Five stay-at-home date night ideas

date-night

Dave and I had our first date in six months last Friday night. Six whole months.

We went to the Banff Mountain Film Festival for Dave’s birthday to watch their Radical Reels tour. It was more than two hours of extreme mountain biking, climbing and wingsuit piloting.

Dave was in heaven. And I was in heaven too. It was fun getting dressed up and sharing a bite to eat before the films as we watched the sun set over the Brisbane River.

We cuddled up in the back row of the theatre, had a sneaky snog or two, and simply enjoyed some sweet uninterrupted time together.

I realised last weekend that we only usually go on a date three times a year for my birthday, our anniversary, and Dave’s birthday.

Three dates. Surely we can do better than that.

It got me to thinking how often couples have date nights and whether we were the norm or not.

I asked the question on Facebook and many of you were in the same boat as us rarely venturing out on a date night with your other half. During this pop quiz, a friend of ours asked why it was so long between dates for us.

Good question.

We are extremely lucky to have a fantastic support network of family who are always willing to help out and look after the kids. The kids have been sick quite a bit this year and I’ve had a number of specialist appointments meaning we’ve had to call on our network a lot. We’re conscious of not taking advantage of them.

If Dave and I go out, it is usually separately. Dave will go out with his mates while I look after the kids and vice versa. Plus, we’re tired at the end of the day and don’t have a great deal of extra cash lying around with me still working part-time.

That’s not to say we don’t still have plenty of time together. Friday and Saturday nights we usually rent a DVD and have a couple of drinks. I ALWAYS get into my pjs as soon as the kids are in bed and nearly always fall asleep before the movie’s end. Romantic :/

After last Friday’s successful date, I’m keen to keep things rolling, spice things up, get talking and rekindle the romance.

Just because we can’t always get out doesn’t mean we can’t make our time at home a little bit special.

Sometimes the dates at home are just as, or even more, fun and romantic.

Today, I’m sharing five stay-at-home date night ideas for those of us whose dates are few and far between.

Five

Backyard camping

Umm Renee, did you just mention the C word? Yuh-huh, I did. We’ve done this little activity before and it’s so much fun. (Just between you and me it’s the closest Dave is going to get to camping for a while.) Think sitting around a fire pit toasting marshmallows, star gazing, enjoying the quiet and getting cosy. Decorate the tent with fairy lights or candles and pillows to add a little romance.

Theme night

This is another fun one we’ve done before. We chose a Mexican theme where I cooked a truckload of Mexican food and we drank Coronas while listening to Mexican music. I think the next one we’ll do is a Thai night to relive our honeymoon. You don’t have to base your theme on a country. Grab any theme and run with it. A 1970s night complete with flares, a ‘fro and fondue could be fun.

Remember the time

Dig up your old emails or cards from the early days of your relationship. If you’re anything like us, it will be great for a laugh and the perfect opportunity to reminisce. You could also do this with an old photo album. It doesn’t have to be photos of you together. It could be from your childhood or from school. It’s a time to share, open up, and get talking.

Tasting night

I don’t know about you, but I really like cheese … and wine. Mmmm cheese and wine. Select a few wines to taste and pair them with some cheese for a sublime night in. I found this site recently which can help you pair wines and cheese. You could even rent Sideways to get you into the wine tasting mood.

Gold Class at home

Grab some takeaway (I’m thinking decent takeaway, not Maccas) complete with a decadent dessert, a good flick, dim the lights and put your feet up. Dave has suggested you throw some popcorn down the back of the couch to create the right ambience.

What would you add to the list? Have you tried any of the above? How often do you and your partner have a date night? What’s stopping you from going out with your partner more?

Linking up today with EssentiallyJess for IBOT.

