times are really the best! I need to take my girl out this weekend.

  53. hilljean September 21, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    I have done all of these with my daughters and my son individually throughout the years except for take them to a play or a ballet. Kids love being the only one to hang out with you even if it is just a trip to In and Out Burger (a favorite of my son). Now I sadly have only my 12 year old daughter left at home and we try to go on a mini date every week and a major date every month or so. Major dates take us out of our little town, it might be clothes shopping which she loves, going to a destination like an apple farm or pumpkin patch, or to the big city like San Francisco. Just the one on one time is awesome and on date days I let her pick the radio station even if I am singing “Snapbacks and tattoos” for the 15th time by the time we get home.

  54. hilljean September 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    I just had a little girl (3 months on the 1st of october) and love all your ideas! We dont live in a huge town but we have a place where they do tea parties! You get to dress up and dress up your favorite doll! I think she is going to love them. She will get lots of just mom dates and just dad dates!

  55. hilljean September 21, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    Omg congrats! Baby girls are the best πŸ™‚ sounds like you are ready to go!

  56. hilljean September 21, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    I am loving all these ideas for overnight trips with the older girls! I cannot wait to do that some day! We're actually in San Fran today for a zoo trip πŸ™‚

  57. hilljean September 22, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    great blog! πŸ™‚ love the mom and daughter date ideas! please join my blog as well! And learn great simple natural remedies for you and your family!

  58. hilljean September 25, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    Love your ideas but I'm actually the daughter of my mother-daughter relationship. I'm 18. I'm one of three and its always been difficult to get alone time with my mom. One thing to do for older girls as a very special treat is this restaurant called The Melting Pot. Delicious fondue restaurant and I recommend splurging on the Four course meal. My mom took me around Christmas time and I loved it. Another thing to do is take a day off from work and let your daughter sleep in one day then take her to a new restaurant especially something a little exotic. We went to a place called Bucca Di Beppo's where I discovered I do not like real tiramisu but it was great to try new foods together. Afterward we went to the mall and actually got to ENJOY it rather than worry about keeping the young ones entertained. The trick to it is timing. Learn your daughter's schedule and make sure it doesnt conflict with testing (ex. holiday time or near end of the school year). Also try and get to lunch early to beat the crowds.

  59. Lauren B September 26, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    Genius.,. I found you on Pintrest and am going to repin… (Go ahead and do 2 happy dances… Lucky Chineese grandparents!) My first baby is 3 months and I love all these great ideas. Thank you for sharing!

  60. hilljean September 27, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Ooooh! The Melting Pot! I've heard great things about that place. I love hearing from the older daughter's end. It's so sweet and encouraging for me, as young mom, to hear teenage girls be excited about those dates. That is what this is all about!

    My little girl already LOVES the mall. We have our special routine that always ends with Sees candies. Girls have got to have their chocolate πŸ˜‰

  61. hilljean September 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    I have a grown daughter, and we did some of the things on your list…the one that sticks out the most in my mind though is baking together. I never dreamed that one day would lead to her having her own at home business! She has a facebook page…<3 The Sweet Spot <3. She is such a great mom, and is now making precious memories with her own children now.

  62. hilljean September 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Now that I am a grandma, I want to continue doing special days with my grandchildren!

  63. hilljean October 1, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    We've done “girls clubhouse” and “daddy-daughter clubhouse” for years. It started as a way to help our dd transition when I traveled for work. Now it's just anytime when one of the parents isn't around. Often there are some “need” things in our time together (like going to the grocery store) but we'll also get lunch together or hit the dollar spot at target. And just to be fair, we also have “family clubhouse” and “mommy-daddy clubhouse”. It's just our way of designating time together, regardless of exactly what we do.

  64. hilljean October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I'm in college and my mom and I still go on 'dates'! Everything on this list (except maybe the park) still sounds like something fun to do. Something for older daughters that are over 21: go to a wine tasting. This was one of the first times I felt more of my moms peer than little girl and help build our bond even further

  65. hilljean October 2, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Wow! Never even thought of that. Great idea!!

  66. hilljean October 2, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    I love that you guys call it “clubhouse” that is so dang cute!

  67. hilljean October 2, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    I'm totally going to check out her facebook page! I am sure your investment in her led to that passion for later on. So cool to hear these things!

  68. hilljean October 2, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Yes! Grandma dates are a whole new category of awesomeness!

  69. hilljean October 3, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    I just had a mom/daughter date this past weekend at the American Girl Place, so I was tickled to see it mentioned above. It truly is a very special date day and can get pricey, but definitely worth saving for!

  70. hilljean October 3, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Really? How old is your daughter? That is so cool!!

  71. hilljean October 4, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    I found this off pinterest. some lovely ideas here, Ill also being showing my hubbie this list for our little girls, this will be great for dads and daughters too!

  72. Tonya October 5, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Great ideas! My daughter is now 21, but she still loves mommy daughter dates. Our favorite was and always will be dancing in the car to eighties music while we went anywhere……Whip..whip it real good! Fun times!

  73. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    ok, I normally HATE the plethora of blogs written by mothers giving tips, like raising a child was something truly miraculous and was the most important job of the world! phew (ok, ok, truth is I don't feel ready and the thought overwhelms me. I'm scared and envious, I admit it! u happy now? ) but yours… I mean, your “quirky and cynical” style is so great I actually wanted to elbow the guy sitting next to me at the office and tell about the deep stuff kids tend to talk with a hot cocoa in hand and a blanket over the shoulders while stargazing… you know what, I, as a single girl with no plan of marrying for at least the next five years, would go and buy the Parenting Magazine every month if I would have the chance to read a page turner as clever and sweet as what i just read…
    I'm just saying…

    And by the way, I'm not a relative or anything. In fact I'm writing from the other side of the globe… πŸ™‚

  74. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Love this post – thanks for sharing. Found you on Pinterest and I love your ideas. One thing my daughter loves to do with me is go to the local farm. We get fresh veggies and she gets to feed all the animals. We then usually stop on the way home for a little dinner out, just the two of us (she's 3). Obviously the veggies are only going to be there during the harvest season, but the animals are there year-round!

  75. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    I love this. The last one seriously brought tears to my eyes. Next clear night, I'll be doing the same. Thank you for all of the awesome ideas πŸ™‚

  76. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    This is wonderful, Thanks so much for sharing your story of the great date with your mom, and for giving me some great ideas for my daughter and I. Can't wait to go on some special dates with her.


  77. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

    The times my mom and dad would look up at the stars with me are my favorites!

  78. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    That is a fantastic idea! I am going to be reposting this blog with more suggestions from the comments–mind if I use yours? πŸ™‚

  79. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Hahaha well thank you very much for the big complement πŸ™‚ That is so kind of you to say.

  80. hilljean October 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    Yes! This definitely works both ways πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  81. hilljean October 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm #

    These also work with older daughters. Mine is 17 and we have done most of them together within the last couple of years. Keeps us close even as she grows up.

  82. hilljean October 7, 2012 at 1:03 am #


  83. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Great ideas and most of these work for older girls. My daughter just went to college and we have done all of these and still do except the scavenger hunt one and the craft one. Of course, that is because I'm not that creative and not crafty at all.

