Need Mommy Daughter Date Ideas

Apparently on the way home from preschool today, Sophia cried to my husband that I’m too busy for her these days. Talk about stabbing me in the gut with a knife and twisting it. I know no one says having more than one kid was easy.

I know I’ve spent more time with her brother than her in the past three weeks. I’m sure it’s a hard transition for her. Before she had my attention almost all the time. Thankfully the first two weeks she didn’t notice quite as much since my parents and then my mother-in-law were here to keep her busy.

So what can I do with her? We don’t have much of a budget for major outing. I’d love to take her to our local paint your own pottery place. Not sure I’m willing to pay $20 for a tiara shaped bank as well as painting fees. Plus I think she’ll be upset it’s not instant gratification.

I need your help with some ideas. I live on the Maryland side of the DC Metro area.Here are the requirements:

1. Entire outing must be under $20
2. It must not take more than 3 hours, including travel time (I am breastfeeding, after all)
3. Must be fun for a 4 year old
Bonus points for something interactive, crafty, and something that I’ll enjoy too.

Don’t have a prize if you win, but I can send you a virtual cookie.


  1. Pack a lunch and take the Metro to the National Building Museum to play at the Building Zone or just stare up in awe at the huge space. Or take the Metro to the Museum of American History to see faves like Sesame Street characters. American History also has a cool interactive kids zone and science lab by the Julia Child kitchen. Another Metro idea…Union Station for a mother-daughter lunch. I'd suggest Corner Bakery or Uno's for their lunch specials for cheap options.

  2. Safiyyah and I just started doing these. On our first one, we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory in Columbia, then spent the rest of the afternoon in the mall. I treated her to some much-needed tights and an on-sale swimsuit. Then we went up to the Apple Store so that she could play some Dora games on their Macs. They also have a carousel and a play area that are great any day. On another of our dates, we just walked to the library and picked out some good books and talked. I really felt the bond between us deepen with this quality time, something which had been missing since baby no 2 came along.

  3. Since I am now engaged to a man with 3 children …. my 11 year old daughter and I have claimed Wedensday night as "Our Night". I run a business and she gets ready for bed around 8:30pm – so that really only leaves us 3 hours. The nice thing is that we plan for it every week. It is something we both look forward to and it is time she knows she has my undivided attention. Our nights range from trips to see an early movie, getting our nails done, walking around the mall (you dont have to buy anything just walking and taking in the sites and talking) … but one of her favorites is going to 5 and Below or a Dollarstore. Kids can ALWAYS find something they want. In the summer local parks offer great scenery. You can also look at the local Home Depot or Lowes stores as they offer how-to craft classes for kids. I will just add this … setting a weekly time is what was most important for my daughter. No matter what is going on in our family's world or our world at work/school, we always have our wednesday night. Just hanging out together and letting everyone know this is our time I found to be exactly what she wanted :)

  4. Lauren, thank you for stopping by. My daughter have instituted a monthly day just for us. We've had a blast so far!

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