79 comments on Five stay-at-home date night ideas

  1. Caitlin
    November 25, 2014 at 5:58 am (3 years ago)

    Alex and I have just finished facilitating a seven week marriage course. One of the things that was stressed throughout the course was to schedule in weekly “Marriage Time” together. We are still not wonderful at doing it regularly, but we really do love the time that we spend together without the kids. It’s good to remember that we are “us” and to keep that bond strong. It benefits the kids so profoundly that we have a good marriage, so it doesn’t even feel selfish anymore. Because I get help during the day often, if I’m having a day where I’m running errands in town, I will book a lunch date with Alex and spend an hour with him during the day. We love doing that, I’ve made him a picnic and we’ve walked down to a local park and eaten it together, but mostly we love to find a cheap eat somewhere and talk and dine together. We used to eat out every week before children and it’s amazing how quickly that feeling comes back. It also kind of makes me think, that one distant day in the future when the last child flees the nest. We’ll be OK Alex and I. We’ll miss them, but we’ll still have fun because “just us” is pretty cool.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:09 am (3 years ago)

      Caitlin. I love this response! Thank you. I had read somewhere that you facilitated a marriage course. How interesting. I think the weekly marriage time is a brilliant idea and so essential. As you say, it benefits everyone – yourselves and the kids. Thanks again for your detailed response xx

      Reply
  2. ann
    November 25, 2014 at 6:08 am (3 years ago)

    I like these ideas!! We usually have something really nice for dinner and watch a movie or taped show, exciting!! I can’t wait until he kids are older and we can actually leave the house!!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:10 am (3 years ago)

      I know! That would be a treat πŸ™‚

      Reply
  3. Lydia C. Lee
    November 25, 2014 at 6:13 am (3 years ago)

    Love the theme night -great ideas!

    Reply
  4. Danielle L
    November 25, 2014 at 6:50 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas. We are in the same boat in that we have recently used our parents a lot to have the kids while I picked up some work so although we both feel like we need a night our together we are going to have to get creative at home instead!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:11 am (3 years ago)

      If you get creative and make it a bit special those stay at home dates can be just as good πŸ™‚ Good luck!

      Reply
  5. Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    November 25, 2014 at 6:51 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas. I love the romantic tent idea but I just know that my kids would end up in there instead of us.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:12 am (3 years ago)

      Lol. Hmm yes that would kill the mood!

      Reply
  6. Erin
    November 25, 2014 at 7:35 am (3 years ago)

    Going on more dates is something I would put as a high priority to go back and tell my younger self to do. We didn’t spend enough us time and I think we would have been far less stressed if we had. Yes it’s good for the children to see Mum and Dad still in love, prioritising their relationship. Whenever they catch us in a cuddle and carry on (the under teen set, the teens/adults just smile) I know its good for them. Read somewhere, “The best gift a Father can give his children is for them to know he loves their Mother”

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:13 am (3 years ago)

      I love that saying, Erin. I can imagine it would be extra hard for you to find that time with all of the kids. It sounds like you have a great relationship and once more kids leave the nest it will be easier for you both to find that time πŸ™‚

      Reply
  7. Ling @ Ling Out Loud
    November 25, 2014 at 7:51 am (3 years ago)

    Fantastic ideas! We’ve barely been out on a date since our baby girl was born. But stay at home date nights are just as good…and I can wear my PJ’s and it will be okay πŸ˜›
    (sending love from #IBOT)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:14 am (3 years ago)

      It sure will, Ling! Thanks for dropping in. I’m looking forward to reading your blog soon πŸ™‚

      Reply
  8. Jayne
    November 25, 2014 at 7:55 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas..just had our first night out without kids in 12 months! Long overdue..making up for it though and heading out again this weekend for our anniversary πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:15 am (3 years ago)

      Sounds great, Jayne! I hope you have an amazing time. Happy anniversary x

      Reply
  9. Vicki | Style On V
    November 25, 2014 at 8:16 am (3 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing your ideas. Time together is so important. V x

    Reply
  10. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    November 25, 2014 at 8:50 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas here! Now, to get the kids to bed early… πŸ™‚

    Reply
  11. Carla from My Yellow Heart
    November 25, 2014 at 8:58 am (3 years ago)

    We always have dinner with the children. But getting nice takeout (read spicy and not child friendly) always kind of feels like a dinner date at home if you serve it with wine and candles! But i’m hearing you on the lake of date nights!!