  84. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I'm in college now, so my time with my mom is sometimes limited. But when we do get to see each other, we usually go out to dinner, go yarn shopping, and come home to knit/crochet and watch a superhero movie. It sounds silly, but it's one of the things I look forward to the most when I come home!

  85. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    Yay! Glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  86. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Thats wonderful πŸ™‚ I love hearing about the older daughters and how they enjoy dates with mom!

  87. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm #


  88. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Wonderful to hear!

  89. hilljean October 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    That is so cute! Doesn't sound silly at all! Sounds like a wonderful time for both of you πŸ™‚

  90. hilljean October 10, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    We're planning a trip to the new American Girl store in Miami this weekend! We've made the Nutcracker an annual tradition and I'm still horrified by the men in tights.

  91. hilljean October 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    I've done a lot of these activities with my girlie girl. She's now 13 and we still do this kind of stuff…although now it involves bras, boys and social issues. πŸ˜‰ I love the time we get to spend together – I think it's made it easier for her to talk with me about the things that some kids don't want to talk about with their moms or dads. I feel very blessed! Thank you for sharing you blog!

  92. hilljean October 11, 2012 at 1:48 am #

    I have two girls, aged 4 and 6, and we do almost all of those things, A LOT. I love it, they are so fabulous to have a coffee date with, or shop with, or cook with! But I have never stargazed with them, so we shall so be doing that this weekend, with hot chocolate and sleeping bags. Thank you so much, what a great idea.

  93. hilljean October 11, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    I recently commented on this post and mentioned that you inspired me to create 20 dates I could enjoy with my daughter. Well, I did just that…http://bequoted.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/20-mommy-daughter-dates-inspired-by-hillijean/. Thank you for the inspiration!

  94. hilljean October 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    I wanna take my daughter to the Nutcracker but I know she'll notice the crotches…And I'm not sure if I'm ready to explain anatomy to her four year old mind.

  95. hilljean October 11, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    Yes! I know when I was a tween/teen I felt like the one-on-one time gave me opportunities to be open with my mom and share more than I would when it was just a regular day. Those dates are so important!

  96. hilljean October 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Well, now its getting dark earlier so you'll have plenty of opportunities to do it with them!

  97. hilljean October 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    My daughter turns 19 next week. I have been lucky enough to spend lots of time with her. More than dates, I made her a part of most aspects of my life. She went to school with me as I finished my bachelor's and graduate degrees. She went to court with me since she was old enough to understand she needed to rise when the judge came out and keep quiet. Then we would go to lunch to a cool place and talk about what she had seen. She even gave me her opinion on the judge's control of the courtroom and the case. I also taught her how to wash a car when she was 10 and how to drive a boat when she was 12. I love baking and cooking, but never could get her in the kitchen. However, we did complete a triathlon last week. My approach is to know her well and figure out what you both like.

  98. hilljean October 14, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    i let my step daughter invite a few girls over for a sleep over in the summer-we do crafts and night swimming, then we stay up late watching old movies like Dirty Dancing for example and dancing or gymnastics (they are all cheerleaders)! The girls have a great time and so do i!

  99. ladybug October 30, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    I enjoy taking my daughter to Christian Concerts (Third Day, Toby Mac, Mathew West).

    • hillary October 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

      Great idea!

  100. Candy November 4, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    I have taken my daughter bowling. She loved just pushing the ball off of the ramp and knocking down the pins.

    • hillary November 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Haha! That is so cute πŸ™‚ I’m a terrible bowler.

  101. Phyllis November 5, 2012 at 3:47 am #

    My kids are 14 and 16…..and something fun now is to do a service project together…sort cans at a food bank, or deliver food boxes, adopt a needy family for Christmas. Also, “Santa” has started giving us trips to go on during the holidays instead of presents. Our BEST Christmas ever was wandering around New York City and ice skating at Bryant Park. We ended the day with a show and a special dinner in the city. Fun to date the kids!

    • hillary November 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      That sounds wonderful! I love New York!

  102. Jessica November 5, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    This is such a great list! I plan on doing all these if not more with my little girl. Love the idea!
    Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • hillary November 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

      Thank you for coming by!Glad you liked it!

  103. Laura November 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm #

    My daughter and I have enjoyed “baby and mama time” as we call it, for many years. She is 22 and about to graduate from college but our special times will continue and hopefully I will be included some when she begins her own special times with her children. They are wonderful memories!

    • hillary November 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      That is so great to hear! I love how you continue on with the same name, “Baby and Mama Time”

  104. Michelle November 6, 2012 at 2:48 am #

    Girls night! When Daddy has a work function at night, We put on our Jammie’s, pop some popcorn, watch a DVD and paint our nails! Even better, if Daddy’s traveling, we have a sleepover!

    • hillary November 6, 2012 at 4:58 am #

      I love making it into a “sleepover.” I totally get all nostalgic and little girlish πŸ™‚

  105. Megan November 7, 2012 at 3:40 am #

    I love all of these ideas! My daughter is only 8 months old so I haven’t really done anything like this with her yet, but one of my favorite memories with my mom was our girls weekend when I was younger! We got a hotel for the night in the city and spent the weekend just the two of us. We got to eat out and do a little shopping. I loved it! Honestly, I’ve always enjoyed any one on one time that I get with my mom, no matter what we’re doing.

    • hillary November 7, 2012 at 4:02 am #

      It’s never too early to start πŸ™‚ 8 months is such a fun age! I think months 8-10 are just the golden part of having a kid! Enjoy it πŸ™‚

  106. D November 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm #

    I love this. My little one is still too little for some of these, but it is a great starting point. Plus being a single mom it would be good for us on our weekend together.

    • hillary November 8, 2012 at 4:19 am #

      I think that when you plan a “date” you really focus on how you’re spending that time together. It totally takes on a different tone. I highly recommend it!

  107. Sarahh November 8, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    I just wanted to let you know that I did #10 with my mom as well and I had the same experience.

    • hillary November 8, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Thats really cool! I love hearing that!

  108. Jennifer November 8, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I love your ideas! I have 3 daughters and its hard to find time to spend with each of them individually. You have inspired me to make a monthly date with each girl a new tradition! Love your blog by the way!! πŸ™‚

    • hillary November 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

      Thank you for stopping by! Oooh 3 daughters? Wow! I bet you guys have so much fun in your house!

  109. hunthey November 9, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    My daughter and I have one date that we just love. We have a spa in my large tub! She is 7 but thinks it is the coolest to have a bubble bath together and wash each others hair, have a candle lit with no lights on! We have the best conversations in there! Thanks for more ideas!!

    • hillary November 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

      Ok, that just might be the cutest thing ever! So sweet!

  110. Beth November 9, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    LOL @ #10! We went to see the Nutcracker last Christmas. My 7 year old daughter gasped, “Mommy! Those men painted on their legs! They aren’t wearing any pants!”

    • hillary November 9, 2012 at 9:13 pm #

      Oh my word! Hilarious! Seriously, I think they should wear some shorts over them. Just sayin…

  111. Janis November 9, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    My daughter and I have been doing Mommy daughter dates forever.. She is 11 now.
    We always do a spa night at home before summe and then before school starts.. face masks, cukes, foot soaks.. Fun cutsy snacks. Sometimes we invite Dad to join us for the foot soak..

    We also have slumber partys just her and I… we get to pick a fun dinner.. (its always nachos) popcorn or some other snack for the movie and we watch a chick flick..

