By peoplestaff225
Updated March 12, 2010 02:00 PM

Father-of-five Chris O’Donnell and his wife Caroline love being out with their brood — but that doesn’t mean the kids have to go everywhere.

The NCIS: Los Angeles star recently returned from a desert getaway for two. “It wasn’t a family trip — it was an adult trip — but ultimately it was a couple days with just the two of us,” he shares. “I think that’s really important.”

Fortunately, with lights out at 8 p.m. for Lily Anne, 10 ½, Christopher ‘Chip’ Eugene, 9, Charles McHugh, 6 ½, Finley, 4 this month, and Maeve Frances, 2, the couple need not travel far from home to unwind with a bit of one-on-one time each evening.

“They’re asleep … so that’s kind of our time,” O’Donnell explains, adding that the same rings true for the weekends. “It’s not the worst thing to stay home on a Saturday night and hang out.”

Putting his children at the top of his list of priorities, the 39-year-old admits his responsibilities are made “a little bit easier” thanks to his wife and a nanny. Still, the actor has placed any extras — including the occasional game of golf — on hold to spend as much time with his family.

“As crazy as our lives are, the highs are so high and the lows are so low, but at the end of the day, you go home and you see these beautiful kids and nothing else matters,” he muses. “You’re grateful for what you have.”

And grateful he is, taking each opportunity to show his kids some extra love and attention — even if it means rearranging his plans!

“Before I came here I was in Palm Springs and I was supposed to fly here from Palm Springs. I wasn’t feeling it,” he says. “I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta see my kids before I go,’ so I drove to L.A. and I saw them for five minutes, and then I got on a plane, but it made the difference. I can’t handle being away from them that long.”

Source: OK!

— Anya Leon