Whether you’re dating, engaged, or married, one of the biggest tips you’ll hear anyone give you is to have consistent date nights! This is not something we’ve been great at doing through our marriage, but when we do put in the effort we see how big of a difference it can make! Coming up with Date Night Ideas though, that can be the hard part and is often why we slack off.
We’d been hearing “Date your spouse!” for nearly 10 years, and had kinda brushed it aside. Before kids it was easy. Any “outing” was like a date. From the time Darrow was born until Ione’s birth I think we’d been on 4 official dates total. Maybe 3. And then Ione came 5 weeks early and things were turned up-side-down with her NICU stay.
We suddenly had 90 minute chunks of time to fill while Ione was sleeping (Darrow was with my angel Mother!). We weren’t at home. We weren’t even in our town. We didn’t have the usual at home conveniences to fall back on. So we started going on mini dates. We were holding hands while we walked around town rather than just hurrying through the store to get what we needed. We were stealing a quick kiss in the elevator. We were giggling like little kids over our ice cream and cheap pizza. It was amazing what those 90 minute dates did to relieve stress and grow our relationship and romance.
But we totally get it. Getting back to real life when there aren’t built in 90 minute pockets is hard! It’s hard with kids, it’s hard without. Dating takes effort! But it’s so worth it!
And then we get to this part. What do you do for dates other than dinner and a movie (because that’s all too easy and anymore that’s routine, not a date)? I polled the Prickly Pear VIP Couples to see what they do for dates and I have some super fun ideas for you! And you’ll find a very fast and prominent theme of food in here!
Date Night Ideas: Chopped Cooking Competition
“One of our favorite at-home dates is a mock ‘Chopped’ cooking competition (if you don’t know what that is, then your first date night can be to watch it on Netflix). We write down a bunch of random ingredients on slips of paper and then take turns picking them out of a hat until we’ve selected 4. Then we have a set amount of time to make whichever course we’re cooking that night. Sometimes we’ve been able to pick a winner on our own, and sometimes we’ve taken food over to our obliging neighbors to make them pick a winner.” -Diedre and Ethan Mower
Date Night Ideas: Arcade!
“Our out-of-house date night is going to Fat Cats and we love to do the arcade, and then we go out to eat.” -Diana and Nick Beagley
Date Night Ideas: Dinner and a Drive!
“When we go out we go to dinner! If Zach chooses it is usually fast food and a drive. If I choose it is usually a nicer restaurant and either a drive or shopping.” -Carolyn and Zach Hansen
Date Night Ideas: Try a New Recipe!
“We love to try out new recipes together. We’ve made everything from poor-college-student variations on a theme of chicken and veggies to homemade sushi” -Kenzie and Aidan Hintze
Date Night Ideas: Cook and Cuddle!
“Our at home dates typically consist of making a new recipe that sounds delicious and some cuddle time with a cheesy movie. You can’t go wrong with yummy food and cuddles!” -Audrey and Caleb Kreiger
Date Night Ideas: Puzzles and Music!
“Our go-to date is doing a jigsaw puzzle while taking turns showing one another the music we have been listening to lately. We did one puzzle per weekend for 7 weeks straight!” -Katerina and Benjamin Clarke
Date Night Ideas: Explore Where You Live!
“One of our very favorite things to do is to explore where we live. We visit local museums, hit up the local county and state parks, eat at local dives, walk a nearby trail, and pick a random road to drive down and explore. We’ve found some amazing places this way! AND experiencing something new actually helps bring you closer to the person you experience it with, according to sociological studies. So it’s a win-win!” -Cameron and Marquette
Other Date Night Ideas!
- Have a picnic in the back yard.
- Make portraits of one another using whatever we can find in our kids’ craft supplies (think crayons, construction paper, glitter glue, etc)
- Snuggle up on a blanket in the yard and look at the stars. Google what interesting things are out there for your location and time of year and see if you can find them
- Have a board game tournament. See how many you can play, and who wins the most.
- Learn a new card game. Do a quick google search and find a game you’ve never played before and learn how.
- Learn how to do a dance together. Youtube has some amazing tutorials so you can learn a tango, waltz, country two step, swing, or just about anything!
- Buy or rent equipment to use at the sports facilities at your local park (we’re dying to try Frisbee Golf on the public course here!)
- Take $10 each to buy an outfit for each other at the thrift store, then wear those outfits while going out for dessert.
- Snuggle up on the couch and look through your wedding album while recounting favorite memories of the day!
- Schedule a mini-mini photo session and either get all dolled up or dress us funny! Or even take pictures of each other.
- Recreate your proposal story and ask a stranger to take a photo of the moment.
What are some of your favorite Date Night Ideas?! Leave a comment below!