For those who know me well, you know that I have always had a “thing” for marriages, and for helping couples to have fun times together. If you’ve recently hit a lull in finding fun things to do together, here is a short list of date night ideas to get you started. Some of these can be done at home in the space of an hour if you don’t have childcare or transportation.
As an adult, you and your spouse can be “just fine” without a special time together, just as the thousands of couples who have come and gone before you, doing the same thing each evening, despite their deep desires for fellowship and connection. However, for the sake of believing in your own special purpose to the world, wouldn’t it be fun to take time to hang out with your spouse, instead of just talking about bills, work, and the kids?
If your spouse is not interested in doing anything with you besides the above, take some time to do some of this yourself, since, as we all know, joy is infectious, and your example can change even the most ornery of people. At the very least, bringing simple but fun things to your life will help you to minister more effectively out of your refreshment and reserve, versus serving out of your last morsel of energy. God alone can fill the deep recesses of our heart’s desire, but He wisely offered Adam a partner to help him to avoid lonely feelings. Follow suit and hang with your mate on occasion!
In other words, If you want a simple formula for life success, listen to the words of a wise mentor of mine, that thankfully still echo, whispering me on to good and true things.
Flee to Worship
Flee to Service
Flee to Fellowship
This post is dedicated to helping you nail that last one! Enjoy.
Fifty Great (Home or Away) Date Night Ideas
- Playing an old favorite board game with a snack you enjoy, like Clue, Battleship, Boggle or Trivial Pursuit.
- Watching a show together while you cuddle or trade turns back scratching.
- Listening to favorite songs together, trading turns picking them out.
- Having a bake-off or gourmet cooking night with decadent (or just yummy) treats.
- Playing a sport with each other, such as tennis or basketball.
- Going for walks or jogs or otherwise getting in shape together.
- Having a picnic.
- Working on a fun project together, something that interests you both, like photography or decor, redoing the kitchen, or just dream vacation planning.
- Doing a puzzle together.
- Taking a dance class together.
- Watching a show you both enjoyed back in childhood and laughing about the antiquated or endearing fashions and conversations.
- Read an interesting non-fiction, mystery, fantasy, or inspirational book together (it’s nice to find a genre that is intriguing to both versus our usual personal choices).
- Go to a cute local coffee shop, tidy up, and have a conversation about life, dreams, things going well, and trivial things also. There is a lot to say about environment to help us to visit mundane items in a more refreshing way.
- At the beginning of the date, go shopping together at the dollar store, and agree to pick out five things each that you can use on the very date night you are on, even if its a home date. One rule only. Each item must be used to sprinkle fun into your night, even if it’s an astronomically huge hat that should never be worn in public (yes, I have done this, and it got more laughs than I intended it to).
- Go to the park and sit, just trying to find as many signs of wildlife as you can, while you munch, talk, cuddle on a bench or blanket, or read together.
- Go for a walk by the ocean or the lake.
- Eat at home or an inexpensive place and then visit a nice place for dessert.
- Go to the bookstore (or the bookcase), take five minutes to find a book you think your spouse will enjoy, then take about five minutes looking through it, then take turns telling each other what you have just learned over cocoa, tea, or coffee.
- Visit an ice cream parlor and share an indulgent dessert, or fix one up at home.
- Train for a doable race or sporting event together (preferably not after you’ve had the ice cream).
- Visit a pizza parlor and split a pie. I think if every date involved this simple practice, there would be value. Just a humble foodie’s opinion.
- Compete in “training” for made-up events together such as bowling (like hitting a certain score), quick taco-making, hitting a high note for the longest time, or other crazy ideas only the two of you could ever find funny.
- Have a bonafide kids-free slumber party complete with pillow fight, goodies to share, a silly movie or funny book, pajamas, and maybe even a pizza delivery.
- Light candles and get dressed up for a late dinner (or dinner out). My mom’s extended family always “dressed for dinner” and it really jazzes up a simple night.
- Write out your love story together, including interesting but random details from the beginning of the relationship, when you first liked each other, such as things you wore, how your hair was styled, or what you were doing. You may be playfully laughing and teasing each other about perceptions but it’s a fun way to rekindle some forgotten feelings, and if you save it, it may be a family relic one day!
