When kids come into the picture, date night out can quickly become a thing of the past. Sadly, I can count on maybe two hands how many times I have went out with my husband sans child since my son was born almost three years ago! For us, it is difficult to find childcare, but whatever the reason may be, I know we are not alone.
For those of us who aren’t able to get out for a little one-on-one date time, here are some great date night at home ideas that will have you feel like you are out relaxing on a kid-free night anyways!
25. Eat Grown Up Food Together
Instead of eating with the kid(s), get them fed and settled down into bed and then have something a little more special (and restaurant-like) once the little ones are down for the night — complete with wine! Have your very own 3, 4, or 5 course meal! Make it yourself, or order in from your favorite restaurant!
Bust out your fine china and your fancy glassware, and treat yourself to a delicious, and romantic dinner in, that will feel like you are dining out. Put a table cloth down, and some candles and fresh-cut flowers — the only thing that will be missing is the big bill at the end of the night! Winning!
24. Netflix and Popcorn
Whether you are binge watching one of your favorite shows, or you are watching a flick, snuggle up together on the couch, pop some popcorn, and cuddle in for lazy night in together.
Some people may argue that watching television together or a movie isn’t really quality time together, but studies have shown otherwise, and can actually restore closeness between the two of you. It is nice to have shared common interests, even a shared like in a TV show or genre of movie. So, make a night out of it, and just enjoy the cuddles!
23. Play a Game
Another idea for a fun night in could be simply playing a 2-player game together! Scrabble, Jenga, Checkers, Chess, Cribbage — to name a few — are great games that the two of you can play one-on-one.
Raise the stakes a little! Whoever wins gets to sleep in on Saturday while the other parent does the early wake up with the kiddos! It’s always fun to put something on the line, and have a little bit of friendly competition for added motivation to win!
22. His and Her Massages
Do a bit of research using YouTube or Google to learn some proper techniques and then take turns giving each other a sensual massage. I always say that my husband gives crappy massages so that I don’t ask him to give them — but that excuse wont work here!
Massages are beneficial in so many ways — they are great to ease muscle pain, soothe anxiety and depression, improves sleep, boosts immunity, relieves head aches and can increase circulation in your body. Find some baby oil or a relaxing scented essential oil and really create a relaxing and enjoyable experience!
21. Make a Bucket List
It is so important to take time for things you enjoy in life. Doing things you enjoy can make you feel more energized and somehow more relaxed at the same time. Creating a bucket list can help you accomplish your goals and hopefully change your life for the better.
Creating your own individual bucket lists and even create one together for things you would like to do as a couple, or even as a family. It may seem like a silly thing to do to some people, but life is short, and it is a great way to get excited and motivate you to make the most of it, and make you feel like you accomplished something when you are able to cross something off of your list!
20. Power Outage Date Night In
Turn out the lights and all other electronics and things that require electricity! Light some candles, build a fire and enjoy a quiet night in. You can combine this with some of the other ideas on this list — only doing the things by candlelight instead.
Catch up on much needed conversation, play a board game or card game by candlelight, or any other activity you wish to get up to without electricity! The options are endless, so get creative and have some fun!
19. Comedy Date Night
There are many health benefits of laughter. Laughter has been shown to reduce levels of certain stress hormones in the body, while increasing health-enhancing hormones. It also can boost your immune system, regulate blood pressure, increase blood oxygenation and even improve memory!
So, why not enjoy a night in and watching one of your favorite comedians on Netflix! You may have heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine, so why not enjoy this as your next date night in with your significant other, and cuddle up and enjoy each others company at the same time!
18. Go Outside
For a little change of scenery (weather permitting), actually go outside! Don’t go far — just grab the baby monitor and head to the back yard or the front patio, and get out for some quiet time and fresh air. Grab a blanket and sit out to star gaze, or have a glass of wine or two, and put your feet up in a comfy patio lounge chair.
Or, have yourselves a delicious fancy coffee or latte — either make it yourself, or have one of you do a quick run to your favorite local coffee house! Throw a little Bailey’s in it for a delicious night cap, and just use the time to simply chat or relax together and enjoy each others company without crazy kids running around or crying in your ears.
17. Create Something
If you are up for something a little different, maybe try to do your own paint night and get creative together! You may have heard of Paint Nite events — they are held at popular bars and restaurants in your neighborhood and more than 1,500 others across the US and Canada. The are certainly growing in popularity, and while I have always wanted to go, I must admit I haven’t been to one yet.
Recreate the experience in your own home. Visit your local supplies stores (or even some dollar stores will carry everything you will need). Even if you don’t think you are crafty or artistically talented in any way — it is sure to be a fun experience, with no judgments made!
16. Blind Taste Test Game
Be kind to each other — don’t make them eat mayonnaise on a spoon! Have a few laughs taking turns being blindfolded and guessing what you are eating.
It is funny how when you eliminate your sense of sight, it can be really difficult distinguishing even the simplest of foods. All you need is a blindfold and some things from your pantry and fridge, and you will be in for some laughs for sure!
15. Just Talk
Put your phones away, turn off all your electronic devices and just chat! Don’t talk about the kids or what you all the stuff you need to get done around the house. Instead, ask each other more juicy questions, and use the time to get to know each other better.
Talk about your likes and dislikes, talk about things to do with your relationship, or play a game of ‘would you rather’ — just see where the conversation goes! Communication is said to be one of the most important things in a successful relationship, so use the time to open up the lines of communication again between you and your significant other, and reconnect!
