Having weekly date nights is really important for keeping the spark in your marriage, but sometime it’s just too hard (or you’re just too exhausted!) to go out. As hard as we try to get out, sometimes it’s necessary to have date nights at home and it’s crucial to have ideas up your sleeve for these moments. My husband and I live in a small town where there are not as many attractions or fun things to do, leaving us coming up with our own date nights at home. We like to watch movies together, but we build our relationship and have better memories when we put forth the effort to do something different every once in awhile for our date nights.
Here are our ideas for fun and affordable date nights at home, please comment and add some of your own. We’d love some more ideas!
1. Build a fort together and watch your favorite movie inside
2. Make a new meal together. You could be in charge of different parts, give each other a fun “character” and act like you are on the Food Network.
3. Take the baby monitor outside (if you have a baby) and enjoy a game of horse shoe, croquet, or frisbee together.
4. Have a wresting match. Make things fun and give each other disabilities (One person has their legs tied together, the other is blind, etc.) This also helps if one person has an unfair advantage physically.
5. If you kept journals, pull them out and read them together. Especially if you have journals from the junior high time period!
6. If it is summer time, plant something outside together such as flowers or vegetables.
7. If you are planning on painting your house soon anyway, pick a wall and paint a mural. Paint over it when you decide to paint your house for real. If you aren’t planning on painting soon, cover your wall with butcher paper and do a wall mural with finger paints!
8. Find a good Zumba workout routine on youtube and do it together.
9. Write to your favorite companies about how much you love their products and see which ones send you free stuff in the mail.
10. Have a themed night and dress up as your favorite character. Watch a related movie and take pictures (better yet, download a photo booth app on your phone).
11. Make a music video/slideshow together. My husband and I have had fun making these for different family members. Here’s one my sister-in-law did with her brother for her husband’s birthday. Yes, all the lyrics she wrote about him are for real. They have plenty more on their youtube channel that they have had fun doing together, including one they helped me do as a surprise for my husband. They are so fun to make, and pretty funny to the people they are actually about!
12. If you don’t have kids yet set up a tent and go camping in the back yard! If you do have kids, let them join in on the fun. After they have fallen asleep, play a game or whisper ghost stories to each other.
13. Using uncooked spaghetti noodles and large marshmallows, have a contest and see you can build the largest tower.
14. Build and decorate your very own kite in anticipation for a windy day. Find instructions here.
15. Clean or organize. This one may sound lame, but my husband and I have had fun with this one. We first set a time limit–something barable like twenty minutes–and then we each pick what the other has to do. For instance, I hate cleaning the shower and bathroom floor so that would be the task I assign my husband…and he loathes the “junk drawer in the kitchen, so that one would be my assignment. Then we celebrate with a fun treat or movie. Another idea is to set a timer in 10 minute increments and clean something together. Once the timer rings, you hurry and start something else.
16. Work on a home project together. Paint a room, make a repair, or build a bed frame for one of your kids.
17. Plan a future trip together. Assign each other different aspects of the trip details and start planning your time away together (even if you can only go a city away for one night!)
18. Go back to the good ‘ol Elementary school days and have a READ-A-THON. Cuddle up on the couch or somewhere comfy, pull out some favorite treats and snacks and each of you read from a favorite book. Talk about what you read after it’s over.
19. Plan for the next holiday and how you are going to make it most epic. If Valentine’s is next, don’t just sit around and hope the other person is planning something special because most of the time you’ll be disappointed. Plan it together and decide how to make it most special.
20. If Halloween is coming up, plan what your costumes are going to be so you don’t end up choosing something lame because it is last minute and you have no other ideas.
21. If Christmas is coming up, plan out the 12 days of Christmas for a neighbor or friend.
22. Tape light sticks to your clothes, turn off the lights and have a dance party together while laughing at each of your “skeleton” moves. If you don’t get what I mean, see this video.
23. Play Board games. We rarely play ours, and when we finally do we have so much fun.
24. Have “card game olympics”. I love Phase 10, but sometimes we aren’t in the mood for such a long game. Pick a few different games, and only play one round of each. If it’s a longer game, decide how to create a “speed” version of it. Whoever wins the most rounds of all the games combined wins.
25. Star gaze and then make out! Sometime we get so busy in life that we forget to appreciate the little things like how amazing our sky is!
26. Have a date night with the kids. Do a fun project involving food and treats (gingerbread houses, sugar cookies, etc.), make your own flavored popcorn and have a movie night, or break your kids into two teams: mom and dad. Come up with different relay race activities and cheer on your kids as they compete on “team Mom” or “team Dad.” Be creative with your relay activities so that some of them favor the younger ones, and some the older.
27. Have a Nerf war. Yes, my husband has a Nerf gun set and he loves it. If the kids are in bed, you might need to take this one outside.
28. Make a smoothie or hot chocolate (depending on the season), and watch the sunset together.
29. Talk while you put a puzzle together.
30. Get in your pajamas early, make breakfast for dinner and have “breakfast in bed.”
31. Make homemade ice cream together. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, here are 6 ways to make it without one.
32. Plan your “bucket list” for the year and all the things you want to do together.
33. Draw a “caricature” cartoon version of each other
34. Each of you write a story titled “Our life over the next 60 years” and laugh at the differences that you came up with.
35. If it is summer time, wash the car together.
36. Send a secret “surprise package” to another couple, family or individual and totally make their week.
37. Skype and catch up with a family member or another couple that lives far away
38. Read a book together, only the person not reading is massaging the other’s back. Switch off.
35. Decide to save up for something and figure out ways you can earn extra money. Search for things around the house that you can sell on the classifieds.
36. Plan a yard sale together. Make flyers for your neighbors notifying them of the date and also letting them know they can drop their junk off at your house to be sold. My husband and I made almost $800 doing this and most of the stuff we sold wasn’t ours! Most people don’t want to do a yard sale of their own and would rather just give you their stuff (it saves them a trip to Good Will)!
37. Make homemade mini pizzas together and make a bunch of different kinds! Play angry birds (or another game) while dough is rising.
38. Be kids again and look up a fun science experiment to try. Drop raw eggs from your deck or roof and see who can make the best protective covering or parachute for their egg, resulting in no cracked shell!
39. Have a picnic. If it’s winter, lay out a blanket on the living room floor.
40. Get into a T.V. series together and watch them on Hulu (My husband and I are currently watching “Once Upon a Time” on ABC.
41. Go to the Dating Divas website and plan future dates when you can leave the house.
42. Watch a documentary together. This is actually funner that we thought it would be, we just happened to stumble upon a domcumentary on Netflix one time and have watched a few since then.
44. Have a fondue party.
45. Come up with a list of unique questions that you have always wondered the answer to (“Why are pizza boxes square instead of round?” Research the answers together.
46. Make a collection of fun family activities together and put the ideas on folded pieces of paper or on write them on popcicle sticks for the next time your kids are bored and in desperate need of adventure. This is also referred to as a “boredom jar” see link for lots of fun ideas. Have a competition to see who’s ideas win the most favor with the kids.
47. Have a leg-wrestling competition. Winner picks the movie.
48. Eat your meal without utensils, or give each other unique utensils like an ice cream scoop or a wire wisk to eat with. Take pictures!
49. Always wanted a pet? Research exactly what you want, how you’re going to care for it and where you want to buy it.
50. Shoot some hoops or play a good round of “HORSE.”
51. Build a snowman or an igloo. If there’s a LOT of snow, build a sledding track in your back yard and surprise your kids with it the next day.
*What do you and your spouse like to do when you have date nights at home?
Some dates my sister and I have had with our husbands