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No prizes for guessing what’s inspired this post.
But there are maybe a few more reasons to need stay-at-home date night ideas than the obvious one.
Yes, we’re stuck in at home right now with no external social activities or entertainment. So it figures that having a stash of stay-at-home date night ideas we can use rather than just default to our screens is something of a Good Plan.
However, I think that this ‘at home’ period has so much potential for strengthening our core family relationships. And when we invest in each other as much as we have opportunity, we know it will pay off in the long term.
For example, I’ve already written about using this time to connect with God as a family and to connect with our children in whatever way we can manage.
Investing in our marriages is good for us, for our physical and mental health, for our children, and for the communities we are serving (remotely, for most of us right now, but in person when we get through this strange season).
And my final reason is BECAUSE TRYING TO WORK AT HOME AND KEEP KIDS HAPPY IS HARD WORK. I’m realising that, for my own sanity and survival, I’m having to ignore the other jobs that ‘need’ doing in the evening, and spend some time relaxing with my husband instead, cranking up my energy levels for the next day.
So, whichever situation you find yourself in right now – with time on your hands, or more exhausted than you’ve ever been – please enjoy these stay-at-home date night ideas. And I’d love to hear what you try – why not tag me on Instagram or Facebook?
1. Board game
Grab one you haven’t played in years, dust it off and have fun re-learning it together.
Or, if you have funds available for a new game right now, our current favourites (and all playable with just two players) are Ticket to Ride (constructing train journeys through Europe whilst trying to sabotage your opponent), Seven Wonders Duel (building ‘wonders’ of the world whilst also trying to collect resources and wealth, make scientific progress and advance your army) and Hive (really short, simple strategy game, but highly addictive!).
And don’t forget, you can often find very cheap second-hand versions of these games on Ebay!
2. You Choose
So simple to set up but really fun: let your partner choose the plan for the night!
Give them a form to fill out, with questions about every aspect of the date night. This could include what to eat, what to drink, which music to listen to, which game to play, which TV programme or film to watch, which bedroom activity to engage in…
Then make it happen!
(This actually works for two date nights, as next time they could let you choose!)
For those of you doing Joe Wicks’ workouts each morning, this date night will be particularly appealing.
Grab a second-hand massage book and some oils, or check out a YouTube tutorial, and get skilled up in the art of massage!
This can be such a lovely – and romantic – activity! Either choose a novel that neither of you have read before – or, if your tastes don’t overlap (like ours!), what about a non-fiction book to aid you in your marriage, parenting, work or general life?
My top picks for reading with a partner would be Walking Back to Happiness (marriage/travel memoir), Cold Cups of Tea and Hiding in the Loo (Christian parenting honesty) and The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (secular parenting from a psychotherapist).
And remember: buying secondhand from Ebay is not only cheaper, but probably quicker than Amazon at the moment.
5. Wedding pictures/video
What could be better than spending an evening recalling happier days?
If you’re not married, pick a special time you enjoyed together in the past and look through old photos and videos: perhaps a particular holiday, or the heady early days of your relationship.
We loved this one when we did it in our Year of Dates last year! You can choose to do a savoury cheese fondue, or a chocolate fondue – or both!
(Guess which option we went for? Well, if you’re going to the effort of one fondue, you may as well go all-out, right?)
There’s something rather special, not only about eating food you wouldn’t usually indulge in, but about sharing food from a communal bowl (although probably best to avoid if one of you has symptoms!).
7. Ready steady cook
Simples: one of you chooses five ingredients you’d like to eat. Then the other has to create a feast using those ingredients and whatever else you have in the cupboards.
It’s a great one for making the best of what you have. And in these days of supermarket shortages, you may need to be a little flexible with your Big Five.
If both of you are confident cooks, this idea will make two dates: just switch round who chooses the ingredients and who cooks!
8. Ballroom dancing tutorial
Fancy yourselves as Strictly dancers? Why not enjoy the glamour and the music from your front room by drawing the curtains (unless you’re very confident) and learning together from a YouTube ballroom dancing tutorial.
9. Takeaway by candlelight
It’s one of the few luxuries that hasn’t yet been closed down (at time of writing), so why not do it in style?
Set the table, light some candles, turn off the Big Light and make some romantic memories!
10. Couples Scattergories
Again, we tried this in last year’s Year of Dates, and it was a really fun one!
You could make your own, but it’s a bit time consuming, so why not download the Dating Divas’ FREE printables?
You get a list of categories about your partner and your relationship, plus all the letters of the alphabet on separate cards. Pick one at random, then see how many categories you can complete with answers beginning with that letter. So fun!
11. Love letters
Maybe this sounds a bit corny, but sometimes we struggle to express our gratitude for each other in person.
