Date night ideas at home don’t sound as fun a date night on the town, but sometimes, that’s all we get.
Whether you want fun date nights at home because of budgetary reasons or because the entire outside world is shut down, read for some of my favorite tried and true ideas.
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Dating your spouse is important, even if it is at home
As we all are spending more time at home right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t still “date” your spouse. Sure, going on a date is a bigger challenge right now, but you can still celebrate your love without leaving the house.
My husband and I have had our fair share of date nights at home over the years.
There was the period of time when we had no money and were saving it up like crazy.
Then, there were the times when we had two babies, and we couldn’t find a babysitter quite ready to take on two infants, one of which liked to cry….a lot.
There was also the first year in a new town when we didn’t know anyone, and so finding a babysitter was tough.
Now, we are in a time when even if we did have a babysitter, there’s not anywhere to go.
So, we’ve had some practice, and I want to share with you my favorite date night ideas at home!
What about the kids?
Let’s be honest. We love our kids, but we don’t want them on our dates.
Since going out isn’t always an option, these date night ideas at home are meant to be done after the kids have gone to bed, when they stay with grandma, or at a friend’s house.
Get the kids to bed…early
When we do a date night at home, we like to get the kids to bed early. Think of their favorite, kid-friendly, mom-can-make-in-ten-minutes dinner.
Then, if they are young, tell them they get to have a sleep over! We like to sell it as this big event, and then put them in the sleepover room an hour or more before bedtime.
Even if they don’t go to sleep right away, they are having a great time together, and you can start your relaxing night.
Just prior to their normal bedtime, start telling the kiddos to calm down and make their way to dream land. (Easier said than done, I have a night owl.)
If you must, bribe them with donuts for breakfast if you don’t hear another peep and they stay in their room all night.
Date night ideas at home:
1 – Play a board game
I’m not talking about playing a board game with your kids. I’m talking about an adult board game, one you can enjoy together without helping your kids with strategy, dealing with fits when someone loses, or making concessions to hurry up and get through it.
Some of my favorite boardgames to play with my husband are:
- Ticket to Ride (it took me years, but yes, it is worth the price)
2 – Movie night at home
OK, cliché, but there is something about going to the RedBox and renting a movie. Don’t just stop here though. Give yourself the full cinema experience.
Pop popcorn (on the stove is best), get your favorite drinks, and buy movie theater-sized candy (and don’t share with your kids!).
You can always stream a movie from a service you already have such as Netflix, Hulu, or Apple TV.
3 – Wine Wednesday
I knew a man once who had Wine Wednesdays with his wife. Every Wednesday, they went to the wine store together, picked out a bottle of wine, and then enjoyed it while hanging out.
They had only one rule. No cell phones or TV. It was a time to talk.
My friend said Wine Wednesdays was their favorite night of every week, as they really connected and learned more about each other during these evenings.
You don’t have to be a wine drinker to enjoy this concept. You can simply declare a night to hang out with your spouse, sans electronics.
4 – Fire pit night
With warmer nights approaching, the starry night sky is calling. Put the kids to bed, and gather around the fire pit for an evening outside.
My favorite part is getting out the S’Mores fixings, and making our own special desserts with dark chocolate, fancy cookies instead of graham crackers, and even marshmallows.
5 – Read poetry
OK, this may sound corny, but my girls and I recently started doing Poetry Teatimes on Tuesdays. I can’t believe how much we’ve all enjoyed reading poetry out loud! It’s not something we’ve ever done before now.
While I love me some Where the Sidewalk Ends, it’s nice to read adult poetry out loud too. Get yourself a poetry book from the library, and take turns reading poetry over a special pot of tea or around the fire pit!
6 – Theme night
Pick a theme (say a country, like Italy or Chile) and build an entire night around that theme.
You can pick out a recipe from that country of origin, make up a cocktail or mocktail that corresponds with the culture, and even watch a move together that fits in with your theme.
7- Sign up for an online class
My husband and I recently found this online dance class. We haven’t taken it yet, but it is in our bank of date nights we have planned for the year.