    Reply
  12. Bec @ The Plumbette
    November 25, 2014 at 9:04 am (3 years ago)

    You’re so clever to think and do these date nights. The last time Jacob and I were by ourselves for a date was the night before I had Phoebe to celebrate my 30th. Going to Problogger we had Phoebe with us but the first night after the Annie Sloan cocktail party Jacob and I ordered in from I the in house menu and Phoebe was asleep so we got to dine in our room and talk. We’re going away to Melbourne this weekend and I can’t wait to do the same while Phoebe sleeps. We need to schedule more time together. It’s been hard juggling kids including a baby to do this but we will get better as the girls get older.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:18 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, it is a lot harder when you have a bub, Bec. I hope you both have a wonderful weekend this weekend and Phoebe lets you have some time together x

      Reply
  13. Michelle@myslowlivingadventure
    November 25, 2014 at 9:35 am (3 years ago)

    Great ideas. We do the PJ’s, movie, fall asleep thing quite regularly. I just need to posh it up a bit and make it feel special, and stay awake!!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:19 am (3 years ago)

      Haha yes. If only we can stay awake. Problem is as soon as I relax, I’m out like a light πŸ™‚

      Reply
  14. Josefa
    November 25, 2014 at 9:55 am (3 years ago)

    Love all these ideas Renee, date nights for me however – mean we GO OUT! I need to be dined, dress up and get out of that house! Another date night with hubby this Sunday – dinner and a comedy show – cannot wait! You know what is better than a date night though? Holidays sans kids with your partner – highly recommend πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:20 am (3 years ago)

      Oh my God, Josefa. Don’t tease me with that idea. That sounds amazing!!!!! Have a wonderful time this Sunday xx

      Reply
  15. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    November 25, 2014 at 10:52 am (3 years ago)

    Date night? I can’t remember having one of those. We’re always surrounded by offspring. Not sure whether that’s great or not!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:21 am (3 years ago)

      I can imagine how hard it would be to find some couple time with six kids, Jody!! I hope you get some time together soon x

      Reply
  16. Alison - The Way He Plays
    November 25, 2014 at 11:31 am (3 years ago)

    Dave’s suggestion about the popcorn made me laugh, I like the idea of jazzing up watching movies at home too!!

    Reply
  17. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    November 25, 2014 at 11:54 am (3 years ago)

    The closest we’d probably get to a date night at home is the gold class one as we don’t ever really have time to go to the actual movies. We’re much more home bodies anyway so watching a movie on the couch suits us.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:22 am (3 years ago)

      We are a bit like that too, Toni πŸ™‚

      Reply
  18. Emily
    November 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm (3 years ago)

    Pffft, haha, I love Dave’s popcorn suggestion! Great post.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 6:23 am (3 years ago)

      He’s a card! Thanks Emily πŸ™‚

      Reply
  19. Dannielle
    November 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm (3 years ago)

    I do love a good date night. we’ve had 2 official ones this year one for our anniversary and just recently just because. It’s amazing how different you feel when its just the 2 of you, you can actually hear each other talk and genuinely listen to what your partner is saying. I love my children to the moon and back but I love the rare moments Zadada and I get to spend as a twosome, it really does help you to relax and reconnect. Renee I love all your idea’s for date nights at home. I think Zadada would love the ‘C’ word date option, I’ll have to keep that one up my sleeve, I’d love to surprise him. Of course I love the idea of the themed nights, we love to cook in the kitchen together! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:32 pm (3 years ago)

      You’re welcome. I hope you can have some special time together in the very near future πŸ™‚

      Reply
  20. Lisa@RandomActsOfZen
    November 25, 2014 at 12:22 pm (3 years ago)

    We try to get out together once a month. Due to shift work, some times it’s lunch, sometimes dinner. I love your ideas Renee, you’ve even made camping sound delightful! x

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm (3 years ago)

      Once a month is fantastic, Lisa. Good on you x

      Reply
  21. Jodi Gibson (JF Gibson Writer)
    November 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm (3 years ago)

    Great ideas Renee. We are in serious need of a date night of any description, but we are just both so tired at the moment. Our perfect date night right about now involves bed and sleep. (And maybe something else according to hubby!)