    Picnic in the backyard. we pack a lunch.. and head outside.

    I saw one thing i am going to try but have not yet.. On a friday i am going to leave a bucket of water balloons or a can of shaving cream by the door..with a note saying. I am armed too and I am in the back yard. I think we will have a blast with that.

    We also love to hang out at the airport.. we go early when we have to pick someone up.. have a snack and walk around.

    i love all the memories we are making…

    • hillary November 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

      You sound like you are just the best mom in the world!! I am so inspired by your comment πŸ™‚

  112. nicolette @ the classroom creative November 10, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Hi HIllary-

    We featured your post today for our parenting section. We just used two of your pictures and a link back {as to entice our readers to visit}.

    This is a great post; it really makes me want to endure a 3rd pregnancy, if only to have a mini-me for manis-pedis and shoe shopping. πŸ˜‰

    Have a great weekend,

    • hillary November 11, 2012 at 3:48 am #

      Cool, thank you! You should totally try for a girl πŸ˜‰

  113. aimee steckowski November 11, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    i just LOVE this post — and reminds me to spend a bit more personal/intentional time with Abigail — but it inspired my post about date ideas with my son!! thanks for the inspiration!! πŸ™‚ http://smallanchors.com/20-mom-son-date-ideas/

    • hillary November 11, 2012 at 3:49 am #

      Glad you liked it and I’m so happy it inspired one for you! I’ve actually been wanting to write a mommy-son post too, I just hadn’t had the chance yet–I’ll refer to you for that one!

      • aimee steckowski November 11, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        my husband & i had such a great time coming up with all of the things he loves doing + pictures to boot!! perhaps we’ll collaborate on a future list – i have a few other ideas if you’re interested! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  114. Melissa November 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Just found this post on Pinterest! Love love love it! I do some of the exact sale things with my girls πŸ™‚

    • hillary November 13, 2012 at 4:26 am #

      Yay glad you found it!

  115. Jen November 13, 2012 at 5:04 am #

    I have a seven month old daughter and I cannot wait to create lasting memories with her. Thanks for all the great ideas! btw I do a lot of little dates with my 2 year old son. Our favorite place is a little 50’s ice cream shoppe, he loves the jukebox!

    • hillary November 13, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Those retro ice cream shops are the best!

  116. Connie November 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I loved your list -my daughter and I actually have done 18 of your suggested dates – I have loved everyone of them! Please do t forget a local zoo -now she is old enough (9) we are able to have dates where we can volunteer at a local shelter for animals! Mom and daughter dates are the best dates.

    • hillary November 13, 2012 at 10:57 pm #

      Wow you have done more than me! Haha! The shelter for animals sounds amazing. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  117. Susan R November 14, 2012 at 3:21 am #

    My husband and I take turns taking each of our daughters out separately. Sometimes we go to the library some times to the book store or even just to the grocery store. The alone time is what is really special.

    • hillary November 14, 2012 at 4:45 am #

      Absolutely! It’s the quality of the time that counts.

  118. katie November 14, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    These are all great ideas!! My daughter LOVES
    to have breakfast at a municipal airport and watch the airplanes take off. We make up stories about where they are going.
    Her favorite animal is the monkey so we put on tails and run around the house like monkeys.. I kinda thought she would have grown out of that by now but NOPE.

    • hillary November 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      Hahaha! How old is she? That monkey thing is hilarious πŸ™‚

  119. Christa November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

    #10- LOL Thank you for this πŸ™‚ very funny… I love these ideas to take time to slow down and have one on one time with your daughter. There is just something about a mother and daughter’s bond you can not find anywhere else, no matter their age. My daughter is 3 and she and I have a blast together no matter what we are doing. I’m sure it has everything to do with how amazing of a little person she is, always making me laugh and love her more each day!

    • hillary November 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

      It’s all about slowing down enough to realize who that little person is and how special your relationship is with them!

  120. Alishia Owens November 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I have 2 girls, one is almost 3 and one is almost 3 months. Needless to say, my oldest felt neglected a bit after my youngest was born. One of the “Mommy and Daughter” dates that we do is kick everyone out and just us two have a photo shoot. I take pictures of her, she takes some of me and sometimes we set the timer and take some of each other.
    This made her feel so special. =)

    • hillary November 14, 2012 at 6:17 pm #

      What a sweet idea! I bet those photos are absolutely priceless!

  121. Amber November 14, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    I have a 6 year old and we have been getting pedi’s since she was about 3. She loves it!! I set up a small tent in our living room and we are going to go “camping” in the living room tonight. Snuggling close and reading books by flashlight. She is so excited and so am I. We both treasure our “special time” together. Thanks for the new ideas!!

  122. Rachel November 14, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    I love these ideas! We have five kids and often rotate the dates around. My 3 year olds favorite is a trolley ride. We catch the trolley near our house and ride to an area with shops. We get off walk around and usually have a little treat. This is incredibly fun and budget friendly as kids ride for free on the weekends. She always talks about these dates. She has had onewith mommy and one with daddy. now she wants to take her Nana!

  123. Katrina November 14, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    LOVE this post! (Found it on Pinterest!) I’ve enjoyed a few of these with one or both of my daughters. My 3 year old is a blast at the park play dates. The only trouble is when it’s time to go. And while her birthday pancake breakfast could have gone a little more smoothly (she enjoys laying out flat and/or bouncing on the booth seat, not to mention drumming with her REAL silverware), I’m really glad we did that together, just the two of us. My 5 year old is very girly, and I was JUST saying yesterday how I’d like to take her to the Nutcracker this season! We also had a blast when she got to go to the movie theater for the first time ever to watch The Lorax with me. <3 my girls!

  124. Natalie Siebert November 15, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    My daughter (4yrs) and I do the dollar store shopping trip for Christmas. She gets to pick out anything in the store for every member of her family. It is so cute to see what she picks out and her reasoning behind each choice. She often has to make a few switches for some of her favorite people (grandma).

  125. Karin Fuelleman November 15, 2012 at 2:44 am #

    Love your date list, my daughter and I have enjoyed most of these too. She’s 16 now and we have wonderful memories and traditions. Now that she doesn’t trick or treat anymore we go get chinese food and go see a scary movie, looking forward to many years of this new tradition. A staple at our house is Gilmore Girls nights, sometimes we spa and mani/pedi too. We have awesome sleepovers with friends, diiner and a movie theme nights! Love mother daughter time!!

  126. Heather @ Raising Mighty Arrows November 15, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    This is a great list! Thank you. I’m going to feature it on my blog tomorrow for Friday Faves. (Found on Pinterest)

    • hillary November 16, 2012 at 1:22 am #

      Would love for you to link back to it tomorrow πŸ™‚

  127. Michelle November 16, 2012 at 4:11 am #

    Now I feel like an even cooler mom since my daughter and I do a lot of these activities on a regular basis! Love this list. Another thing that I just introduced my 7 year old to is the book store. She loves to look through all the books which are displayed better than at the library. And I can hang out with her or look through some magazines. Very relaxing!

    • hillary November 16, 2012 at 6:29 am #

      Yes! Bookstores are like therapy. And the displays just inspire you more!

