At-home date night ideas aren’t just for 2020 (although they are verrrry helpful for 2020) so keep this list close when you can’t find a sitter or when the logistics of picking up your kids from Grandma’s at 11pm is not something you want to deal with tonight.
You can scroll down to read the 5 secrets we’ve used to create memorable at-home date night ideas and think up some of your own. Or at the end of this post I have a list of 14 unique at-home date night ideas — all of which Jeff and I are in the process of testing out right now (check out my Instagram to follow along on our dates!) Enjoy!
Memorable at-home date night ideas start with these 5 secrets
Find a unique + unusual location
But Syd, these are at home dates. Guys, I’ve got you. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean the location can’t make it more memorable. The key is to pick an unusual location for the activity you’re choosing.
On the first anniversary of our engagement, before were married, my husband and I climbed onto our roof (please proceed with caution), popped a bottle of champagne, and sipped it from the rooftop. It wasn’t anything extravagant, but it was really special and memorable.
Here are some more examples of what I mean — tell me what sounds like more fun? Eating dessert at your kitchen table — or — Having a dessert picnic on a blanket in your truck bed with only your camping lantern and the stars to light up your evening.
Go as far as the monitor will stretch.
Set the ambiance
You know how the holidays feel incredibly special and memorable, but really you’re just eating meat and potatoes like any other week? Obviously time with family and friends is what makes it the most fun, but it’s also the production, the glitz, the glam, the smell of a holiday that makes it special! So. Get out the china and your fanciest glassware, put on a tablecloth, craft a quick center piece, and light a candle! When you’re home, these little details will make it all feel more special.
Make it a competition
Will this ruin the date night? Possibly. Will it make for a firey date night? Also, possibly.
There’s nothing wrong with food, drinks, and a movie, but COME ON, every once and a while a home date needs to be more than food, drinks, and a movie. What about games? I’m talking board games, yard games, video games — any and all games are welcomed.
Throw it back (…or forward)
Get this. Beer pong. Mario Kart. Power hour. (wait no, power 15 minutes, we can’t survive an hour anymore). Doing something that makes you feel like you’re in a new decade for a bit is pretty fun. And all you need are some solo cups and shot glasses!
Or if you’re going to throw it forward why not trying something “the kids” are doing these days — backyard America Ninja Warrior course? Learn a TikTok dance? You get the idea.
Try an unusual time of day
Ok, stick with me on this one. I know I said date night, but what about early morning? Maybe mornings aren’t your thing and that’s ok, but if you and your partner are willing to wake up early, try a morning date! When Jeff and I were dating we use to meet up on weekdays at 5am, go to a spot on the tippy top of D avenue hill, sit in the back of his Jeep with the trunk open, watch the sunrise, and drink coffee. So simple and yet so much fun!
14 at-home date nights ideas
Movie in bed! Preferably with beers + popcorn
There is something cozy about making your bedroom feel like a movie theater. This is especially nice if you have older kids and they are still awake watching tv in the living room. You need your own space to date! Pro tip — bring the cushions from your couch and put them behind you so it feels more like the lounge chairs at the movie theater and less like your bed.
Get a massage (from each other)
This at-home date night idea requires a bit of acting. The key is to make the ambiance and the masseuse as authentically spa as possible. Set it up your bed or couch with sheets and a pillow for under your knees, get lotion and/or oils, put some soothing zen music on, and dim the lights. I don’t want to get gipped so I alway set a timer like the control freak I am, you do you.
Puzzles, music, and DIY trail mix
Making your own trail mix can be pretty fun, plus something different to snack on is refreshing! Both you and your partner should choose 3 items to add to your trail mix, put the items on your grocery list for the week, and throw it all together before you get started on your puzzle + music date night. (Best results when phones are stacked.)
Pizza competition + a new bottle of wine
How about a little tasty competition? Add all of the pizza making fixings to your grocery list (you decide if your pre-made or DIY pizza dough kind of people) and see who can whip up the tastiest pie. Amp it up by choosing a secret ingredient you both have to incorporate — egg, tortellini, roasted red pepper — plus a bottle of wine neither of you have tried before. (It’s tempting to go for you tried and true wine, but we’ve found that part of the fun is stepping out of the norm.)
