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When my husband and I first got married, we used to joke that every night was date night! Of course, those were the days before the arrival of our son. After what felt like at least 7,625 days of our sons first year of life, I realized I haven’t been on an actual date with my husband since…well I don’t even know! But I didn’t feel comfortable leaving my baby with anyone quite yet. So hows a loving couple supposed to go on dates when babysitters are in short supply (or you’re still stuck in quarantine)? By having date night at home!
The benefits of dating your spouse are exponential. According to the National Marriage Project, couples who went on dates at least once a week were approximately 3.5 times more likely to report having a “very happy” marriage. Couples who report spending more quality time together also are statistically less likely divorce.
That all sounds great, but getting out of the house becomes much harder when you have kids to worry about. So skip the babysitter (or pulling favors from grandparents like I do) and make it a date at home! Here’s 20 easy at home date night ideas for all you parents out there.
1- Play a board game/card game
Board games and card games are a lost art form. Long before the days of silly cell phone games, board games were how we bonded with our loved ones. Friendly competition has a way of bringing you closer together with your spouse. There’s so many game options out there now, ranging from the classics to brand new games.
Game Night Essentials:
2- Buy a date night subscription box
Subscription boxes are all the rage these days. These date night boxes are literally all the makings of a date night delivered right to your doorstep. Honestly, the opportunities are endless. This is totally the date night idea for the couples who have a hard time coming up with unique ideas.
3- Cook dinner or a dessert together
I’m not talking about the chicken nugget/hotdog mishmash dinner you threw together for your picky toddlers. I mean a REAL, adult dinner with all those spices and goodies your kids probably refuse to eat. Cooking a meal together can be such a good bonding opportunity for you and your spouse. If you don’t want to think too hard about what to buy at the grocery store, you can get a dinner subscription box like Home Chef.
Of course you still need to feed your kids. My husband and I will sometimes order our sons favorite takeout meal for his dinner, and then enjoy our fancy homemade meal together after our son is in bed.
At Home Romantic Dinner Essentials
4 – Create your own paint-and-sip night
A few years ago, Paint-and-Sip nights became very popular. Couples and friends alike would pay big bucks to drink fancy adult drinks and paint pretty pictures together (I’m not a drinker, so my friends went to the paint and cookies nights). Unfortunately most paint and sip places are not very cheap, but you can easily recreate the experience from the comfort of your own home! Just buy a simple paint set, pour your favorite drinks (or make cookies if you’re like me), pull up a Youtube tutorial, and make beautiful art with your honey!
At-Home Paint-and-Sip Essentials
5- Ask each other questions
When I say “ask each other questions,” I don’t mean the usually “what’s for dinner” questions. I mean the questions we’d love to know, but have maybe never asked our spouse. There are so many “questions for couples” cards out there it’s insane. You could spend a few bucks on some fun questions to ask, or you could just Google some free ones. Regardless of how you obtain your questions for each other, this is a surefire way of getting to know your spouse in a whole new way!
Conversation Starting Essentials
6- Netflix and chill (no, actually)
I know what you’re thinking! And I’m not saying you can’t do that, but don’t knock the power of a lazy night watching a silly show! Whether you start a new show together or rewatch a classic, watching some mindless TV together is the quintessential bonding experience. Plus it can be so hard to claim some TV time when your kids are asking for their 99th episode of “Paw Patrol.”
7- Read a book out loud together
Yes, I just said “read a book OUT LOUD together.” You’re probably already cringing at the corniness of reading a book out loud to your spouse, but don’t knock it until you try it. Reading together can be a great bonding experience, and reading out loud to each other can be the perfect opportunity to have deep discussions with your spouse. Currently my husband and I are reading “The Meaning Of Marriage” by Tim and Kathy Keller, and yes, we read it out loud to each other. Choose whatever book you’re both interested in and give it a try!
8- Do a puzzle together
Couples can ALWAYS work on problem solving skills together, and puzzles are such a simple way to do it. My dad and step mom love to do puzzles together. It’s cheap, simple, and stress reducing. Some of my favorite memories are of helping my grandma with a puzzle and musing about life together. Puzzle are truly a timeless bonding tool.