  128. Angela November 16, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    I’ve done quite a few of these already with my now 4yr old daughter. She loves it, I love it, Win! We have this soda shop near by that will make just about any flavor or flavor combo available (also sales candy and has games to play) We have done that, she loves it. I also try to really be there for her, which means I am playing in the make-believe story going on between her stuffed animals. I love this post, keep it up πŸ™‚

    • hillary November 16, 2012 at 6:26 am #

      Thank you for visiting! I just wrote one this week about dating older daughters πŸ™‚

  129. Shawna November 17, 2012 at 3:37 am #

    I totally agree with the coffee line!!!! I have for kids 13, 10, 8, 5. All of my kiddos drink it! Yes even the 5yr old!!! I love me some COFFEE… And so do my kids!!!

    • hillary November 17, 2012 at 4:06 am #

      I think it just makes the kid cooler. For realz.

  130. Vktinez November 17, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    I love the idea, but my daughters are 22 & 25 I need memorable dates for an older/ tougher crowd πŸ™‚

  131. jonah November 18, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    make magic mud together (cornstarch and water, food colouring). play with it together. get gross and muddy with it. throw blobs of it at the bathtub wall. totally fun to be messy. especially with permission. uber fun to get messy with mom.

  132. Connie November 18, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Love, love your list. Made me miss my mom, who I lost 4 years ago to cancer. However, I have sooooo many wonderful memories that she gave me. And most of hers didn’t involve spending much if any money when we were little girls. I’m sure that bond she started with me as a child is what allowed us to be best friends as adults.
    My 8 year old daughter and I have done many of these on your list! She loves going with me to get our nails done, and she gets to get a pedi before our beach vacation. She LOVES doing crafts with me and just told me yesterday exclaimed “I’m so glad you’re a scrapbooker mom!” lol
    We did a mother/daughter fall weekend at a church camp, and I will always cherish those memories. She asked if we can do it again next year!

  133. Sarah November 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

    I have 2 little girls and one boy, although he is on the furrier side. I love these ideas, and a lot of them are free or inexpensive, so that is always a great plus. I didn’t read all of the cmments, so I’m sorry if someone already suggested this…#4 says a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt…I know there are apps for phones and I’m sure other things like ipads and such, that are called geocacheing. They are treasure hunts with a gps. They are a great way to spend time together and have a bit of an adventure. They can be for any type of terrain that you would like, so they can be for anyone. Thanks for the list!

  134. Sara November 26, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I love this. I still remember my mom waking me up extra early to go have Shoney’s breakfast before school. One of my all time favorite memories and one I hope to recreate with my daughter one day.

  135. Margaret November 27, 2012 at 9:46 am #

    Oh my gosh I love this so much! πŸ™‚ and I laughed when I read what you said about the nutcracker ballet because I felt the same way when I went to it when I was a little girl!

  136. Karianne November 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

    My husband and I do “date night” with our kids seperately. He takes one out, I take one out. We get gift cards for each “couple” for Christmas, and we go whenever we have a nice free night. We get dressed up, (tiaras too), and head to a restaurant and then to the mall (claires) for a treat. Once, after dinner (Friendly’s), I took my oldest daughter to the Glamour Shots Studio, and for a $7 makeover special, we both got airbrushed makeup, hairdo’s, dressed alike & got the 1 freebie 8×10 picture. She LOVED it. And I felt like a movie star/floosie. (And the best mom EVER!)

    • hillary November 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      You are hands down the cutest mom ever! How fun for your kids!

  137. Maria November 30, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    3 girls ages 14,9,2 I had one of these dates with my oldest daughter it was really nice. We did the Twilight Marathon 5 movies straight!!!
    “I survived” Actually it was Great!
    I was the cool mom for a day. She got to skip school and spend time with her old mom πŸ™‚

    Trying to think of something special for the 9 yr old.

    • hillary November 30, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Thats so sweet! I think you just have to go with whatever it is that she really loves and meet her in the middle πŸ™‚

  138. Erica December 12, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    I love this post because I am always looking for something to do with my little girl. Also, I commend you for #20 and stating to put bug spray on. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes bug spray is VERY important!!!

  139. Melissa December 17, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    I have 2 little boys so my “daughter” is my niece. We are very close and something we LOVE to do together is go to Sephora. She just turned 13 and I signed her up for their Beauty Insider card and she got her birthday gift from them. She was thrilled. We also play with lip gloss, the colored hair extensions, and polish. Then we go to California Pizza Kitchen and share a pizza and salad. She is such a sweet girl.

  140. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc December 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    like this post!! Great job

  141. Jennifer December 19, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Love, Love, Love it! I have three daughters that are 10, 7, and 19 months. They would love these and cannot wait to do them. We do a lot of things at home together, but you just gave me more great ideas! Thanks so much!

    • hillary December 19, 2012 at 1:12 am #

      Oh good! Happy to help πŸ™‚ How fun to have three girls!

  142. newdawnnewday December 19, 2012 at 1:39 am #

    My 4 1/2 year old have done all of these, less 3 – a play, the ballet, and American Girl Doll Store. With 3 kids I schedule one on one time with each of them fairly regularly. I have to say, it’s a lot easier to find things to do with my daughter than it is to find things to do with my boys!

  143. Lexi December 19, 2012 at 4:18 am #

    I definitely agree with the American Girl Store date. You actually may not even end up buying anything. It still will be fun. When I was still at the doll playing age the only American Girl Store was in Chicago. Eventually they opened one in NYC which is by me and my mom and I went when we went to the city one day. Even though I was in high school it was still exciting because it reminded me of how special my dolls were to me. One was given to me by my parents for Christmas and the other I bought myself after working very hard and saving my allowance money and birthday money. So even though I was too old for the dolls, it was still a wonderful trip and a real moment with my mom. On the subject of coffee that was actually a Daddy Daughter date. On Saturdays when my Dad was stuck with me and I didn’t have a ballet class (after we had leftover pizza for breakfast) my Dad would hand me a glass of coffee (caffeinated) mixed with chocolate milk and a couple cookies. I would say, “Daddy what is this?” to which he would reply, “Don’t worry about it kid, just dunk your cookies in it.”

    • hillary December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

      Aw that’s really sweet! I’m going to be doing some daddy daughter dates in January! And I would still like to go to a doll store πŸ™‚

  144. Nicole December 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    This list is great! I made my daughter a mommy-daughter date box for Christmas, with girt cards for all the fun places around our place, mini-golf, movies, swimming, indooor playground, and museum… She will be soooooo excited!

  145. Jamie December 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    This is so sweet! I have one daughter and she’s only 2 right now, but I will definitely be pinning this and coming back to it! There are some things here that we can definitely do together like the park play date and baking. She LOVES to help me in the kitchen. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for posting these great ideas!

    For Love of Cupcakes

    • hillary December 28, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      Yes, even starting at two creates a great tradition! Thank you for stopping by πŸ™‚

  146. amy jane December 30, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    great list! I will definitely be using these ideas! I did take my oldest daughter on a date a few months after her baby sister was born. We went to our local bakery and had a treat and brought some coloring books and crayons. It was so fun to hang out with her alone!

  147. Lisa December 30, 2012 at 2:37 am #

    I love the ideas… I have a 10 year old daughter and have done most of those…We love mani/pedis and the local community theater is great here! One of our favorite things to do is spend some time (read: a couple hours) in Barnes and Noble.. or ANY book store! We end up buying a book or two, but we also peruse a few others…

  148. Ruth December 31, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    These are all things I have done with my nine year old daughter! It never gets old! The key is to make time to really listen to her ideas! Children are fascinating.

