You don’t need to go out to have an awesome date night. And bonus: Staying in means saving money on a sitter and not being stressed about having a stranger watch your child. Keep the spark alive with these eight ideas for fun date nights you can have right at home.

photo: Afif Kusuma via Unsplash

1.Facetime Double Date
Chances are, you two have couple friends who are in the same boat. You know, the boat that contains a baby and prevents you from leaving the house except out of necessity? The bad news is, it’s sometimes a struggle to get together. The good news? You don’t have to suffer alone! Schedule a Facetime double date, setting a time for some shared screen time to commiserate and laugh together. Each couple can prepare their own meals at home, uncork a bottle of their favorite beverage, and share an hour or two together in conversation. Of course it’s not as great as seeing your friends in person, but it’s the next best thing and it can be done in sweatpants.

2. Date in a Box
There are several “date in a box” subscription products on the market right now, including DateBox, a curated box of goodies that provides a unique date experience right in the comfort of your own home. On the company’s website, you fill in your likes and dislikes and a little about your couple personality, and then just wait for the magic to arrive. Packed neatly in a box that ships right to your door, Datebox is the ideal way to try new date ideas without ever leaving the house (which is perfect when your little ones are sleeping and you can’t go anywhere). An example DateBox might include an “indoor camping adventure,” complete with a s’mores kit, a pour-your-own-pine-scented candle making set, a deck of cards with game suggestions, and even a playlist suited for romance in the great outdoors.

photo: Soroush Karimi via Unsplash 

3. Epicurean Extravaganza
There’s something really sexy about cooking together (think Chocolat), and all you need is a kitchen, the right ingredients, and a good recipe to make it all possible. When you’re usually planning meals that appeal to a younger crowd (hello, mac and cheese), it’s nice to make something for a more mature palate, like a complicated recipe that actually requires measuring cups and more spices than salt and pepper. Think of all the sparks that can fly while spoon-feeding each other samples of your creations.

4. Good Old-Fashioned Sleepover
Some of the most fun times while growing up are sleepovers with your BFFs, and who could be a better friend that your partner? Go old-school with it by slathering on face masks and doing homestyle pedicures while watching a cheesy romantic comedy and waiting for your delivery pizza to arrive. You might be surprised at how much fun you can have when you take the pressure off and just be silly for a minute. Sure, you’re adults now with all the adulting you can handle, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put those responsibilities aside for a bit and have a sleepover with your best friend. And who knows? It might just inspire a rousing game of Truth or Dare.

photo: Bao Truong via Unsplash

5.Game Night
Unleash your competitive sides with a game night. And before you roll your eyes and think “boring!” take a moment and consider all the possibilities Twister has to offer. Okay, so maybe most board games aren’t as flirtatious as that, but the competition that traditional board games offers can be pretty stimulating. You might be surprised how having someone sink your battleship can get your blood rushing. And with an unending supply of games (expand to table games like foosball if that’s more your speed), you can each bring a unique choice to the (literal) table.

6. Give Each Other a Massage
It’s stressful being parents, and all that tension you’re holding in your shoulders and neck (you know what we’re talking about) is only going to get worse. A massage might just be what the doctor ordered. And if you’re not a pro, check out YouTube for instructional videos or just tell each other what you like. Once the massages are through, you’ll be relaxed enough to curl up together for a good snuggle.

photo: Phillip Goldsberry via Unsplash

7. Netflix and Chill (No, Really…Watch Netflix and Chill Out)
With several streaming options including Netflix and Amazon Prime available for a small fee, the possibilities for movie night are endless. And while the “Netflix and Chill” movement of recent years suggests jumping straight to the nookie, a fun night in can really be about comfy sweatpants, a good movie or TV show, and some serious couch cuddling. If your tastes differ (he’s more GoldenEye and you’re more Golden Girls), write a few choices on slips of paper and then draw one to decide what to watch.

8. Getting to Re-Know You
You’ve folded the last towel, walked the dog, scrubbed the pink marker stains off the couch, washed the mud out of tiny little jeans, put away the last toy, and started the Crock-Pot dinner for what seems like the millionth time this week. And somewhere in the middle of the survival mode you’re currently living, you’re hoping to make time for your partner, something that can take a back seat during this time in your lives together. It’s okay, you still love each other, but there are only so many hours in the day.

But making time for each other is important, and these date nights, however few and far between, are a way for you to connect during a time that can make you feel, well, disconnected. Take the opportunity to spend a date night every now and then getting to re-know each other, talking about things that have nothing to do with diapers or dry cleaners, mortgages or rent payments. Talk about each other, your hopes and dreams, hobbies and interests, your future plans together. Take a moment to revisit the kind of talks you had in the beginning of your relationship. If it’s hard to get the conversation going, take a few minutes to write starter questions on slips of paper and then draw them out one by one. Or grab a book made just for this purpose, like  Questions for Couples: 469 Thought-Provoking Conversation Starters for Connecting, Building Trust, and Rekindling Intimacy.

—Laura Holloway

 

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