I know you’ve heard it a million on times. Date night is super important in maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with your spouse. But it is honestly so hard, especially when you have kids.
We’ve got 2 under two (with the youngest not quite 8 months yet) which makes going out on an actual date pretty tricky. By the time I pump enough breast milk, organize a sitter, make reservations or buy tickets, I’m already exhausted. Then we’re on a schedule to be home before the milk runs out. Basically going on a date takes a lot of time, planning, organization and energy…and that’s before we’ve spent any money or left the house.
But every now and then, there is a magical evening where everything goes just right. Kids go to sleep early and we are left staring at each other wondering what to do now. It would be a perfect moment for a date but since it’s so sporadic we are never ready.
I’ve spent some time looking through Pinterest for ideas and some of them require extra planning, extra materials or being totally honest are really dumb. Like seriously, I don’t have random canvas laying around for an impromptu art date night.
Here are a few ideas that you can pull together in about 15 minutes, using things you already have at home! These are simple and cheap date ideas that are both practical and fun.
1. Watch a Comedy Special
I know Netflix and Chill is a pretty popular option for most couples. But picking a movie is half the battle and the other half is stay up to watch the chosen movie. So pick a comedy special. There are tons on Netflix and they are about an hour. You’ll spend time laughing together and still be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Trevor Noah, Gabriel Iglesias and Aziz Ansari are some of our favourites to watch, if you need a suggestion of where to start.
2. Play a Video Game
Playing a video game together is another easy but fun option. A little competition is a great way to bond and you can still chat while playing, even if it is just friendly smack-talk. Now I SUCK at video games. There are basically only 2 that I can play, Tetris and Just Dance. But whether we’re stacking blocks or locked in a fierce dance battle, it’s a fun way to spend an evening.
3. Play a Board Game
Bust out the kids’ board games and play around. Scrabble, Checkers, Chess, Battleship are all great 2-player board games. Grab some snacks and sit down to a fun round of whatever game you have on hand.
A deck of cards is one of the most versatile things you can have on hand. Now I’m no card shark but I’m always down for a good game of crazy 8s. There are hundreds of card games out there. From Go Fish to Speed to Poker, there is a game for every couple.
5. “Heads Up”
Why not download a game? This is a super fun game that only requires a smartphone and the app. It’s fun, easy and gets you talking and more importantly laughing.
6. Freezer Diving
This is a fun little date if you’re feeling particularly hungry. Search through your freezer and make a random snack from what you find.
7. Chat on the porch
This is one of our favourites. This is our go-to afternoon date when the kids take their naps. We grab a snack and head out to our front porch. During the spring and fall, we usually enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee and the occasional hot cocoa. During the warmer summer months we bust out our secret stash of ice cream sandwiches and we just sit and talk. There’s something about going to a different space that makes this little window of time so special.
8. Have a Picnic
There’s something about sitting on a blanket that makes a meal, instantly more special. So bust out the cheese and crackers, chips and salsa or whatever you want. And you can eat outside or the living room floor. During the Christmas season, we have picnics under our Christmas tree and it’s a blast!
9. Workout together
Sometimes you need to get moving! Do a workout together. There are tons of free videos online and there are some great, fun workouts. Try Zumba or yoga or really anything. Try something neither of you would ever think of and get sweaty. It’s a great way to get in shape and it’s a lot more fun when you’re laughing with your partner.
10. Make a dream list
This sounds lame, but hear me out. Maybe you make a list of movies you want to see together or tv shows (a reference for future date night material). Perhaps you want to do a little more dreaming. Design your perfect house or major reno in simple list form. Make a list of all the places you want to visit. Make your relationship bucket list. This is a great activity to do over a bottle of wine and bowl of chips and it gets you talking which is the point of any date.
Date night at home, while the kids are sleeping can be just as fun and romantic as going out! What’s your favourite at-home date night ideas? We’d love to try them out!