It doesn’t have to be slushy, but spend some time in the evening writing down how you honestly feel about your other half. What are you grateful for? How have they supported you in the last few weeks? In which ways are they making you a better person?
Write it all down, then exchange, read and enjoy!
12. Drinks tasting
Sure, you can’t attend one of these, but I’ll bet you can definitely put together a menu of drinks you already own to sample and compare.
The obvious ones would be wine or beer. (If you get near a supermarket, you could buy a few small bottles of wine for variety.) But how about different gins or whiskeys?
13. Movie night
Rather than slump in front of a programme neither of you are bothered about, why not choose a film you’d both like to see, then add a few details for more of a cinema-at-home experience?
Add popcorn, hot dogs, nachos or whichever terrible junk food you can scrounge from your kitchen cupboards!
14. Relationship review
Don’t be deceived: this is not a boring date!
It’s a chance to look back at your recent relationship history, deal with anything unresolved, then to move forward positively, making plans for your future together. It can be vision-setting and super-inspiring!
You could use a set of questions like these, or do it more informally. However you do it, make sure it’s specific and focused, though, to get the most out of this date night.
15. Marriage course
Moving on from a relationship review, why not give your marriage or relationship an MOT by working through a course together?
In busier times, it’s so easy to neglect our marriages, so why not take advantage of this different season to invest in this important relationship?
I love a good limerick! And – bonus – they’re pretty simple to write, even if you don’t consider yourself much of a wordsmith.
Have fun writing them about your family members, friends and extended family, making them as silly as you can. As a bonus activity, why not send them to the people you’ve written about? Receiving post is so much fun, especially when we can’t see each other in person. (Tip: don’t send the insulting ones to people lacking a GSOH.)
If you have a well-stocked drinks cupboard (or if you’ve had a better experience at the supermarket than we have), why not have fun mixing and drinking your own cocktails?
Experimenting with the waning contents of your cupboards may even inspire a fabulous new concoction! (And if it does, I want to know about it.)
18. Time capsule
Why not capture this time through mementoes which mean something to you both? You could include today’s newspaper, a selfie of the two of you, your current hopes and dreams for where you want to be in one year, 5 years, 10 years, a photo of how your living room looks, and any other photos or souvenirs of things you’re enjoying right now.
19. Renovation project
And by this, I don’t mean actually do it in your date night. Most reno projects are 10% fun and 90% frustration. I really don’t recommend this as a date night activity!
Nope, here I’m definitely talking about the fun parts – your dream, your vision for what your home or garden could look like.
How do you want that patch of garden to feel? What would you love to do to your home? Which project can you do right now, with materials you have to hand? And what will be the first project you embark upon when the country is back to normal?
20. Surname acrostic
With the letters of your surname/s down one side of a piece of paper, try to come up with words beginning with each letter, which describe your relationship and/or family life.
If you come up with something good, why not use Canva to make it look awesome, print it out, frame it and hang it somewhere prominent in your home?
It’s not always easy to find choons you both think are awesome, so this could take a while.
But finding that happy overlap is a fun date night activity, and you’ll end up with a great playlist to play on future date nights, or as the background to games nights and dinner parties with friends.
When do we ever have a chance to do something positive with the many photos and videos we take on a daily basis?
Perhaps lockdown is your opportunity to do just that! You could make a photobook of a special birthday or holiday, or everyday shots of your children.
Not only is this a helpful job, it’s also a wonderful activity to do together, as looking through old photos prompts us about happier times, and unites us as we remember what our family has been through.
23. Intimately Us
Intimately Us is a wonderful Christian marriage and intimacy app, designed to help couples find greater connection emotionally and physically. There are conversation starters (in the areas of family, money, sex, etc), foreplay ideas, bedroom games, helpful articles on all aspects of intimacy from a Christian perspective, and activities designed to bring you closer together.
Why not download this app to spice up one of your date nights?!
You can download the basic version for free, then upgrade to a monthly or annual plan as needed, or even pay a one-off cost for life. Check it out!
24. Long bath
The normal pace of life rarely affords time for such luxuries. So while other evening commitments and activities are curtailed, why not enjoy a leisurely bath together?
Grab the candles and the bubbles (both varieties), and enjoy a relaxing soak and conversation.
25. Virtual performance
I’m writing this on the night that the hubs and I were due to go to a gig. I booked it for part of his Christmas present, and we’re both pretty gutted that it’s obviously had to be cancelled.
But many live performance venues and artists are planning virtual gigs over the coming weeks and months. Why not do some research and see what’s happening at your favourite venues?
And, if all else fails, why not YouTube a favourite musician, band or comedian, and enjoy one of their former live gigs?