Power Hour (but the 15 minute version)
No, I’m not kidding. Just to feel like a college kid again. Get out the shot glasses, some light beer, and a power hour playlist (there are a ton on Spotify and YouTube…ehhmm, if I remember right). I suggest not doing the full hour (bc hangovers really suck when you have little kids and aren’t use to drinking like your college days), but 15 minutes to a rockin’ playlist can be really fun (and likely really different than your normal day to day!)
Picnic dinner outside
We actually do this a lot with the girls because there is something about a blanket and fresh air. But it’s equally as fun to do with just you and your partner! Before we moved out of our first house we had a picnic lunch on the floor of our empty living room, it felt really special! Pro-tip: use your picnic basket to hide your phones for the night, no screens needed.
Dress up for dinner in
Who says you need to go out to get dolled up and feel fancy? Go all out and get dressed up like you would for the fanciest of steak house dates. This is the kind of night where you get take out and light candles at the dinner table too. Feeling glam is fun every once in a while.
Play beer pong on the kitchen table
Again, no, I’m not kidding. Laugh all you want, but an at home date night like this really switches things up. Take it from me, there is nothing routine about beer pong once you have a toddler and an infant and you’re in your thirties 🙂 Dinner suggestions that feel right for this night — Hot n’ Ready pizza, Qdoba with extra queso, or Pizza Rolls (you know why)!
Charcuterie board + card night
Go all out for this one. Find fancy cheese, snausages you’ve never tried, and jam that costs twice the price of your Smucker’s favorite. Honestly, you can get it all covered by raiding Trader Joe’s or Aldi for some new and fun items, but if you have a local cheese shop #supportlocal with this one. Once the board is set (and you’ve taken your photo for IG), get your cards, it’s time to play cards and snack away on that beautiful charcuterie board for the rest of the evening. We are big rummy fans. That’s our go-to card game when it’s just the two of us, play your favorite!
Learn a Tik Tok dance together
I know I sound like I’m trying to be cool when, really, I’m not. In reality I don’t even have TikTok on my phone, I only watch the ones that are sent to me by friends and family, BUT I’ve seen my sisters do a TikTok dance together and I think it sounds like a fun way to let loose with your partner. Pro tip: set your expectations low so you don’t get frustrated. I have a suspicion kids make it look way easier than it is.
Find your best sunrise spot, make some cinnamon rolls and hot coffee, grab a bunch of blankets, and get outside to snuggle while you watch the sunrise and just chat through the calm silence of the early morning.
Make a new complicated recipe together
I bet you aren’t surprised at-home date night ideas can start from Pinterest. Scan Pinterest or your favorite food blog, find something neither of you have made before, and try it out! Best case scenario, you don’t hate each other by the end of cooking and it’s an amazing meal. Worst case scenario, you realize how different you are (but how much you still love each other) and it’s such a disaster that it’s comical. It’s probably good to have a frozen pizza on hand in case it all goes to crap.
Kids games + kids movies
Don’t act like you’re too good for a cartoon movie! Dust off the oldies and throw it way back to the Candy Land and VHS days (except, stream it bc 2020). Other acceptable options besides Candy Land include Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Pretty Princess, Sorry!, Husker Du?, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Trouble. Hint: If you don’t have board games, your parents probably still do.
Paint something to hang in your house
Ok ok, you can decide later if it actually gets hung up, no pressure. BUT painting could be a fun way to get out of your comfort zone together (assuming that’s not a normal thing for you). It’s kind of like those wine and canvas parties, but just the two of you and it’s in your home.
Side note: something on my bucket list is to fill water balloons with paint, hang them at the top of a huge canvas, and throwing darts at the balloons so the paint drips down the canvas. Remember that scene in Princess Diaries? Dreams.
At-home date night ideas help date night live on
This post is partly to remind myself that date night doesn’t have to be out of the house. Actually, in some seasons of life (or years, looking at you 2020) at-home date nights are the best option to dedicate distraction free time for you and your partner. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hire a sitter and go out on a date, but I am saying that you should do both!