A year and a half ago, my husband and I sat down to come up with date night ideas. We have a young daughter which means date night is twice as expensive as it was before we became parents. (BTW, when did babysitters start charging so much???) Yes, we hire babysitters when we need to but Hubs and I also have an arrangement with friends where we swap babysitting once per month. So, one night per month, my husband or I will go to our friends’ house to baby sit their little one while they go out on a date. Another night that month, we swap so that my husband and I get a date night. I highly recommend this arrangement!!! People we trust and we don’t have to pay anything extra but it is equally valuable to both couples.
Ultimately, when we sat down to come up with those date night ideas, we split it into two categories: date night out and date night in. We wrote down several ideas for each category on a little piece of paper. Each idea got folded up and placed into its appropriate jar and we did not tell each other what we wrote. Every month, we choose one idea for our date night out and one for a date night in. Honestly, the date night out ideas are plentiful, especially because we live in a large city. Date night in? That is a different story. We had to get more creative so that we weren’t just sitting on the couch watching another movie. I’m so glad we put the effort into those date night in ideas because they have become far more valuable lately. What I’ve done here is list out our top seven date night in ideas. I encourage you to put the ideas in a jar and draw one at least once per month. Definitely add in some of your own ideas while you’re at it! After the kids are in bed (if you have kids), put that date into action!
1) Water Color Portraits
Try not to take yourselves too seriously on this, you don’t need to be the next Picasso to have a good time. Neither my husband nor I are great artists which means we really got some good laughs out of this activity. Make is abstract or give it some honest effort but take your time and don’t show each other the finished product until you’re finished. If you don’t have water colors, use crayons, markers, or whatever you have on hand.
2) Food Sampling
Each person gets to pick 3 to 5 items from the kitchen (or the store if you’re able to get out) and create a charcuterie board of sorts. Explain to each other why you chose what you did and which items should be paired together (cheese with crackers for example). Feel free to add a favorite beverage as well. You can create a score card to make it like a food competition. Give points for creativity, plating and how well the items paired together.
3) Origami Folding Party
Hop online and find a website that offers free origami patterns. Take turns choosing a pattern and then see who can fold the pattern the fastest or the most precisely. You can buy origami paper if you want but you could just as easily cut wrapping paper or printer paper into the required size for each pattern.
4) S’mores & Camp Fire Stories
If you happen to have a fire pit in your backyard and want to make s’mores the old-fashioned way, go for it. But, no, you don’t need an actual campfire for this. On a sheet pan, you can lay out graham crackers topped with chocolate, topped with a large marshmallow. Pop these babies in the oven and broil them until you get your mallows golden and toasty (watch them closely so you don’t burn them beyond recognition). Get creative with your ingredients. Use chocolate graham crackers or even different types of cookies as your base. Try different types of chocolate – I love jalapeno spiced chocolate for my s’mores. You could even try peeps instead of traditional marshmallows if you have them. Once your s’mores are assembled, sit down and tell your favorite camp fire stories.
5) Make A Craft
Similar to the water color portraits listed above, you don’t need to over engineer this. Grab whatever you have on hand – paints, dry pasta, glue, paper, whatever. Just get creative. You could make necklaces, paint flowers, build a tower. You can work on the same project together or turn it into a contest and let your kids or friends judge the winner the next day.
6) Pillow Fort
This might be my favorite date night in idea. I mean, who doesn’t love a good pillow fort??? Grab any/all spare blankets, sheets and pillows. Build the pillow fort your younger self always dreamed of creating. Once your fort is built, snuggle up together and talk about your favorite childhood memories.
7) Love Languages Test
The Five Love Language test is a great (and free) online tool to help you and your significant other get to know each other better. You sit down individually to answer several questions which will ultimately give insight into what your love language is. Once you’ve completed the test, you sit together and share your results. The categories are Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. You’ll probably learn some things about yourself but my hope is that you and your partner will talk out the results you each got and, ultimately, better understand what is important to one another.
Some of these date ideas already have food options included but the others are open to snacks as well. Here are some of our favorite snack recipes to choose from: