Date nights are a great way to reconnect with your partner, but going out on a regular basis can be hard on the budget. If you have kids at home, it might also not be practical to schedule a babysitter at the last minute. The good news is that stay-at-home date night ideas abound. And with a little imagination, you can have just as much fun at home while saving money at the same time.
1. Make it a Netflix night
Watch a movie together – but do it in style. Take your laptop outside and watch a movie on a blanket under the stars. Or up the game by staying indoors but making sure you have a proper popcorn bucket, some good blankets, and plenty of candles around the room.
Fancy trying something different? Watch each other’s favourite old movie instead of a modern blockbuster.
2. Eat takeaway by candlelight
It’s actually more romantic than going to a crowded restaurant and you still don’t need to cook. Turn down the lights, play some soft music and order your favourite food. No TV allowed – instead, set up the table with your nice china and crystal and dine in style.
3. Create an adventure list
Think of it as the couple’s bucket list. Write down all the places you want to visit together, things you want to try as a couple (anyone for dancing lessons or scuba diving?) or your dream future home.
Go ahead and dream big and wild. If you want to go to Uganda to see mountain gorillas, add that to the list. Make sure you include plenty of mini-adventures. Good examples include a local hike you want to try or a road trip you’ve been meaning to take.
4. Learn a new skill together
You don’t have to go anywhere to take a class or attend a workshop. Places like Udemy, Coursera and OpenLearn offer thousands of free online courses on everything from learning a language to pet first aid and even coding.
Or you can go to YouTube for dance lessons, DIY skills and even learning to knit. The quirkier the skill you choose to learn, the more laughs you’ll get out of your date night.
5. Have a late-night picnic
If you have a garden, a balcony or even a roof terrace in your building, pack a picnic and head outside. If you don’t have outdoor space, you can still have a picnic in your living room. You just need a cosy blanket, a fire if it’s chilly enough, and some nice wine. Don’t forget to turn down the lights.
6. Make it musical
How about a stay-at-home date night idea that centres around music? Spend some time putting together a playlist of your favourite songs, dance the night away, or listen to old vinyl while cuddling on the sofa.
Don’t have a turntable? Check out The Great 78 Project, a community preservation project where you can listen to thousands of digitised old records, crackling and all.
7. Attempt a puzzle together
Let’s face it, the chances are you won’t finish that 1000-piece puzzle on a single date night, but you can definitely try. Pour some wine, light a candle and get cosy in front of the coffee table with some pillows.
Puzzles are boring? No way. Plan ahead and have a puzzle made with a favourite photo, or buy one of a place you want to visit or have been to together.
8. Plan your own wine and cheese party
If a visit to a vineyard is out of the question at the moment, you can create your own wine-inspired date night right in your kitchen. All you need is a few different wines and cheeses so you can have fun tasting, sampling and pairing.
Don’t worry if you know nothing about wine. That could make the night even more fun!
9. Have a game night
Board games can make for a great date night, especially if you have several games to try. Trivia games, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble or any of the classics are a good place to start. But there are also sexy games for couples and lots of card games you can try.
You could make it interesting with a wager – the winner gets a massage or the loser has to cook for the next two nights.
10. Have a video game marathon
Challenge yourselves to a video game face-off, even if you’re not video game people. Buy a couple of games for your PC if you don’t have a console, or pick up a second-hand older console at a flea market and enjoy old-style games.
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