Puzzle Night Essentials
9- Bring the spa at home
One of my favorite at-home date nights my husband and I have ever had was an at-home spa night. I bought sheet masks, eye masks, epsom salt, and relaxing candles, played spa music over our Apple TV, turned the lights down, and chilled with my love. This is THE way to chill on a Friday night! You can also learn how to give a killer massage from Youtube (which apparently I need to do, because my husband says I suck a massages!)
Spa Night Essentials
10- Have a campfire night
There’s something about summer nights by the fire that screams “romance” to my southern self! bust out the s’mores ingredients and the fire pit and enjoy a peaceful night by the fire. Did I mention my favorite scent ever is the smell of a campfire?
Campfire Night Essentials
11- Make fancy popcorn together
We all love a classic popcorn and movie night, but sometimes butter popcorn gets a little boring. Add some spice (or sweet) to your popcorn and customize new popcorn flavors together! There’s so many ways to customize popcorn, whether you prefer sweet or savory. Have fun getting creative with your popcorn flavors!
Popcorn Night Essentials
12- Learn each other’s love language
Understanding each other’s love languages has been so beneficial to our marriage. You could read “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, or you could take the free quiz here. They also have a free app that helps give you ideas of how to make your spouse feel more loved using their love language. This can be a great opportunity to get to know your spouse in a whole new way!
13- Dance the night away
If the last time you danced with your spouse was at your wedding night, then something’s gotta give! Bust out your dancing shoes, pull up a Youtube tutorial, and cut a rug with your love! Or you can play some of your favorite slow jams and let your heart do the work.
14- Take a walk down memory lane
Some of my favorite nights with my husband have been simply laying on the couch together, scrolling through our camera roll, and reminiscing on all our memories together. Especially after having our son, it’s so special to look back on those days and see how far we’ve come. You could even bust out the old photo boxes and look at childhood photo’s together! Such a simple (and free) way to relive old memories, and even make new ones!
15- Learn a new skill together
Seriously, y’all! If you haven’t looked at a tutorial on Youtube before, are you even living in the right century? You can find a tutorial for just about anything on Youtube! Pick one with your spouse and learn something new together! There’s also great DIY kits for all kinds of things on Amazon!
16- Turn your bedroom into a bougie hotel room
Hide all the dirty laundry in the closet, buy some smelly candles, get some fake rose petals, your favorite bubbly beverage on ice, and even some mini-bath items, and pretend like you’re in a 5 star hotel! You’ll be getting all the romance of a fancy hotel for a fraction of the price!
At-Home Fancy Hotel Essentials
17- Create tie-dye shirts together
Tie-dye is stylish again, and I am HERE for it! There are so many DIY tie-dye kits out there, and so many tutorials for creating new patterns. Make your own style, or make matching styles together. You could even buy shirts in your kids sizes and create matching shirts for the whole family!
DIY Tie-Dye Essentials
18- Plan a trip
I have so much fun simply scrolling through AirBNB listings with my husband! Sometimes we plan fake trips we can never afford, but some of those trips become a reality! There’s even fun bucket list journals out there that help you plan your ultimate getaways! Whether you plan a fake trip or a real trip, it sure is fun to let your wanderlust take over!
19- Breakfast (or coffee) in bed
This isn’t exactly a date night, more like a date morning, but still a great way to strike up love before your kids are screaming for snacks before breakfast. Wake up before your kiddos, enjoy some coffee in bed, and maybe even make an easy breakfast together. This is the perfect date for the morning bird parents!
Breakfast In Bed Essentials
20- Play video games together
My husband and I LOVE battling it out over Super Smash Bros! Yes, playing video games together screams “teenager”, but it’s a fun, simple way to have friendly competition and destress after a long day!
Dates don’t have to disappear after kids!
I know it can be so hard to make time for your spouse when you have kids! Bringing date night to our living room has been an absolute game changer for my husband and I, and has made spending quality time together easier, cheaper, and less chaotic for everyone involved. You can pick one of these idea, or do a combination of a couple of them. Maybe this list got the creative juices flowing and gave you a totally new idea! Either way, get out there and date your spouse!