14. Bath or Hot Tub for Two
If you have a hottub–great! If not, why not draw a bath for two and enjoy a nice soak together. Get a bath bomb or some epsom salts, light some candles for a little extra ambiance, and even grab a bottle of wine and a pair of wine glasses and really unwind.
Neither my husband nor have been a big bath-people, but that will make it extra unique and that much more special of a date night in. Just trying something a little different can be so fun, and you might even want to make it a more common date-night idea for the two of you!
13. Recreate Your First Date
Well, this may or may not be possible for some people — but you can certainly get creative trying. For me and my husband, our date consisted of dinner and a movie — pretty straight forward and simple.
Really recreate the night — get take out from that very restaurant (and order the same thing — if you can remember what it was), and watch the same movie it was that you saw. For us, it was The Pirates of the Caribbean 3 — but I will keep my fingers crossed that this time it doesn’t end with him snoring half way through the movie! He was jet-legged in all fairness — I thought it was funny.
12. Dine al Fresco
The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian for “in the cool air” — but over on this side of the pond we use it to refer to dining outside. S0, dine al fresco with your significant other and just enjoy the change of scenery from your regular kitchen dining table.
Bring the baby monitor outside with you so you can listen for stirring little ones, but hopefully you will be able to enjoy a nice dinner together without any interruptions.
11. Indoor Blanket Fort
Grab some pillows, bed sheets, and blankets and test your inner engineer and of course, the big kid in you, and build yourself a comfy fort! Maybe a bit childish, but keep and open mind and have a little fun!
Maybe even dig out a box of indoor Christmas lights and string some up for a little extra coolness! Once you have created your own little fort, snuggle in together maybe watch a movie or one of the other tent-compatible activities on this list!
10. Play the Newlywed Game
Maybe you aren’t newlyweds anymore, but this can still be something fun for you to play and see if you know how your partner would answer questions about you.
Test your knowledge of each other, have a few laughs and maybe even learn a thing or two new about your significant other. This is a cute idea, that requires nothing more than some paper and a pen, and a little bit of imagination!
9. Fondue Date Night
Yum! If you don’t own a fondue set, you might want one now! Look online for some delicious chese, oil/broth, and chocolate fondue recipes and make your very own three course fondue meal.
We hosted a fondue dinner party with friends a while back and it was a big hit! To make it a little more fun, visit your local wine store and ask for recommendations on what wines would pair well with each course. You and your significant other will be in for one delicious date night in with this idea!
8. Travel Themed Dinner Party
Take a trip around the world in your kitchen! Have a sampling of various different cuisines, or pick a theme and go with it! Even set the mood with some romantic music from your country of choice.
For example, do a night of all things Italian! Italian food, Italian wine, Italian gelato for dessert, and maybe even throw in the movie The Italian Job to complete the celebration of the nights theme. Get creative. Next date night you can try a different theme for another enjoyable night of good food, drinks and entertainment!
7. Iron Chef Date Night
Test your inner chef with this fun Iron Chef challenge date night idea! Select a secret ingredient and turn it into a delicious meal for the two of you!
You can divide and conquer — with one of you taking care of the main course, and the other taking care of the appetizer and dessert, or maybe you can be the sous chef to their chef (or vise versa) and create something together! Have a drink or two in the process, and really get creative and have some fun!
6. Watch the Big Game Together
Are you and your significant other are big sports fans? If so, maybe the perfect date night in option would be to get comfy on the couch and watch a big game!
Order in pizza, have some popcorn and beer, and just unwind together. Maybe make things more interesting by making a friendly bet on the outcome of the game.
5. Romantic Room Service
Here is another fun idea, and a great way to change the scenery of a regular dinner at your kitchen’s dining table. Pretend you are at a hotel and order in room service.
Order food in and bring it to the bedroom to eat in bed! Wear comfy robes and slippers and really make it feel like you are spending the night in a hotel away from the kids for the night!
4. Get All Dressed Up with Nowhere To Go
Take dining in one step further, and get all dressed up like you are going to a fancy 5 star restaurant! Put aside the blue jeans or track pant for one night, and get all showered and dolled up for each other!
Maybe even after your delicious home made or take out dinner, turn on some romantic music for a little dancing in the living room! Could be fun!
3. Video Game Night
Maybe you or your significant other is a bit of a nerd for video games, or may it is just your kids. But this could make for another fun, and interesting date night in for the two of you.
Even if you are terrible at video games (like myself), you will probably have some good laughs at how bad you really are. Or maybe you are both skilled when it comes to video games. If that is the case, this could be another opportunity raise the stakes and make for some fun competition!
2. Take a Personality Test Together
Here is another interesting idea for you and your significant other to get to know each other just a bit better. Why not take a personality test together.
Discover little things about their inner workings and why they are the way they are! A really fun one to try that is free and doesn’t take too long is 16personalities.
1. Make Time For Romance
While any number of the things on this list may end in a bit of romantic embracing (to keep things fairly g-rated), making time for romance is important in any couples relationship.
Just like a massage, there are many benefits to love making! It can benefit your immune system, your overall libido, lower your blood pressure, lower the risk of heart attacks, keeps your hormones (estrogen & testosterone) in balance, lessen pain (eg. if you have a headache), improves sleep and reduces stress! You don’t have to go out to work on the connections between you and your significant other. I hope you try some of these things out on your next date night at home!