While everyone is spending more time at home, there are so many online classes (many of which are free) for couples to enjoy together.
Pick a topic you are both interested in, and make a night (or nights) out of it! You can find a bunch of free classes on YouTube right now.
8- Cook together (and enjoy after the kids go to sleep)
Every once in a while, we will go to the grocery store and pick out a special meal we both love and know our kids don’t fully appreciate.
Give the kids an early dinner of their favorites (easy chicken nuggets and mac n cheese) and put them to bed on time (or even early).
Then, cook your favorite meal together. You can even get fancy and eat by candlelight.
9- Play “Would You Rather?”
Want a good laugh and time to get to know your spouse better?
Try out the “Would You Rather?” games. You can find a few of these games online and have them sent right to your door, just in time for your next date night at home. (Want a sexy version? They got that too.)
10- Play video games
Years before our kids showed up, my husband and I bought a Wii. We were so excited and spent way too many nights playing Mario Kart and Guitar Hero. Then, kids happened.
All of a sudden, we didn’t have time for video games.
Recently, we found the Wii and plugged it in. We spent an entire evening reliving our favorite video games, and it was a blast!
Go find a video game you both enjoy playing, and make an entire evening out of it.
11- Create bucket lists
Want to have some fun conversation? Have a bucket list night.
Get out the pen and paper, create a fun appetizer dinner (called snack supper in our house), and start making a bucket list!
Come up with at least 20 things you want to do before you kick the bucket.
Then, each of you pick one you want to make happen with each other in the next year.
It is so super fulfilling to have your spouse on board with your biggest dreams, and who knows, you may have a bucket list item that crosses over between your lists and never knew it!
12 – Stargaze together
Spend a week learning as many constellations as possible, especially the ones visible from your home. Then, spend an evening stargazing together.
13 – Do a puzzle together
Sometimes the best nights are the ones spent talking and connecting while working on a shared project together. This is easily done with a puzzle.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to finish the puzzle. Get one of these puzzle working mats, and store it easily under the couch when done for the evening.
14 – Learn how to play poker
Next time you are in Las Vegas, you will have a little less fear over joining the card tables. You can also point out to your spouse all their tell-tale signs for when they are bluffing!
15 – Watch your wedding video (or go through your wedding album)
For most of us, our wedding day was special, and cost a great deal of money! Go find your wedding video and watch it!
If there is no wedding video or it’s not possible (VCR anyone?), pull out your wedding album and spend time flipping through the pictures.
16 – Comedy night
Find a comedy special on TV, and tune in purposefully for a fun comedy night.
Make a plate of appetizers, grab your favorite drinks, and put the kids to bed early for one of my favorite date night ideas at home.
17 – Recreate your first date
I really like to do this date night at home idea for our anniversary.
If your first date included dinner, recreate the meals. If a movie, try to find it on a streaming outlet. You can even do conversation starters as if you are on your first date!
18 – Nerf gun wars
OK, time to be a kid again. Grab the nerf guns, and have a nerf gun war! You can do this outside, in the basement, or even in the living room.
Come up with a winner’s prize to make for the perfect date night idea at home.
19 – Play indoor golf
You don’t have to go to a mini-golf place to have a fun putt-putt game.
Grab a few plastic cups, golf clubs, and a few tennis balls. Make up the rules before you get started, so there’s no cheating!
20 – Bake together
If baking is your thing (or even if it isn’t but you like eating sweets), bake something together. You can whip up your favorite desserts or one that reminds you or a special memory.
21 – Spouse book club
I don’t know that my husband and I have ever read more than a handful of the same books. Start a new tradition, and read a book together. Then, you can have a date night to discuss it.
Take spouse book club a step further by planning your dinner around the theme of the book.
Just a handful of the best date night ideas at home
This isn’t an exclusive list of date night ideas at home. Think of your shared interests, skills you would like to share with your spouse, and something that is relaxing and enjoyable for both of you.
Most of these date night ideas at home can be done after the kiddos go to sleep, and most are free. Enjoy yourselves!