8 ideas for fun date nights at home

couple playing Scrabble
CC BY 2.0 Lucius Kwok

You don't have to go out and spend a pile of money to have a good time. Staying in can be just as fun, and far cheaper.

Date night is a necessity in every long-term relationship. Whether you have children and need a break from their chaos, or crave a break from relentless work demands, date night is a great way to refocus on one’s partner, to rekindle the spark of attraction that brought you together initially, and to recharge personally.

The best kind of date night doesn’t break the bank, nor do you come home reeling at how much you’ve spent on drinks, dinner, a movie, and a babysitter. This is why the at-home date night deserves more attention. It’s entirely possible to have a whole lot of fun at home with your partner, while spending a fraction of the money, if any at all. We like talking about frugality on TreeHugger, so a list of at-home date night tips seems fitting.

1. Fancy cocktail and takeout: This idea comes from an article in The Kitchn and I love it. Eating takeout and not having to cook or clean pots will make it feel like a real break. Add some fun cocktails (which I never have the time to mix because I’m always too busy cooking) and you’re set.

2. Make a new recipe: If you love cooking and look forward to a chance to do it together, then make that your date. Work together in the kitchen to create an interesting new recipe you’ve never made before. How about homemade gnocchi, a pot of pho, butter paneer, or mushroom lasagna?

3. Dress up: It’s amazing what nice clothes can do. If you spend most evenings in your pajamas (like I do), then putting on dressy clothes for a date night in will quickly change the mood.

4. Get out of the living room: Who says you have to stay in the living room? Seek out an alternative corner of your apartment or house, just to change things up. You might have a lot of fun sharing a bottle of wine in bed, in the kitchen, on a porch or the back step. My husband and I occasionally watch a movie on a laptop, lying on the floor, as if we were kids again; it’s surprisingly fun.

5. You can't go wrong with pizza and a movie: There’s a reason this is an old standby. It’s the perfect combination of time for interaction and time for relaxation. Choose a film that’s mutually agreeable. Get some awesome pizza and some treats for after, and simply enjoy spending time together.

6. Play a board game: This is a fun way to pass the time. Good two-player games include Scrabble, Lost Cities, Hive, The Rivals for Catan, Carcassonne, Battle Line, Jaipur, Morels. (Any other suggestions?) Get a bowl of popcorn and some beers, and you’re set.

7. Stay at a friend's: This works only if the friend is not there! If a close friend is traveling, ask if you can stay over at their place with your partner, or offer to do an apartment/house swap for the night or weekend. A change of ambience can be fun, and a direct exchange is free for both parties.

8. Have date night in the morning. Who says dates always have to happen in the evening? It's just as fun, and definitely more unusual, to get romantic first thing in the morning. Serve breakfast in bed with mimosas.

8 ideas for fun date nights at home
You don't have to go out and spend a pile of money to have a good time. Staying in can be just as fun, and far cheaper.

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