  149. Kim R. January 1, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    I just read this and I’m so glad for all these great ideas! My littles are now 6 & 8 and I relish the one on one time with each of them. I like to garden with my lovies in the fall and spring. They help me pick out which flowers to plant, help weed and water in the summer and get genuinely excited to see the bulbs start to peek through in the spring! We even make bouquets to bring to our neighbors and grandma! We read about what flowers will grow well together and when to plant them when we are snowed in during the winter too! I even use the flowers and leaves for artsy projects like drawing or printing the leaves. The time we invest in the garden helps to create a common goal between us and also fosters a sense of pride and care in the environment that I want to instill in them as I watch them grow!

  150. Courtney January 1, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    You do know that even decaf has caffeine in it right? It is just has less caffeine than the non decaffeinated. Different brands of decaf have different amounts of caffeine too. Besides the energy boost… it’s hard for little bodies to break down the caffeine. Caffeine stays in the body for 12 hours after consumption yikes!

  151. Charity Vincent January 2, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    I couldn’t have seen this on Pinterest at a better time. My oldest is almost 12 & is a total back-talking, know-it-all, walking attitude on wheels. Maybe if I take her on a few of these dates, it’ll help calm her down!! Thanks!!!

  152. Sarah Dilks January 6, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    I did the mani and pedi with my daughter. Along with the American Girl store. We took a weekend trip just the two of us. It was a great trip one I will always treasure.

  153. Victoria January 9, 2013 at 5:38 am #

    My grandmother bought all her grand-daughters American Girl Dolls for our 5th Christmas. Being the third to receive one I was more than excited to finally turn five. My cousins and I had so much fun playing with our dolls together, and we always had something in common although we would only see each other a few times a year. When I was six or seven my mom took me to the American Girl Doll store in Chicago with my best friend and her mom. The mommy-daughter date was so much fun! We never spent the money to eat at the Cafe (it’s freaking expensive), but I really didn’t care. Walking around the store was doll heaven. If your daughter is into dolls, American Girl is the way to go. Great books to encourage reading and learning about history!

    • hillary January 10, 2013 at 3:08 am #

      I think 5 is a good age to start that. My daughter loves dolls but I want to make sure she really appreciates it before making that kind of investment. That sounds like such a sweet tradition for your family growing up!

  154. Toni January 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    My Coco loves rainbow yogurt dates with me. I have tried other yogurt shops but the place with the rainbow yogurt is her all time favorite and she smiles the whole time πŸ™‚ BTW I <3 that you have a Coco too πŸ™‚ Is that her actual name or nickname? My daughters name is Nicolette but we call her Colette or Coco.

    • hillary January 10, 2013 at 3:07 am #

      I tried to comment on your own blog but couldn’t cause I don’t have tumblr. Your Coco is adorable! Ours is short for Cosette. But Coco fits her best. So far the only Cocos I’ve met have been really vivacious, fun, and adorable girls. It’s a great name πŸ™‚

  155. Stefanie January 11, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    Great, fun, easy ideas presented in an entertaining way. The giant crothes at the ballet, and kid with coffee is cooler! Loved it! I have two daughters and I can totally back you up on the importance of dating them. They love it, they remember them, and the really do need your one on one attention from time to time.

    • hillary January 11, 2013 at 3:35 am #

      Absolutely. I’ll never forget those one on one times I got to have with my mom.

  156. Michelle January 11, 2013 at 5:14 am #

    I just found this post (from Pinterest!) and I love it. What great ideas. My girl and I have done a number of them – although the movie idea doesn’t work for us as it’s “too loud and too big”, but we transformed that one into a mall walking, bridal dress browsing (she was 6) day and she was thrilled. Another that we love is going to tea – there is a Tea House near us and we go over occasionally for tea – it’s quite fancy. Thanks for sharing – now I have to go pin this on my page so I can remember it!

    • hillary January 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      That’s adorable! My daughter would flip if I took her to a bridal shop–she’d want to try on everything πŸ™‚

  157. Nikki January 13, 2013 at 4:26 am #

    One thing that I’ve done with my daughter that really made an impression was surprise her with a trip to a local place that she really wanted to go. It was a little ranch-type place right outside of town where we rode horses, swam, played in the petting zoo, and rode more horses all day long. Just the two of us. She thought she was going to work with me that day and that we had to stop by the ranch to pick up something for my boss. halfway down the trail she asked if we were going to get in trouble for being late. I said surprise! Happy birthday, Baby Girl. Her response: YEE HAW!!!!!!!

    • hillary January 14, 2013 at 7:24 am #

      How sweet! Sounds like an unforgettable memory!

  158. Nicole January 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

    Great list! Have done many of these with my 8 y/o! The key, really, is just spending time together. Money or no money, there are always things you can do for free, and many museums and zoos/aquariums often have “free nights” where you can check things out gratis. Also, an alternative to the American Girl store (which is amazing, do doubt -my daughter and I checked out the Chicago store, and didn’t buy a thing, but still had tons of fun picking the doll that looked most like her, and playing with the sets they have out), is just finding some inexpensive Barbies at your local store, taking them and dressing them up, and then staging your own photo shoot.

    Another tradition my daughter and I have now, is birthday trips. Her birthday is always right at the beginning of the school year, yielding low attendance at parties, so we decided to stop throwing money away on parties (we still have small festivities with a close friend or two though) and taking annual birthday trips on the weekend instead. One year, for her 5th birthday, I took her to Disney World on her actually birthday -just the two of us- and it was the most magical experience for her, getting free birthday treats from staff, having the characters wish her happy birthday, and even having the whole restaurant (the Plaza) sing her happy birthday. The icing on the cake, was that Disney even had a promotion that year, where you got in free on your birthday. We are Florida residents, so that was easier for us to do than most, but in the meantime, we have taken lots of other fun birthday trips -Gatlinburg, Chicago, etc.

    A special PJs only drive around to look at holiday lights, a day at the beach or lake, touring local caves (Mammoth caves is a real hit!), anything, as long as you do it together!

  159. Lami Martin January 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

    I so love these ideas.. I have a 12 year old and a 14 month old little miss and can see so many things for us to do on this list πŸ˜€

  160. Misty January 17, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    ” When we look at the stars we end up talking about God, heaven, and when she can have a bunk bed. Sometimes zombies work their way in there, too.” Very nearly sprayed my coffee on the monitor when I read that last bit! My almost7 year old is the same way. You never know WHAT craziness will come out of her mouth, or what amazingly deep insight. She is the oldest of three daughters. We can’t afford much right now, but I do try to set aside Momma and Big girl time, Momma and Preschooler time, and Momma and Toddler time. I love your ideas!

  161. Bananamomma January 18, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    My daughter is only 19months but I try to do lots of mom/daughter dates. We have gone swimming( sounds easy but nearest pool is two hours away over an ice road), we go out for sled rides together, we do baths together, we bath tub paint together. And on a few occasions we have got all dressed up and had a girls only dinner. She seems to “get it” even at that age, and we have such a great time together. I think it’s just important to throw the clock to the wind and let your hair down with them. Showing them they are the most important person in your life. And I totally remember feeling so special when my mom and I would go out for lunch together every now and then. It was just so special.

