Even with older kids, some times it is just easier to work in a special date night in at home. My husband and I were engaged the day after Valentine’s Day. It was not exactly supposed to work that way. Let me give you the short version.
We picked up the engagement ring from the jewelry store at Mall of America. (We lived in the Minneapolis area for a bit.) Our plans were to stop at a restaurant after picking up the ring.
My husband was and is kind of a shy guy. I actually was the one who haggled with the jewelry store to get a lower price. We forgot to make reservations for dinner. And, he had no special speech worked out to ask me to marry him. (Ah, romance…)
We capped the night before we got engaged off with a date night at home. Even got Arby’s drive thru. We are fancy folks, obviously. 😉
Since the romantic engagement on Valentine’s Day did not happen for us, the next morning, my husband finally asked. He said, “Are you going to put on your ring?”
I told him, “You actually have to ask me first.”
And, that says a lot about our marriage. Now you know why I write marriage encouragement here, here and here. LOL!
Keeping it real here as always.
Our marriage is unique in a lot of ways. But, the memories of that Valentine’s evening gone wrong make us laugh. It also reminds me that we are much better at low-key date night in ideas at home versus elaborate, expensive date nights out.
Every marriage is built on successes and failures. When it is meant to be, it just works despite the ups and downs.
My husband and I are both stubborn and totally committed to our marriage. We weather the tough moments, the scary moments, the moments when I am being totally selfish, and the ones where he is only looking out for himself.
And that all happens in my marriage. Truth is truth.
Add kids into the mix, and marriage must be a priority in the midst of a all the major priorities of adult life. Marriages need to be nurtured.
My husband and I are in a season of marriage of truly seeing each others’ true colors, navigating getting back on the same page with our life goals, and spending quality time together in creative ways. The kids still need us even at their ages, so we work in date nights at home. They help us stay connected in our marriage.
With Valentine’s Day coming up soon, my husband and I will celebrate 18 years of engagement (and 18 years of marriage in April). I am focusing on some date night ideas to spend some time at home together.
These ideas work if you are going out to dinner first, or if you are going to make it a night in and just relax.
Which of these date night ideas have you tried? Any on your list for this year?
Ideas for Planning a Date Night In at Home
Set up a babysitting co-op with trusted mom friends or local family members. Then you each can switch off watching the kids. Everyone gets a date night this way.
Make a Valentine’s themed dinner. Cook together, or have it all prepped and ready to eat. We have even ordered take out for us and fed the kids before our food arrived. Then they watched a movie and we had our special meal together with quiet.
This date night in a box idea is a fun way to connect in a new way. The activities lead you through a quality evening together.
Everyone gets a movie. We made popcorn for the kids and had them watch a movie on one tv while we watched on the other tv. Kid and adult movie night at the same time.
Apps and chill. I love putting together a charcuterie board (affiliate link) for my husband and me. I put the food together and we can sit, munch on the food and stream a series.
Buy a special dessert – just for the adults. After the kids go to bed break out the special treat to share – or make sure you get two! Pair a bottle of champagne or your favorite beverage. It is the little moments and special times that help a marriage recharge.
Go for a walk. The couple that lives across the street walks almost every night after they are done with dinner. This is special one-on-one time. Maybe you have to put the kids in the stroller to make this work. It is worth it to stroll and chat.
Wine tasting at home. Get a few different wines and do some sipping. There are great wine bottle sealers so you can cap the bottle and preserve the freshness.
Do some goal planning. I admire a couple I knew that would schedule a date night every so often to specifically discuss financial goals, personal goals and career goals. This helped them stay on the same page together while also working on each of their goals on their own. She was a stay at home mom and he was in the military. I love that this was a topic they specifically focused on at least once or twice a year.
Picnic on the porch. If you have an outdoor space, take your dinner, snack or wine outside. Reading books or sharing a meal can be so refreshing when done outdoors.
Go through photo albums. I am old enough, that I still have scrapbooks of our wedding photos, pre-marriage life and all our babies. It is pretty amazing to look through them and see all the life we have shared together. This is a great activity for a date night in together.
This scratch off poster from Amazon (affiliate link) is a fun idea! Keeps you surprised and on track to schedule in regular date nights in or out.
These date night idea lists from Natural Beach Living and Our Kind of Crazy are great resources for ideas.
Natural Beach Living has a creative romance challenge calendar that you definitely should check out for ideas.
Game time. Play a board game together or video game. My friends who play video games with their spouses are so competitive! It keeps the fun alive. Some favorite board game ideas are (affiliate links) Ticket to Ride, Mad Gab and Trivial Pursuit.
Date night in ideas for staying at home keep the plans casual. I find with parenting and daily life, being able to use what we have – board games or movies – to spend quality time together is easy to do last minute. That is probably why my husband and I are more comfortable with date nights in…and it is easier with the kids in this season of life.
Do you and your significant other schedule in regular date nights? Do you prefer date night in or a date night out?
Enjoy your time at home!
We do separate movie nights and after-bedtime special moments too.
I also have realized that -while not specifically a date-lowering my standards on in-car video watching gives my husband and me time to have an adult conversation on long drives.
Jaimi Erickson says