At this stage in our life, it is hard to go out on dates.
We have a nursing baby who doesn’t love to have his mama out of sight. Babysitters are expensive (and I don’t particularly like getting babysitters), though having my parents nearby definitely helps. And really, most of the time by the end of the day, we are just exhausted!
But still, I believe it’s important to date your spouse no matter what stage of life you are in! Even if I’m not always the best at remembering it. If you feel like you need to reclaim your marriage, implementing a regular date night can really help. This is a great resource for any of you looking to rock your marriage!
Dates don’t have to be fancy – in fact, you don’t even have to leave. Even before we were married, Forrest and I often had dates at one of our apartments. On our first Valentine’s Day, we watched a movie and made pizzas (lots and lots of pizzas.)
First off, if you want all your dates planned out and ready to go for the year, I highly recommend this Year of Dates binder! It’s perfect for people who have trouble planning things or coming up with ideas. I also highly recommend signing up for the Dating Diva’s monthly membership. You get access to all their ideas, printables and more for under $10 a month. The first seven days are FREE to try out! They have some amazing ideas.
- Movie Night with your favorite treat: We love watching movies together. We use different systems on our Roku to watch movies, but we really enjoy using VUDU – especially when we get free codes! It has lots of new movies as well as old favorites. You can make it more special by going to the store ahead of time and picking out a special treat for you both to indulge a little on (especially if you are getting your monthly free VUDU movie.)
- Make homemade pizzas: This is something special we really love to do. As I said before, we made pizza on our first valentine’s day. It’s fun to make the dough together, put together different toppings, and then enjoy the pizza together! Our homemade pizza crust is super fast, and it gets rave reviews!
- Chocolate tasting: This is kind of like doing a wine tasting…just with chocolate instead (because we don’t drink wine!) I think it would be so fun to get all sorts of different kinds of chocolate (have you seen the kinds that are spicy?!) and make an evening of it.
- Video Game Night: I’m not a big video game person, but there are a few I really enjoy. Forrest and I used to LOVE having Mario Kart tournaments when I was pregnant with Jack. A few other fun, interactive ones are Just Dance (any version), Wii Sports and Wii Sports resort, and Glee Karaoke!
- Make homemade ice cream: Extra points for whoever comes up with the most creative idea! We certainly love making ice cream with our ice cream maker, but there are other methods for making homemade ice cream (such as the method we used to make our homemade Graham Canyon ice cream!)
- Indoor Picnic: Spread out your picnic blanket, make your favorite sandwiches (like chicken salad), and have a picnic on your living room floor!
- Karaoke: You can find karaoke songs on YouTube, do it on the Wii (we love Glee Karaoke), or maybe break out your old school karaoke machine. This can be so fun!
- Movie with a themed dinner: This is one of my favorite ideas – pick out a movie and make a dinner based on that movie. You can watch The Hunger Games and eat lamb stew! Just pick your favorite movie, and I’m sure a quick Google Search can bring you up some ideas of food from that movie.
- Fondue Night: Who doesn’t love fondue? I sure do! Make some cheese or chocolate fondue with all the fixings (fancy bread, marshmallows, fruit…the sky is the limit!)
- Remake the first dinner out you had together: Or maybe a memorable dinner you had together. For us, we had pupusas on our first date (even though I wasn’t 100% sure it was a date.) Make the dinner together and reminisce on old times.
- Blanket Fort:
- Movie marathon: Pick a movie that has multiple sequels and watch as many as you can in one night. Or you could pick a theme (such as, cheesy love movies) and watch a bunch of different movies in that genre.
- Take personality tests: These can be really fun and revealing! You can do silly ones on Facebook, or more serious ones such as finding our your Love Language, or one based on the Myers-Briggs personality types – that is my personal favorite. You can learn a lot about each other.
- Game Night: We love to play games in our family, and it’s one of my favorite things to do with Forrest. We used to have an ongoing game of Scrabble at all times, and a few recent favorites have been Sequence and Blokus. There are a lot of great two person games out there, and it can make for a fun (somewhat competitive) night!
- Listen and dance to wedding playlist: If you don’t remember what was on your playlist, you can listen to all the songs on from my wedding song playlist suggestions. You could also download the Pandora app on your phone and select a romantic or love song station!
- Read books out loud (or listen to audio book): Forrest read the entire Hunger Games series out loud to me when I was pregnant with Jack. We both loved it. We’ve also come to enjoy audiobooks together as well. You can often get these from the Library, or you can sign up for Audible (the free trial is great) if you think you’ll want a lot of them!
- Watch each other’s favorite movie or TV show: There are a few shows Forrest and I enjoy watching together, but for the most part, we have very different tastes. I’m a Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood kind of person, and he’s more into the sci-fi world. If you are like us, take a night to watch an episode or two of each other’s favorite show – and actually pay attention!
- Watch wedding video or look at wedding pictures or guestbook: While you are taking a trip down memory road, you could create an “I Love Us” book.
- Do brain teasers or riddles
- Do mad libs: You can find these in the store, online, Pinterest, etc.
- Stargazing on the roof or in the backyard: Buy some strawberries, chocolate, and sparkling cider for added romance.
- Indoor campfire: You can make s’mores indoors, or maybe one of those s’more skillet recipes that were so popular last year! Make a meal out of it and roast hot dogs over the stove top, too.