- Watch a movie and eat food with the same theme as those eating in the movie. You can go fancy or simple here, Think Sweet Home Alabama (country barbecue), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (’nuff said), My Big Fat Greek Wedding (hello..Greek), Monsoon Wedding (Indian), or the many other movies that have yummy, mouth watering foods!
- Find a restaurant with live music and/or a dance floor.
- Visit a museum and stare at a painting together pretending to understand it well and be an expert (if you are one, all the better).
- Pack a bag and go for a hike together. Bring a snack, binoculars, (and a map if you are like me with directions).
- Relive your first date, visiting the same restaurant (or chain or similar place), watching the same movie, dressing similarly, or doing the same activity.
- Rent a rowboat or kayak for an hour and go for a little excursion.
- Create a mini-scavenger hunt for your spouse complete with a small treasure at the end. It could get racy with lingerie, or simply fun like a book, pair of shoes, or product you know they’ve wanted at the end of it, or even a chocolate bar, or a snack.
- Get together or snap some pics of the two of you (close ups, smooching, and a few pics someone else can take for you or has already taken for you) and run to the corner store for the prints and a few snacks. Make a simple scrapbook together to keep by your bedside.
- Drive date. Just drive, enjoying no kids asking for things, no agenda or errand, and enjoy the scenery or music together. If you must get out, you got it, drive-thru.
- Enjoy chocolate covered fruit or pretzels together. It’s as simple as buying pre-sweetened baker’s chocolate squares, melting them in the microwave, and buying a precut container of fruit. Feed each other if you want to go the extra mile.
- Do a breakfast date, waking up forty five minutes early if your only possible time for no hustling and bustling is at the wee hours of the morning. Read an inspiring story together, watch the sunrise before work, or wake up early on a Saturday for gourmet eggs or fruity pancakes with your love. If possible, set things out before bed to make the morning easier.
- Do a mystery date for your spouse, planned with surprises at every turn, like a rose on the seat of the car, a passage of a book to read at the bookstore that leads to a clue somewhere else, and a smashing dessert that you would never typically order.
- Go to a favorite concert (or listen to an entire album as loud as you can without waking the kids) and dress the part, enjoying sitting and rocking together.
- Take a community class together for dancing, learning a new skill like writing or learning Photoshop, once or several times.
- Visit a drive-in movie or a theatre with a live show together.
- Hit the big city or the beach for a special night together (had to be said because it’s so great, although not a frequent event for most). If it’s not a reality now, see the next tip.
- Do free dates for a bit (some of these are free). Decorate a jar and save your pennies and spare change for a really special date night, such as a gourmet meal, amusement park visit sans kids, hot air balloon ride, orchestra tickets, or a hotel for the night, just for the two of you.
- Enjoy physical intimacy and plan for it especially after many if not most of these awesome dates. Set the mood with music, outfit, or perfume, depending on your desire for the spontaneous or pre-planned fun.
- Go to the arcade (or do a home video game challenge) or batting cages, and share a big burger, fries, and a milkshake to boot.
- Go to the clean eating foods store (or gourmet or ethnic food store) near you and find something interesting to eat; one new thing, and one thing you are certain to like.
- Go to a carnival or festival in town and live like adolescents on an allowance budget.
- Set a budget ($5 or $10 dollars and do an iTunes night where you select new music together to purchase). Listen while you chat and snack.
- Build a fun fort throughout the house or your bedroom and find silly items in different spots. Sounds like a set up for a mouse in a maze, but it can be fun, creative, silly, or even romantic under there!
- Go shopping together in a mutual favorite store. Set a budget (clearance or elegant) and select something you would enjoy for your spouse to wear (or try on) for the rest of the evening. Don’t go out of their comfort zone, just try to find something nice. You can always do this a few times before the purchase is made, but be a good sport and allow your partner to help you look even more awesome to them for a few hours.
- Play a game of cards. Find some new ones on the Internet or get competitive in an old fave. Make a scrumptious trail mix to go with the fun!
- It goes without saying that for the few lucky that have a bonfire out back, this is totally romantic and should be done often.
- Create a dream list of where you want to be in two, five, or ten years. Don’t hold back, just enjoy dreaming together.
- If you live near the water, enjoy a slow dance along the coast or at a beach cafe.
- Plan and play a mystery dinner game together and place you and plan to make flirtatious chemistry with your spouse all night with your friends in the supporting roles (www.suppersleuths.com).