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. I know what you mean about being tired! Hope you can spend some time together soon x

      Reply
  22. EssentiallyJess
    November 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm (3 years ago)

    We have stay at home date nights every Friday and I love them. Some nights we get takeaway, others we have a homemade meal, but we set the kids up in the toy room, open the wine and just enjoy the night. I wouldn’t be without it. πŸ™‚

    Reply
  23. Bec @ Seeing the Lighter Side of Parenting
    November 25, 2014 at 7:17 pm (3 years ago)

    This is awesome! I totally want to come round to your place for a date, ha ha:) Our date nights recently consist of watching Game of Thrones together. Not exactly a romance but lots of fun!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:37 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. We’ve never watched that one. We must be the only two people on earth who haven’t seen it. Will have to get on the bandwagon soon.

      Reply
  24. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    November 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm (3 years ago)

    Our night away together also reminded me that we need to do it A LOT more, I think we’ll start our backgammon nights again, although we do get fiercely competitive. So happy you had a fabulous night, much deserved!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:38 pm (3 years ago)

      Same goes for you, Em! I’m glad you had an amazing time too. Backgammon sounds like loads of fun. A bit of healthy competition never hurt anyone πŸ™‚

      Reply
  25. Becky from BeckyandJames
    November 25, 2014 at 7:53 pm (3 years ago)

    Great ideas. We tend to just watch some movies on the couch once the kids are asleep but don’t go to much effort. I would like to. I’m not sure about your camping suggestion though!! πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  26. Neets
    November 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm (3 years ago)

    Love this list gorgeous! I’m so going to camp in the backyard with my man SOON XXX

    Reply
  27. DruimΓ©@SnippetsandSpirits
    November 25, 2014 at 11:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Love your List Renee all of it the mexican the camping or glamping ! Your guys are great at keeping the spark lit. We maybe go out once a year !

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:42 pm (3 years ago)

      Time to change that if you can, Druime πŸ™‚ x

      Reply
  28. Vicki @ Knocked Up and Abroad
    November 26, 2014 at 7:50 am (3 years ago)

    Dates, whether they be in or out are so imperative to the health of your relationship when you’re parents! We tend to go out individually a lot as well and getting out together can go a while. We do make sure we have a telly night where we catch up on our favorite series together but some variety sure couldn’t hurt! These are some great suggestions!!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:41 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks Vicki πŸ™‚ A cuddle up in front of the telly sounds perfect πŸ™‚

      Reply
  29. Grace
    November 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm (3 years ago)

    Great ideas! We like to hang out and watch continuous episodes of Mad Men or Big Bang Theory.
    Looks like you guys had an awesome night out! Snogging in the theatre never goes out of style πŸ™‚ x

    Reply
  30. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    November 26, 2014 at 1:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh the coveted date night. I am like you – I don’t want to call on my mother inlaw too often. She also has 4 daughters still at home so it’s not a walk in the park for her to put down her motherly duties to come and help me. BUT she is this Saturday. I get to go on a boat cruise for my husband’s work Christmas party. It’s not totally romantic because we have lot’s of surface conversations that will have to happen with his co-workers but there will be water and free booze so maybe some snogging. One of my friends told me “Always have something to look forward to together!” That so true. I’d love to try the themed at-home date night. I could not re-live our thai honeymoon because it was the honeymoon from HELL! But maybe a Japanese night would be fun …not sure about Japanese music. haha

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Yay for Christmas parties on a boat. Sounds like awesome fun. Have a great time πŸ™‚

      Reply
  31. Jess - Peachy Keen Mumma
    November 26, 2014 at 1:25 pm (3 years ago)

    OH – and BTW I’m trying not to judge you for mentioning Sideways. It was one of the worst (boring) movies I have ever watched. I had to turn it off. Did it get better at the end?

