Today my husband and I enjoy our 5th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I wanted to share some date night ideas that we brainstormed specifically for parents (though others can enjoy most of them as well.) Having little kids, we don’t have much time or money to spend on date nights, but they are very important in relationships. Below are a whole ton of tips from free to slightly more expensive (but still won’t break the bank.)
You can use each date night idea individually, especially if you don’t have much time to spare, or you can combine a few to plan a very exciting night. Many of these are able to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home while your kids are napping or in bed for the night. Who says you always need to go out to spend time together as a couple? For the rest, find a sitter and have some fun.
1. Re-watch an old movie at home.
2. Build a giant pillow fort and make shadow puppets.
3. Eat a candlelit dinner at home.
4. Go dumpster diving/curb alerts (where legal and stay away from the stinky, sticky ones.)
5. Cook a multi-course meal together.
6. Put a show on mute and fill in the dialogue.
7. Draw each other’s portraits.
8. Go on a tour at a local plant, factory, or farm.
9. Lie on a grassy hill and find shapes in the clouds.
10. Visit areas around town and take pictures together.
11. Go fishing.
12. Dress up very fancy for no reason and go to the grocery store.
13. Lie out under the stars.
14. Challenge each other to a cook-off.
15. Roast s’mores over the fire (if you don’t have a firepit, try a grill.)
16. Hike a local nature trail or take a walk along the beach.
17. Visit a local sampling event at a store.
18. Window shop downtown.
19. Play a board game or card game.
20. Dump sand around a kiddie pool, set up lawn chairs, and soak your feet pretending you are on the beach.
21. Have a paint fight and throw paint at a canvas to create a collaborative piece of artwork.
22. Play video games together.
23. Jump on the kids’ trampoline.
24. Create mini challenges and see who can complete them the fastest (like balancing a book on your head or throwing a ball over your head into a basket on your back, get creative–we just did a human version of the Wii hula hoop toss and it was a blast.)
25. Reenact one of your favorite movies (even dress up if you can.)
26. Work on a DIY project together.
27. Look through old family photos or watch old family videos (maybe even from when you were kids.)
28. Make a scrapbook.
29. Make up a story together and write it down. Go back and forth on adding sections.
30. Sit down and talk about your years together and all the things you have done together since you met, even how you met.
31. Complete a puzzle together.
33. Play a game of catch in the backyard, nearby field, or baseball field.
34. Play another sport together (soccer, hockey, basketball.)
35. Go volunteer somewhere.
36. Set up your own picture booth, complete with dress up clothes and silly accessories, and take pictures making faces and laughing.
37. Visit the mall and play dress up, trying on outfits.
38. Plan a scavenger hunt at home, the mall, or anywhere local. Search for a list of items like a blue and green shirt, a tiny flower, someone wearing a hat…
39. Go geocaching.
40. Each write down a list of random questions to ask your partner (favorite animal, most embarrassing memory, dream vacation) and go back and forth filling in the answers to get to know each other better. Here are some conversation starters.
41. Have a water fight, in the home or outside.
42. Style each other’s hair crazy, temporary colors and all.
43. Park at the airport and watch the planes take off — (courtesy of When We’re At Home.)
44. Go for a bike ride — (courtesy of When We’re At Home.)
45. Exercise together — (courtesy of When We’re At Home.)
46. Lie on a blanket and watch the sunset together — (courtesy of Hen Family.)
48. Teach each other a new skill (crocheting, working on cars, painting, etc.)
49. Follow a YouTube tutorial to learn a new skill together.
50. Set up a tent and “camp” in the backyard.
51. Write a song together.
52. Videotape the two of you singing a duet.
53. Sit outside and bird watch. Look up the birds and learn about the various species.
54. Go together to your child’s sports game and watch him or her play.
55. Plant a garden. Check out these easy garden starters.
56. Part ways in the mall for 15-30 minutes in a quick search for the perfect small, inexpensive gift for your partner, have it gift wrapped, then meet back up at the food court to open up gifts over a snack.
57. See a local play.
58. Rent a paddle boat or canoe and work together to get around a pond or lake.
59. Drive through a car wash.
60. Pay a visit to the local farmer’s market.
61. Cross something off of each other’s bucket lists.
62. Go to a local farm and pick fruits or vegetables (apples, pumpkins, strawberries.) Throw in a hay ride if it’s in season.
63. Visit a petting zoo.
64. Visit a local zoo or aquarium.
65. Visit the planetarium or museum.
66. Visit a historical landmark (some are free, others charge admission.)
65. Go to a discount movie theater.
66. Visit a local art gallery.
67. Go out for coffee or have a coffee date at home.
68. Try a new local restaurant or local cuisine.
69. Buy some ;ice cream or snow cones and eat it outside in the grass or on your car.
70. Spend $5 or less at the dollar store and make something unique with it.
71. Go for a drive after dark.
72. Go bowling.
73. Play mini golf.
74. Go ice skating or rollerblading.
75. Paint the walls in your house.
76. Go swimming.
Slightly More Expensive
77. Go watch a local sports team play.
78. Decorate pottery together for each other.
79. Get a pedicure together (guys, this can totally be “manly.” Even tough men can benefit from a massage, dead skin removal, and relaxation–you don’t need to add nail polish.)
80. Take a class together (dancing, cooking, pottery, canvas painting.)
82. Go horseback riding.
83. Learn how to snowboard.
84. Go to an arcade (set a budget or this will cost more than just “slightly more expensive.”)
85. Visit a local animal shelter and bring some goodies to donate (I put this in slightly more expensive because there is always the chance you will leave with a new pet.)
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-Do you have any other unique date night ideas? Share them in the comment section!