When my husband and I were first married, we were both working full-time and had no kids, so each week we would head out to dinner or a play or a concert or a movie . . . date nights were so fun and easy!Fast forward 9 years and three kids under the age of 6. We have a student loan debt the size of Alaska (thank you Physical Therapy school) and can’t afford a babysitter every weekend. Plus, I don’t want to leave my 4 month old baby with just anyone! Enter home dates – they’re a good time and a great way to try new things. So, we have had to be creative with our dating life. We still make it a priority to set aside one night a week where we turn off the computers and focus on just being together. Here are some of our favorite at-home date night ideas that we have tried (and loved)!
Plus . . . even if you don’t like these ideas, there are links to approximately 350 MORE date ideas at the bottom of this post. You have no excuse to not spend quality time with your spouse! That will take care of date nights for the next 7 years! You are welcome. 🙂 A lot of these could even make a fun first date!
And before we jump into the date ideas, I just wanted to share with you two things that have helped my marriage so much:
This cute journal will change the way that you look at your spouse and your marriage. All that you do is spend only a few minutes a day (or even less) filling out one simple sentence of gratitude toward each other – not only will it help you show more appreciation for each other, but it’s such a keepsake that you will treasure forever! It also helps strengthen your marriage because you will start to focus on what is GOOD in your spouse and in your life.
You can get your copy HERE.
We love the blog Family Good Things. The contributors are Dr Rob and Dr Tim. They often have guest writers with so much insight on dating and marriage. You will enjoy this post about 3 Keys to Having the Best Date Night Ever! These doctors are very knowledgeable and between them have a PhD in Family and Human Development, along with another degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development. They have been learning about marriage and teaching others the best ways to improve their marriage for over a decade.
Now on to the Date Ideas:
- Play “Would You Rather?” You will learn a lot about a person that you never knew when they are faced with a crazy question . . . you can find a lot of questions here.
- Forget Wine and Cheese . . . how about a Chocolate Tasting night? You can get all the info right here, along with a cute printable to make it happen.
- Watch a sports game together (or record one on the DVR and watch it together later). Eat nachos and hot dogs and cheer for your favorite team. Make bets on who will win and choose a fun prize for the winner.
- Give each other massages. Bonus points if you use Google or YouTube to learn some proper techniques on how to give massages.
- Have a “finger foods only” dinner and feed each other. Make it into a special night with fun decorations and a cheese board!
- Invest in an ice cream maker or a bread maker (you can actually get some pretty decent ones for really cheap at a local thrift store or consignment store) and invent your own concoctions.
- Go on a picnic. If it’s warm enough, try to go outside (even if it’s in your own backyard). And if it’s too cold, spread a quilt out on the floor, make some sandwiches, and keep your picnic indoors.
- Have a karaoke night! Find songs with lyrics on You Tube and sing your heart out. This is funniest if you can find some heart-wrenching ballads to belt out. 🙂
- Decorate mugs for each other. You can pick up mugs at the Dollar Store and use a sharpie marker to decorate it. It will be such a fun reminder of how much you love each other as you have your cup of coffee each morning (oh, how I love cute, cheesy love)! Here is a cute example.
- Play the Newlywed Game! See how well you really know one another. Have prizes for every correct answer. You can check out some fun questions here. You could even turn it into a scavenger hunt!
- Make Homemade Donuts. This recipe for Homemade Spudnuts is my favorite and it makes a TON so you can totally share some with the neighbors (or eat them all yourself . . . I won’t judge). This is a great way to learn a new skill too!
- Have a Video Game night. Seriously, I did this after we had been married for a couple months and we stayed up playing video games until 3 am . . . and my husband pretty much knew then that I was the best wife ever.
- Make it a theme night! Choose a theme and center everything you do around it. For example, if you choose an Italian theme, you could eat spaghetti and gelato, then have a movie night watchingThe Italian Job or Life is Beautiful. Some other fun theme ideas: Mexican, Asian, Christmas, Kid’s theme, 1950’s (or any decade), etc, etc.
- Have a romantic candle light dinner. It doesn’t matter if you are eating hot dogs and macaroni and cheese . . . anything eaten by candlelight is romantic (like our Crazy Dinner!) If you need another romantic idea, decorate your kitchen before you eat.
- Have a Fondue Night. Don’t have a fondue machine? No worries! You can melt chocolate or other dipping sauces in a slow cooker or even on your stove top! Check out my favorite Rocky Road Fondue dip. What better way to spend a night than dipping delicious food in cheese?
- Host a Book Club . . . for two! Check out two copies of the same book at the library and discuss the book as you read it. Ghost stories, anyone?
- Have a Homemade Pizza Night. We love to do this with our kids, but it would be fun to do with each other. Here is our favorite homemade pizza crust recipe. You could even take online cooking classes!
- Write out the story of how you met (and fell in love). Better yet- video tape it! Your kids and future posterity will be so grateful and it is so fun to go back and read (or watch) years down the road. It’s amazing how much you will forget!
- Have Breakfast in Bed (even if it’s a night date! Breakfast for dinner is one of my favorite meals!). Pull out the TV trays and go all out. Here are some of our favorite breakfast ideas!
- A Year In Review. It’s always so fun to go back and remember all the things that have happened in the last year. Use this printable to easily record and remember all that has gone on in the last 12 months.
- Make marshmallow guns and have a marshmallow war. Buy some PVC pipe from a hardware store and make your guns. Then have an all out war!
- Break a record! Find a record in Guinness Book of World Records and spend the night trying to break it. Try doing it together as a team or make it a competition and compete against each other to see who has the better record.
- Pop some popcorn and watch YouTube videos all night. Ask friends and family for recommendations or find some of the most popular ones. We were cracking up at some of the funny stuff on there!
- Have a living room campout. Make indoor s’mores and tinfoil dinners in your oven. Make a tent out of forts and pull out your blow-up mattress and sleeping bags on your living room floor.
- Have a snowy night party (winter time). Sneak outside (if you have kids, make sure they are asleep) and build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Come back inside when it gets too cold, make hot cocoa, and warm up under some big blankets.
- Have a movie marathon. Pick a theme (whether it’s an actor, genre, or series) and watch as many as you can. If you fall asleep, you can always pick up where you left off in the morning. 🙂 This could work as a virtual date too!
- Babysit for a friend. If you have kids, offer to watch a friend’s kids for a couple hours while they head out on a date and then trade them the following weekend. If you don’t have kids, watch some kid movies, play with Play Doh, and eat chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. Don’t have any friends with kids? You could always try dog-sitting! It’s always nice to offer a little help where you can.
- Take some personality tests and compare your results. Here are some good ones: Jung, True Colors, The 5 Love Languages, and The Color Code.
- Play Twister! See how tangled up you can get.
- Bubble bath for two. Need I say more?
- Play board games. Make it interesting by adding a rule that the loser of each game has to lose one piece of clothing. 🙂 Guarantee your husband will play Yahtzee like his life depends on it just so he can win.
- Play this fun Love Match game using personal things from your relationship.
And if this isn’t enough, here are even more Date Ideas.