  162. Erica Brooks January 19, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    Great list. My daughter and I have completed at least 15 and have the remainder on our “to do” list. πŸ™‚

    • hillary January 20, 2013 at 9:23 pm #

      Wow! Good for yoU!

  163. Cathy January 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

    Awesome list! I have three girls…oldest turns three tomorrow. I definitely need to take them on dates…alone. Something my husband and I have been wanting to do so they can have special time with us without their siblings. Thanks for sharing

    • hillary January 22, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      Wait…you have three under THREE? Girl, I give you kudos. I bet you guys have some great stories! And those girls will be close.

  164. cristina lange January 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    I love these ideas! My 3 year old and I LOVE to bake and do crafts together! We have just started a “movie night” where we pop popcorn, have hot chocolate and get in cozies to watch a movie together on the couch (lately Dora or a disney movie πŸ™‚ I love it!

    • hillary January 22, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      Its starting to get really fun as she’s enjoying some of my favorite old movies! Coco’s favorite right now is Little Women–I can’t believe my four year old likes it, but she really does!

  165. susan January 22, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

    My daughter (now 12) loves to go to “Tea”. We have a store in our hometown that serves tea, and we also have an annual Mother/Daughter Tea with her American Heritage Girl troop.
    We also love to have a “Girls Night Out” camping, even if it is just in the back yard. She loves cooking over the open fire.

    • hillary January 22, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

      Sounds precious. A real tea party. So sweet.

  166. Shelby January 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    My two year old loves our trips to starbucks. We started doing it a couple of months ago. I get a latte she gets hot chocolate. As of right now she believes it is coffee because it is in the same cup just child size and she thinks she is all that! lol Im a coffee fiend and she thinks coffee is just a cool grown up thing so this is great for us.
    We have little spa days at home two. homemade face masks, mani pedis, hair the whole 9 yards. If your daughter is a little prissy like mine she will love it.

  167. julie January 24, 2013 at 2:14 am #

    My daughter is 8 months old and I’m so excited now to do this! I love these ideas, thanks!

  168. Michelle January 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    thanks! I have done most of these and we have loved every minute. Another good idea is to bring your camera and encourage the little photographer in her. Have done this several times lately and my 13 yr old wants to plan more excursions with the camera in tow. We are discovering nature, history and each other. Blowing up some of the pictures and doing some black and whites and framing them for wall display. She is proud of her work and so am I. πŸ™‚

  169. Kelly January 27, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    I LOVE this. Thank you for the reminder to slow down and enjoy our time with our girls. I just pinned it!

  170. Kimberly January 30, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    I love this article.!!! I have a boy and a girl, 17 months apart in age. So it is hard to divide my time evenly. I love that there are now 2 lists. Its always good to have new ideas. My Daughter loves going to Zumba with me. She is only 2 1/5. She laughs and jumps while I get in a good workout. Just another idea…

    • hillary January 31, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Hadn’t thought of involving them in exercise! Great idea!

  171. Audrey G. February 5, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    LOVE this list! I don’t have a daughter myself but I do have a niece. I plan on doing these special things when I’m with her! Shes still quite young but I’ve already dragged that little girl to natural history museums and multiple zoos lol..these will definitely help fill in the “big trip” gaps!! πŸ™‚

    • hillary February 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Aww I remember having an auntie that took me on dates–meant the world to me and I still have a wonderful relationship with her!

  172. Rebecca February 6, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    For Christmas I gave each of my three daughters a night out with mommy (including going out to their restaurant of choice…a treat our family rarely has). I was a bit surprised at your list, because we covered some of them. Daughter number one and I went to a movie, went shopping for doll clothes, and ate out at Cracker Barrel. Daughter number 2 and I went shopping (per her request) to use her Christmas money, then we went to a snow festival with winter fireworks, and had dinner out at Old Country Buffet. We finished off the evening with hot coco at home. Daughter number three and I went to the children’s museum (for 4 hours of play) and then out for dinner and dessert. I’ve done this once before and we all have good memories…we’ve done putt-putt and bowling, too. Ideas are endless if you can get someone to watch the other children. I’m thankful for a husband who lets me get away. Thanks for the post!

    • hillary February 7, 2013 at 7:18 am #

      How fun for you to have three girls! I love that you made that a Christmas present–great idea!

  173. Alicia L. February 15, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to take my daughter to a ballet,Its a must do on my list of things to do with my daughter.

    • hillary February 18, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      Just watch out for those men in tights!

  174. Alicia L. February 15, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

    Oh theres a doll musuem in the area,I would like to take her to soon too.

  175. Toni February 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Thank you for this list!! I have a goal that I go on a Mommy/Daughter date once a month with my daughter (she’s 7). I have an almost 10 month old son, so having one on one time with my daughter is a must! We recently went to a ballet together & while I think I loved it more than she did, it was an awesome experience for both of us. I have done several of these already with my daughter & she has a blast! Thanks for some more ideas!!

    • hillary February 18, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

      You’re welcome! Love to hear that people are using this!

  176. Rachel February 19, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    I love these ideas! For my 20th birthday last year, my mom treated me to the Katy Perry movie. We were the only two in the theater and it was wonderful! Since then, we have been incorporating more “dates” into our mother-daughter relationship…even if that means going shopping for diabetic supplies together (it sounds lame but I’m a type 1 and my mommabear was just diagnosed as a type 2 and it thrills me to have someone finally understand it now).

  177. Christy February 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm #

    After I had my 2nd child I was always looking for ways to have quality time with my three year old. Since leaving the house wasn’t an option, we used to to take a blanket and spread it out in her treehouse and eat junk food (cheetos, cookies, etc) while the baby napped. We could just take the baby monitor out with us. She loved this alone time together.

    • hillary February 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      That is precious! I want a treehouse!

  178. Laura February 26, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    I love this list- but it doesn’t just have to be 1 on 1. I have 5 daughters, aged from 15-28, and not a single one of them got an Abundance of 1-1 time. But, every so often each did. What we did do, though, was play. All of us. We built forts out of blankets and the table. We sing in the car, each taking turns with the song choice. We played with shaving cream on paper (not that it didn’t go everywhere- but clean-up is a breeze!) I am 1/2 likely to be the one saying “punch buggy- no punch back”. We did the many of those listed above too, but we did them as a family. We went to the local university to see all the animals and feed the ducks, then to the dairy bar for ice cream. We went bowling and mini-golfing. We stayed up ridiculously late (not on school nights) reading stupid jokes from the internet to each other. As long as you are genuinely interacting with your child, and responding directly to them, it will all be good- and fun. Enjoy. I am embarking on this journey with my first grandson, and I think many on this list work for boys too.

    • hillary February 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      Thats so fun that you get to hang with five sweet ladies! I would love to have more daughters πŸ™‚

  179. Jennythevoice March 3, 2013 at 3:35 am #

    OMG ! I love this Idea!!! I cant wait to take my little Sofia on a date with me !!