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm (3 years ago)

      Lol. Really?!! It is one of my favourite movies. I often quote one of the lines πŸ™‚

      Reply
  32. Lisa
    November 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm (3 years ago)

    Wonderful list Renee. On Friday evenings, I will make up a little cheese & dip platter for us to share and have “happy hour” for a bit before a later dinner. The kids play around us, while we catch up. We don’t have family close by so date night is a long time between drinks too. Our parents sometimes take the kids over a weekend or on school holidays to give us a break.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

      You know what, Lisa? That sounds just about perfect to me πŸ™‚

      Reply
  33. Hugzilla
    November 26, 2014 at 5:25 pm (3 years ago)

    These ideas are so AWESOME! Our relationship is really down the list at the moment, with the kids during the day and me freelancing at nights/weekends. We have zero fun. It’s like every night is Monday night. LOL.

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      November 26, 2014 at 8:47 pm (3 years ago)

      I know what you mean!!!! It’s hard to find the time, but you just have to and you will be so grateful you did.

      Reply
  34. Tegan
    November 27, 2014 at 6:32 pm (3 years ago)

    Paul and I head to a restaurant with a playground or kids room for a date night. We barely see Mr 5 the entire time because he’s off having fun so Paul and I get to pretend we’re having a date night. The best bit is that mr 5 goes to sleep not long after we get home so we sloth on the couch and have a couple of drinks.

    Reply
  35. Pinky Poinker
    November 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm (3 years ago)

    What a brilliant blog topic Renee! Scotto and I have date night every night πŸ˜‰ No… just joking. We go to lunch or dinner every two weeks. But my kids are grown up so it’s a bit easier πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 5:59 am (3 years ago)

      Lol. Yes, I can imagine or am hoping it will get easier the older they get πŸ™‚

      Reply
  36. Lucy @ Bake Play Smile
    November 28, 2014 at 9:50 am (3 years ago)

    Haha I like Dave’s idea of the throwing the popcorn! These are great ideas! It’s awesome to go out but sometimes it’s just nice to kick back at home. How cool would a theme night be!

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 6:00 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks Lucy πŸ™‚ Yes, it’s all a bit of fun πŸ™‚

      Reply
  37. Holly
    November 28, 2014 at 6:23 pm (3 years ago)

    Great ideas. Sound like fun for the whole family as well as date nights. Our miss 2 doesn’t go to bed early though so there’s no escape lol we did a Saturday night movie trip last weekend without her. So bizzare being out on a Saturday night. Need to do more before bub 2 comes mid next year πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Mummy, Wife, Me
      December 3, 2014 at 6:00 am (3 years ago)

      Yes, definitely make the most of it while you can, Holly πŸ™‚

      Reply
  38. Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad
    June 3, 2016 at 10:18 am (1 year ago)

    You two are so cute. I miss dates. It’s been a very long time. Actually I lie. The other night we were supposed to go to a music rehearsal but it was cancelled but Mr Vick didn’t tell me, so instead we used our babysitter as planned and went out just by ourselves but because we hadn’t planned we had no clue what to do! We’d already eaten, it was mid week at 8pm, no appealing movies on and we were under dressed for any snazzy bars! Do you know what we did? Went to Kmart. OMG. Dags or what? It was actually fun. We got things we needed and tried clothes on and gave opinions and just hung out. It was so good but I would be keen to plan a REAL date. I like your ideas. We mostly watch telly/movies together in our couple time. Sometimes we make a cup of tea and get our nanna on and challenge each other to a game of chess or backgammon! πŸ™‚

    Reply

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