20 ideas for at-home date nights!

I mentioned yesterday the idea of at-home date nights. I decided that if I’m going to give this a try at my house, I should come up with a good list of different at-home date night ideas. This helps us simplify, but also helps us get creative and be a little more thoughtful when it comes to planning our dates. This helps us save money by not having to hire a babysitter. I love our babysitter, but it does get expensive. And it’s kind of stressful for someone else to put your kids to bed.

These 20 ideas only work if both people are on board. No checking your phone, no glancing at the TV to catch the score (unless it’s part of the “date”) and no grumbling. Enjoy your time together.

If you have kids, put your kids to bed and make sure they are sound asleep. The whole idea is to do this without having to hire a babysitter and without having to send the kids to the grandparents’ house.

  1. If you’re watching your favorite football team play, put on your school colors, fix hot dogs and have nachos. Treat it like you’re at the game!
  2. Play board games—or do like we do and play Connect Four
  3. Sit outside on your back patio or on your front porch and eat your supper.
  4. Fix a picnic in front of the TV.
  5. Create a playlist of your favorite songs and dance.
  6. Rent a movie and have popcorn. (But rent the movie before your date night!)
  7. Turn off the TV and read books. Just sitting next to each other is so relaxing.
  8. Cook an amazing dessert and indulge. Eat it straight out of the pan!
  9. Take a walk down memory lane and spend time reminiscing about when you met and where you went together.
  10. Grill in the backyard and eat outside.
  11. Watch each other’s favorite movies- no matter how much you don’t like his favorite movie!
  12. Cook your favorite comfort food and veg out on the couch after dinner.
  13. Cook a fancy meal and light the candles in the dining room.
  14. Write love notes to each other.
  15. Watch a concert on DVD- I love Fleetwood Mac “The Dance” concert DVD
  16. Order your favorite take out.
  17. Dress up. Not super dressy clothes, but look like you didn’t just spend all day working or chasing kids.
  18. Watch your favorite TV show on the DVR- or if it’s Friday, do what we do and watch Dateline NBC after dinner.
  19. Have theme nights. If his favorite movie is Rocky, watch Rocky while eating Rocky Road Ice Cream. Your favorite movie is Sixteen Candles, so get silly, put on a prom dress and eat birthday cake while watching the movie. Maybe you are watching Moonstruck and want to cook a huge pot of spaghetti and meatballs. Get creative!
  20. Watch your wedding video while snuggling on the couch.

Do you have any ideas for date nights at home? What do you like to do?

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Comments

  1. love your ideas!

  2. I love game nights! We like puzzles too. So relaxing! Thanks for all of these tips!

  3. Love the idea of at home dates. Now if I could make my four year old stay in bed, and actually go to sleep . . .

  4. Cute Ideas. #19 is fun. It made me giggle b/c I dont think my husband would ever dress up in a costume for a theme night at home if it was just us. I may try it. Really great ideas & good for being frugal too!!

  5. I love planning dates and nights out with my husband but sometimes the cost involved is just outrageous! After a movie, dinner, and babysitter the cost is usually close to $100!!

    Some Friday nights when we’ve both had a long week I’ll call him and tell him, “I’m bringing home date night!” I’ll usually use a coupon from the circulars for dinner and Coldstone and stop for a Redbox movie. Watching DVR shows is how we unwind most nights so it’s a special thing to get a movie:-)

  6. We do picnics! If it’s too cold, we just set up the picnic on the floor of our living room. It’s SO fun.

  7. We play video games or go to red box and rent movies for a buck!

  8. Catherine Parks says:

    e, loooove the watch a concert DVD idea. i never think to watch them, but they are so great! last one i watched was Freddie Mercury, QUEEN.

  9. Hey Erin- I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, but there’s a website called thedatingdivas.com and it’s put together by a group of Christian women with the focus on dating your spouse to strengthen your marriage! They have tons of super ideas, and lots of them are budget friendly and at-home dates. You should check it out! :)

  10. Love your ideas! We are quarantined at home with our baby girl since it’s RSV season so tonight my husband is picking up sushi on the way home and we are having our at-home date night. :)

    And I love the website someone else mentioned thedatingdivas.com….great ideas!

  11. Amanda Nicole says:

    LOVE these ideas!!

  12. Great ideas! We play Scrabble on the Ipad while watching a movie and reading magazines.. yes, all at the same time… not sure it’s a “date,” but at least we’re in the same room!

  13. Nicole Wallace says:

    Great Ideas! Reminded me of the time we were getting the car ready for a road trip listening to my husbands favorite CD and we just started slow dancing in the garage… Such sweet memories!