  180. Crystal March 12, 2013 at 3:16 am #

    Great list! I have 2 girls and I’m a huge fan of mommy-daughter dating! We’ll be trying out some of your suggestions. Our personal top pick is the aquarium. Ours has a huge indoor playground, that is great in the winter months. Keep up the dating! It makes for stronger girls that lead to amazing women πŸ™‚

  181. Mary March 13, 2013 at 1:17 am #

    My 7 yr old daughter loves to be taken to a particular historic mansion with sprawling gardens and fountains. It’s a little bit of a drive but we love there and go a few times a year. She often suggests that we go out to eat at a restaurant, go to the local free zoo and ecology center. Plant nurseries are a great place to look around and admire the beauty of plants and trees. There are free farms we visit on dates, and browsing pet stores beats out Toys r us any day!! Neighborhood walks, night ones are so nice and serene to talk and yes, look at the stars. Oh and beach time!

    • hillary March 14, 2013 at 6:22 am #

      Ooh the historic mansion sounds wonderful!

  182. Ruby B. March 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Absolutely LOVE these! I have 2 daughters (4 & 6yrs) and they’re always forced to do most everything together. If I can find a way, I’d like to do these things & more w/ them individually. Give them that one-on-one quality time. Maybe while I take Thing 1 out, the Hubs could take Thing 2 for a daddy daughter date…& vice versa. THANKS for the great ideas!

    • hillary March 29, 2013 at 5:13 am #

      How fun to have two daughters! I really hope to have another little girl one day πŸ™‚

  183. Jengraycat March 22, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    This is an awesome list! I have 4 daughters, the oldest is 7, youngest is 4 months. I’m trying really hard to carve out time to spend with each of them on their own and this list gives me some great ideas for what to do. Thanks for your post!

  184. Lfox April 4, 2013 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m so happy to see that I’ve already done lots of these things with my girls on my own accord and I think this is due to having Dad/Kids dates. Our dad was a single parent and tried his best with my brother and me. He also had wonderful parents that helped in raising us. My dad took it upon himself to take two teenagers on vacations – by himself – and we always had a wonderful time. Dad also would take us to the movies, fishing, swimming, etc, when he could. He worked second shift so we didn’t see him after we got home from school, but, he’d always make up for it when we were together.

  185. Caroline April 12, 2013 at 7:22 am #

    So cute! I’ve done all of these with my kids. πŸ™‚ My older two daughters, 9 yrs and 8 yrs, I took both to the American Girl Doll store at the same time though because the closest one is a good 4 hours from us! It’s so fun!

  186. Laura April 13, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    While I’m not a mommy I am an auntie of two great kids a boy and a girl. I try to take both of them on dates my niece and I have done most of that. They both love it, she more than he. One thing you could add for when she gets older is a shopping spree of sorts. For my nieces ninth birthday I saved up (I’m a full time college student/part time employee with plenty of bills) and gave her 60 dollars to buy school clothes. She’s very use to her mom and grandma and sometimes me going in and buying her clothes we pick. So this was her first true experience in having the reigns on fashion choices and such with limitations no skinny jeans and all had to be school dress code. My niece is great at math and good at bargain hunting we went to crazy 8’s and she bought cute stuff with little guidance and jeans at old navy. It was a great date that she super enjoyed and showed me that she had her own fashion sense different from ours lots of bright colors and glitters plus anything that had a little ruffle.

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  188. Kathleen April 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    This morning I took my daughter to breakfast, and it was awesome. My husband was off coaching a baseball game, so she and I snuggled in bed and I asked if she wanted to go to a girls only breakfast. She was psyched. We just went to our local friendlies, and breakfast for the 2 of us was under $10. It’s seriously one of the highlights of my weekend.

    Frankly I find any activity that we do as just the two of us great. We have a special time that we call PGT (a friend told me she did it with her daughter). It’s Private Girl Time. It’s time for just she and I, especially it’s a safe time where she can talk to me about anything. She’s only 4, so right now it’s usually us talking about when Daddy is frustrated and how can we make things better, a friend she had a “fight” with at school etc. But’s it’s a great building block for her as she grows up. A foundation to know she can come to me, and I will be her parent as well as a person she can trust. Please note…parent comes first.

  189. Motherhood on the Rocks April 21, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    I found this on Pinterest and absolutely LOVE it! My daughter is 2 1/2 and I’ve been looking for fun things to do together – definitely pinning. Great ideas!

  190. Mary Busby May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    It doesn’t change when they become adults. My adult married daughters and I have been making trips together for about 7 years or so. Sooooo much fun. It was more about Dad/Daughter dates as little girls but now it’s my time. Love the time with them. Wish I could do this with my son but before marriage he wasn’t interested….now he’s married, with a new baby and there’s no time ~ MAYBE some day!

  191. Annie July 31, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    in desperate attempts to repair mother daughter relationship after my awful teenage years, i sought out ways mom and i could reconnect.. finding a few one evening classes at nearby community colleges, since both my mom and I pride our love of learning this was where i started to figure out how to be with her again finding cosmetolgy courses, time management, organizing (to bring out my ocd and bring order to her chaos) usually not over $25 and come away having learned something new and a positive experience.
    other thoughts for moms who own their own small business- INCUDE your daughter- help her find things shes good at that are also helpful to your business- i enjoyed helping come up with ideas for my moms plant shop she did every spring, we also found i was much faster at the bookeeping and inventory, and both had great ideas for designs – feeling valued and being part of th team helped our relationship and developed true work ethic which is priceless these days!

    • hillary August 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! Wow!

  192. Amber August 13, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    Such a great post, I appreciate that most of these ideas are budget friendly!

    • hillary August 14, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

      Great! Thank you for coming by!

  193. Stacia August 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

    Oh my gosh! Love this list. I often do a trip to Starbucks, the movies, manis, crafts but I really live the idea of getting gussied up and going out o dinner and of course, the ballet! The guy’s junk…. Awesome hilariousness!!!!

    • hillary August 17, 2013 at 10:47 am #

      Thanks for stopping by! Yah, I recommend warning your daughter before taking her to the ballet. I was not at all prepared for all that…junk.

  194. Catherine August 20, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

    I love the star-gazing idea. My mom used to take me on lunch dates a lot. There’s something girlie about a lunch date, and you can usually go to nicer restaurants without bothering people than at dinner. She also used to take me to High Tea. Super girlie and very sweet, but if you’re in the US (which I am), you can usually only find tea shops in cities.

  195. casey August 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    I found this at just the right time and thank you! I just got done telling my husband that I need to take her out for mommy and daughter time more.. I just had our second son and with a total of 7 kids between my sisters and I, shes the only girl..so shes been feeling left out lately..

  196. Kristi September 4, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    I have 3 little girls (ages 7,6, and 3). We try to have mommy daughter dates as often as possible. I try to have individual dates with each one when I can. We do things they enjoy doing. Like my oldest daughter likes live concerts and shopping, my 6 yr old likes dinner and frozen yogurt. My youngest likes going shopping or the park. They get so excited everytime I mention it. Besides mommy daughter dates my husband likes to take them to do things as well. They really enjoy that special time they get to spend with us one on one. Most the ideas you have listed I have done and they are excellent suggestion. Thanx for giving us mommies new ideas πŸ™‚

  197. ashley September 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

    So awsome

  198. Knstrick September 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    I think I saw someone else mention it, but I’m looking forward to taking my daughter to her first tea. We have a great downtown area with real tea rooms and when she is old enough I plan to take her to one and give her a gift I bought for her before she was born- a matching set of tea cups, one larger and one slightly smaller, hand painted with a mother swan on the larger and a baby swan on the smaller. I hope she likes it and one day keeps the set to give to her daughter.

