Let’s face it, once you become a parent, date nights pretty much fall by the wayside. It’s not that you don’t want to spend time solo with your partner, it’s just that it takes so much coordinating! Plus, sitters are expensive and in today’s world, not always feasible for all families.
That is exactly why at-home date nights are the perfect option for weary parents who still want to connect. Whether it be for a low key anniversary celebration, Valentine’s Day, or just because, let these at-home date night ideas spark the romance and friendship that is no doubt the foundation of your relationship.
Netflix and (Actually) Chill
There is no shame in planning a basic at-home date night. Celebrate your love with a favorite takeout meal and a streamed movie. Be sure to start it early enough so you don’t drift off to sleep! Consider trying out George Clooney’s new The Midnight Sky on Netflix or Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. If you are like my husband and I, go the documentary route. We have recently enjoyed The Social Dilemma and age old favorites include Blackfish and Free Solo.
A Heart for Art
I have always wanted to take a pottery class as a fun date night out, but since those types of outings are on hold for many of us, it’s much more realistic to bring the art class in. Order up an art kit, find an online tutorial, and get creative together!
Primetime for Pampering
Who doesn’t love a little pampering? From head to toe, pick up a few spa items––a scalp massager, fancy massage oil or lotion, new nail polish color––and take turns offering at-home spa services to your love. Add some background music and who knows where all that hands-on time might lead?!?
Bring on the board games! Pour a drink or serve up a brownie sundae and start planning your strategy to kick your partner’s butt––love is competition and competition is love, right? Personally, my husband and I are all about Scrabble. I even bought my husband an official Scrabble dictionary so we can call each other out on rare words and have a definitive answer. Whatever you choose, be sure to have a decent wager on the table for the night’s winner.
Blast from the Past
Sometimes sweet and simple is the way to go. The day before your date, prompt your spouse to write down a few favorite memories––vacations, milestones, even hard seasons. Fill a mason jar with those memories and plan a “walk and talk” date. Before you head out, draw a memory and relive it together. Remembering monumental moments is a beautiful way to commemorate the ebb and flow of your relationship.
Turn Up the Heat
Time in the kitchen is always a bonding experience. Don’t rely on your own menu planning though; instead, order a surprise from a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot, or Home Chef (my favorite) and cook your hearts out with some smooth jazz and a glass of wine. Light a candle or two and enjoy your handy work with a side of date night conversation.
Feeling productive? Plan a day date and check off your latest DIY project … together. Whether it be a pop of wallpaper in the bathroom, a wood bench for the entry, or a bedroom refresh set your sights on something doable that calls for four hands. You’ll always remember the date where you added something special to your home, or you survived DIYing together. Either way.
My husband and I both love assessing our current state of affairs––from personal development to family finances to career goals––and dreaming of what is coming next. If you’re dreamers like us, or just want to give planning for the future a try, start by carving out some alone time to discuss your individual and couple goals for your health, career, finances, personal, and family goals for the upcoming year. Then, commit to supporting one another as you strive to accomplish them. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you could even search for a printable conducive to outlining SMART goals (it’s a thing).
Break a Sweat
Nothing says love like gettin’ sweaty together, right? Pop the kids in the jogging stroller and head out for a family 5K around the neighborhood. Or, if the weather isn’t right, pull out your wedding playlist and lift, stretch, and lunge in the garage. End with a dance, high five, and couples’ shower before whipping up a hearty salad or green smoothie depending on the time of day.
Or, you know, chocolate cake, because you totally earned it.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…