- Decorate mugs and then drink hot chocolate: You can buy a pack of colorful sharpies, decorate mugs together, and then bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, make a steaming up of hot cocoa and snuggle up!
- Jenga: I love Jenga. I’ve seen people have Jenga kits used as a guest book at their wedding, so if you did that, it would be fun to use those. Or you could mix things up and use The Dating Divas (free) Jenga Love Game. It looks like tons of fun!
- Learn something new together – knitting/crocheting, how to fix something on the car, etc.
- Binge watch your favorite show together
- Bake cookies together: Decorate them, try out a new recipe, or maybe even do some cookie competitions. For instance, you could find a few different chocolate chip cookie recipes, make them all, and see which ones turn out the best!
- Spouse Scattegories (found on the Dating Divas website)
- Make a bucket list together (for the summer, life, etc.)
- Make a video together: This is something I always want to do on our anniversary, but I never do. You could create a video slide show with pictures and songs, or you could record something – either a message for each other (to open in 10 years? During a fight? haha.) or to your children! I think it would be cute to do a video of both of you talking about your love story.
- Draw portraits of each other: This is something that Jack and I actually did a few weeks ago, and it was hilarious (he’s four though, so that might have been partially why.) I think it’s kind of a fun idea though!
- Phone game competition: While I generally think that dates should be a phone free zone, you could do a few competitions against each other. You could see who could beat a certain level on Candy Crush the fastest, start a rousing game of Words with Friends, there are tons of trivia games (QuizUp is my favorite), or do Draw Something against each other!
- Snap Chat filters: I think Snap Chat is kind of weird, but I love their filters. We have so much fun with them – way too much fun! You can send them to each other, do a face swap, and just have fun!
- Make cakes together: You could try and recreate the flavors from your wedding cake, or you could make mug cakes for a simpler, less messy idea.
- Make freezer meals together: This is fun and practical! Spend time with each other while making meals that will make life easier! Make it even more fun with the freezer meal challenge game on the Dating Divas website.
- Watch YouTube Videos: There are a lot of fun YouTube videos out there! Forrest loves Good Mythical Morning.
- Activities that don’t involve electricity
- Do a DIY project together
- Exercise video: Exercise together! You can be silly and dress up in funny exercise clothes, or you could really get your sweat on with something like Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred or Insanity!
- Plan your dream vacation: Be careful with this one though – you might impulsively want to actually do it!
- Virtual Tour of a museum: A lot of the world’s greatest museums allow you to do a tour online. If you need a little more culture in your life, this is a great idea!
- Watch a documentary: There are tons available on all sorts of different topics. Think about something you are both interested in and search for recommended documentaries.
- Paint: You could do water colors together, paint self-portraits on an easel, or anything in between. I think painting on plain white canvases can be fun. Make sure you watch a little Bob Ross in the process 😉
- Balloons with paint in them: I’ve seen this done on TV a few times, and it looks like so much fun. Basically, you put a thick, white sheet on the wall, some plastic coverings on the ground and everywhere around you, and then fill up water balloons with washable paint. Put these balloons on the white sheet and then throw darts at the balloons. Messy but lots of fun!
- Create your dream house – find pictures online, appliances, etc. You could watch some episodes of Fixer Upper or House Hunters for inspiration!
- Order takeout (watch a movie related to the kind of food – Forrest loves Bollywood, so Indian take out with Bollywood would be fun!)
- Spa night: Give each other pedicures (I know a lot of men who love pedicures – sans the polish), shoulder or back massages, etc.
- Different country night – make food from that country, watch a movie, learn a dance
- Outdoor game: This would be great when the weather is nice. There are a lot of really fun outdoor games. Our favorites include badminton, croquet, bocce ball, soccer, Frisbee, etc.
- Appetizer night: I love appetizers! It would be fun to make a bunch of then munch on them. Here are a bunch of appetizers we have shared on Clarks Condensed
- Breakfast in bed: Make a fancy breakfast together, get on your pajamas, and eat it in bed!
- Iron chef night: Decide on your featured ingredient(s) and come up with some fun creations!
- Fancy dinner: Who says you have to go to an expensive restaurant for a fancy dinner? Buy the best steak, make some creme brulee, and put on your fanciest clothes. You can dim the lights and put out some candles to make it even more romantic!
- Crepe night: You can buy premade crepes or make them yourselves if you have a crepe maker. We love crepes – you can fill them with so many things (Sweet OR Savory!)
- Newlywed game: Or maybe the Not-So-Newlywed Game (both can be found on the Dating Diva website.)
- Learn a dance: Fox trot, anyone?
- Do an online class together: I see classes for different topics on Groupon all the time. BYU Independent Study has a lot of free classes on a ton of different topics, too!
- Watch the first movie you watched together
- Sporcle Quizzes: Okay, this will show how nerdy we are, but when we were dating, we used to do Sporcle Quizzes together ALL the time. Our favorite was a country memorization one.
- Nerf Gun War
- Marshmallow Gun Fight: This would be so fun to do around the house! You can make marshmallow guns or you can buy them. This would be a very active activity!
- Build something: Who says blocks are just for kids? Pull out some building blocks, Lincoln Logs, or even some Magformers and make some fun towers and creations.
- DIY Travel Map: Create a travel map of all the places you’ve been since you’ve been together. I LOVE this set of printables from the Dating Divas to do this.
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