  199. Spencer October 5, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

    When my girl was still at home we did Mother-Daughter Day… Sometimes it was something small, but generally we did something big and made he day really special for her. It almost always included lunch out and sometimes dinner too. Yes, there were even days when I let her skip schhol for a fun day together. She’s 42 now and we still have special days together. It was those special times… long before safety seats, when she’d sit in the front seat, I’d hold her hand and we’d talk about important things…. manners, drugs, character, honesty…. she was a captive audience and on the way, for a fun day, we could cover a lot of important stuff. I wouldn’t trade those times for anything.

  200. astrid from holland October 10, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Love your ideas!

    My three year old and I always enjoy visiting the library. We sit on a couch in the childrens section and I read book after book to her for as long as she likes!
    Wonderful quality time and we take home her favorite books to read them again before she goes to sleep at night!

  201. Suzan October 20, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Found this on pinterest and glad to see I have done or am ding most of these on regular bases. As working mom you tend to try making the best of the time you have. One thing I recently started which is exceptional bonding is doing a course together. The first thing we did was fouraging and cooking with what we found in nature, and now we are doing quilting lessons. Gardening together is one of the favourite things my boy and me have been doing regularly.

  202. Sarah October 21, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    My daughter and I go to Frozen Yogurt almost every Friday when I pick her up from school so I loved to see that made the top of your list. One of our other favorite Mommy Daughter Dates is walking to a nearby park (nothing to play on, just grass and trees) and bring a big sheet, pack our favorite snacks and of course her pillow pet. We just lay under a shady tree, eat our goodies and talk. I love doing this as there are no distractions, just her and I and the warm outdoor breeze. Loved so many of your ideas and can’t wait to try them out w/ my little one.

  203. Miranda October 29, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I took my daughter to a tea room for our date. We got dressed up and it was super fun. She did well for being 3. Then we went window shopping and got a new pair of fairy wings. Lovely ideas, thank you.

  204. NonnaWick November 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

    All great ideas! We had four children under five years, and found that our oldest had a difficult time “sharing” mom and dad with all those newcomers! Not having a spare cent to spend, we simply gave her a bedtime an hour later than her siblings, and that was her time to spend with us. Made a huge difference!

  205. Rebecca Williams November 27, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    I enjoyed your site. My daughter is 11 and we’ve been doing these things for years. One of our favorites is trips. I only have one child, but we took Amtrack to Chicago and visited museums. We love going to museums…even historical site museums. We did pizza out last night to connect and swam later. Dates to the zoo, see Christmas lights, read and nap time, beauty parlor night…I wash her hair she washes min..paint nails…etc. Finally our fav…movie/game night.

  206. Rebecca Williams November 27, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I forgot…my mother was also my inspiration. We had our dates and traveled until she could no longer handle traveling. I miss those days. She is still my best friend! Love you Mom!

    • hillary December 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      Aww–this is so precious!

  207. Tash Daly January 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Love this list, I have done a lot of these with my daughter. One I would recommend adding to list is having High Tea together. Not only at a special place but also having a high tea tradition at home once a month or once a quarter, making it a time when you can really chat about things that matter to you both.

  208. Jessica January 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

    i love these ideas and cannot wait to begin doing them with my four month old! at what age did you start these dates?

  209. Gillian February 4, 2014 at 8:03 am #

    I loved seeing this post. I think there needs to be more of this happening. In my experience working in kids camps and just observing whats out there, many parents look to let someone else do it and are less engaged with their children’s life. It’s refreshing to read this and I can’t wait to do this when my baby gets older. She is 5 months now and I take her on dates but i’m the one looking goofy as I make silly faces and sing random songs outloud….for her! It’s all good if I look odd to others! ha!

  210. Susan Maccarelli February 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Someone else mentioned this, but browsing in the pet stores is a hit for my daughter (and my son) – stop for frozen yogurt on the way home and it just doesn’t get any better! Enjoyed your list and found you on SITS. Cheers!

  211. Tahnee van Meyeren April 1, 2014 at 11:33 pm #

    This is so special! I do most of them already with my three year old, but the extra ideas are super awesome! Thanks for the tip πŸ™‚

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  213. Haley August 4, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Your intro hadme laughing about Target. I work at one and you can definitely tell which kids are hellions and which ones are parented the right way. At the age of 2 my daughter got put in time out at build a bear (which happened to be across from santa and he saw) and she has never acted out in public again. She turns 6 soon. But Everyday I hear screaming from kids who don’t get their way.

    Anyways thanks for the ideas. I want to take my 6 year old out for her birthday and this gave me a lot of ideas!

  214. Kam Kay August 8, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    Mother daughter bond is so special. Lovely ideas. Many of these are in my to-do list now!

  215. Patti September 27, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I’m a mom of 3 daughters (15,11,11). 1 thing about doing the dinner date with your daughter, I’ve taken all 3 on dinner dates, not only for mommy/daughter time, but also it’s for them to practice nice table manners. They love to exaggerate their manners by being snooty and silly! Another thing we do, I find out when there’s going to be meteor showers that are visible in our area, then we wake up and go outside in the back yard to watch for them! It’s an awesome bonding time of lying in chairs or on blankets watching the sky at 3am and just talking. (I live in the suburbs, so even there it’s possible)

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  218. Mary January 23, 2015 at 10:04 am #

    First time concerts for me and my 3-year old granddaugther – Wiggles.

    It was so much fun for the both of us but she was out of this world with the experience. She talked about it for weeks and of course, wanted to go again to relive the event.

    This was something we both will treasure for the rest of our lives.

  219. Robyn March 4, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    My mom and I used to have swim dates. It was from when I was sixteen to almost 25. We would meet in the pool at about eight every Sunday evening and lounge around the dark pool talking about our week, starting at the stars and counting the planes that flew over head. So relaxing and I still look back at it fondly.

  220. Mari Medina March 10, 2015 at 1:51 pm #

    I love them all and have done them all with my little. We call our dates, Mommy and Bella dates. My little loves them so and looks forward to them all the time and we actually twin for most of them (I know…I know super corny for some but it works for us lol) anyway, I think I would add to the list…visit a theme park together just the 2 of you, it is super fun and a real treat!…Also praying together is so AMAZING!!!

  221. Linda May 13, 2015 at 11:31 am #

    I’m planning summer dates with my 10 year old. Some of these are on our list; others that were not include “high tea” at a tea room; hanging out at the pool (Mommy will have to get in, too); an at-home spa day of making our own facial masks followed by mani-pedi’s; going to the salon for a fun up-do just because…guess we could dress up fancy and let Daddy take us out that night! And we’re going to do lots of reading together.

  222. Fahiemah Kenny August 28, 2015 at 7:54 am #

    Love all these ideas. Ive done many dates with my daughters and as a Montessori teacher I suggested a mother daughter date to one of my learners parents. This is much needed for this little girl. I decided to tag along and be the photographer to this special occation. Memories are priceless.

  223. Tanya October 9, 2015 at 8:00 am #

    Oh my word! I love this! I am so in love with my little girl… I think these are great ideas! And you are totally a woman after my own heart. “But your kid will be cooler if they drink coffee, just sayin’.” πŸ™‚ Love it! Thanks!


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