  14. Can you pretty please add a picture to this post so I can pin it? Please? :)

  15. Fondue is always fun. We start with the cheese and then move onto the meats and fish and wrap it up with chocolate. Tons of fun.

  16. Sure is a whole lotta eating going on here!

    What if you try to do P90X together. Always pretty funny at our house! And then after getting all sweaty, you have to get clean, right? ;)

  17. A few months ago, we made a list of all the Best Picture Nominees from the last 20 years that we haven’t seen (or, in a lot of cases, that E hasn’t seen and I love) and we’re working our way through the list. We also spend a lot of weekend nights with our iTunes pulled up and set on Random… it turns into a game of “what does this one remind you of?”… which can lead to some really awesome stories about our younger years when we didn’t know one another, etc.

  18. on the theme idea-we have mexican night. We make margaritas to drink while we’re cooking tacos. We have chips and salsa as appetizers before the tacos. During dinner, we put on salsa music and eat with candles burning. There is something about candles that make dinner instantly more romantic when burning. :)

  19. I know this is lame, but we hit up Redbox & then get a frozen pizza & make cookies. It’s just so nice to be in jammies & comfy & then we go to bed early.

  20. These are all great ideas! I think the most important thing is turning off/putting away your phones so it feels like a date and less like an ordinary night of calls, texting, fbook or twitter.

    Other fun ideas could include playing a game; setting your screensaver to play all the pics on your computer and watching them as you reminisce about the different things you have done (this has entertained my bro and I for hours, so I imagine it would be a great date for married couples who have lots of pics together); spend an evening in the backyard listening to music, having a drink and just talking; watch funny videos on youtube; cook (together) a meal that neither of you have ever made before-the entertainment and fun you will have is worth it even if it doesn’t taste great in the end.

  21. Great ideas!! I get so tickled at your love for Dateline but it is a GOOD SHOW! Happy Friday :)

  22. Love these ideas! We do lots of these things already–but putting more effort and purpose behind them can make the evening much more romantic!

  23. My hubs and I are so competitve when it comes to games. We could make a whole date night out of playing the Wii. Our favorite Wii game is Monopoly (all the fun without having to concentrate on counting money). The winner always gets a prize…a LONG foot massage is right of my alley and a lovely way to end date night:)

  24. VERY good idea girly! Thanks so much for sharing! :-)

  25. Thanks for the great list! I am not married yet, but this is a great list even for me!

  26. I LOVE these ideas!! My husband and I recently started devoting Friday nights to each other and these ideas will help us if we get in a rut and can’t think of anything to do :)

  27. I am so glad we have our wedding on video. We didn’t want to pay for a videographer but a friend offered to do it for us and we are SOOOO glad she did! We watch it often, especially on anniversaries!

  28. Those are some good ideas! I can’t remember the last time Chad and I had a real date, I should try one of these soon!

  29. Aw I love these ideas! One of the best “dates” that Jon and I had was this Valentine’s day. We made dinner, went out and bought a bottle of wine, put our little Peanut on the table in her bouncer (she was a month old), and ate dinner while she snoozed. It was one of the most romantic, amazing dinners of my life.

  30. Cute ideas, especially now that the weather is getting cold! Cooking together always seems to be our favorite.

  31. Great ideas! We love to cook nachos or grilled pizza and watch college football this time of year. We also watch our slideshow from our rehearsal dinner and wedding video a lot. Brings back great memories!

  32. Great ideas!

    One of my new favorite date night ideas is to a great wine and a meat & cheese plate, with fig preserves and crispy breads and crackers.

  33. This website has a TON of ideas:

    http://www.thedatingdivas.com/

    Also, Love your blog. Glad to find it!

  34. Great ideas…we have done a lot of those especially with living overseas and not having the option of babysitters/going out often and have to rely on dating each other at home.

    Some other things we have done are…set up a tent outside, make smores and watch a movie outside, pick up take out and set your table outside with nice linens and your nice dishes to feel like you are at a romantic restaurant!

    Look forward to using some of your ideas!

  35. Nicole Wallace (#13 in comments) had the most romantic story ever! It made me smile.

  36. We play poker for things. The winner may get breakfast in bed that the other person has to make. We’ve also played for chores neither one of us likes such as cleaning the basement or vacuuming out the car. You can really get creative with it!

  37. We spent a whole evening on YouTube playing “Do You Remember?”. We took turns pulling up songs/videos we listened to in high school and college. We had very different tasts but found some overlaps. We learned a bit about each other that way too.

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