When was the last time you had a date night? Are you stuck in a rut or simply too tired to even bother? Sometimes the logistics of scheduling a romantic night away from the kids is just too stressful to even make the experience enjoyable. Then, there's the cost of the date and the babysitter... Don't let this get you down, guys! Romance and fun don't have to fizzle when you're in the throes of parenthood! This week's Top Ten Tuesday gives you ten stay-at-home date night ideas that are easy, mostly free, and most importantly they're FUN. We at Fred Parent dare you to try each one on the list and bring a little light-hearted romance into your life. Bonus points if you turn off your phones during the date. No texting or social media allowed!
P.S. These are all dates that my husband and I have had, or our friends have had, so I can vouch for all of them!
Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas
1Cook an adventurous meal together. It doesn’t have to be crazy, but cook something you’ve never made, or even thought of making before. Think outside the box! Grab a crazy ingredient from Wegman’s, The International Market, the butcher, or Farmers Market and get inspired! Try something like ox tail soup, homemade kimchee, octopus, or sushi.
2Learn about your spouse’s hobby. Never been a fan of baseball? Don’t get what the big deal is about wrestling? Spend an evening letting your partner teach you about their hobby. Find out how they got into it and why it’s so exciting for them. You may learn something new about your loved one in the process. This door swings both ways, by the way. Next week, it will be your turn to show off your fun hobby! I know a few men that have taken up crocheting because it’s actually a great way to meditate and relax. It’s time to share your passion with the one you love!
3Set up a photo booth. A strange phenomenon happens after kids are born. We stop taking pictures of ourselves. This is sad since some of my all time favorite childhood photos are of my parents. When was the last time just the two of you were in a picture together? So! Set your camera up on a flat, steady surface and have some fun. This doesn't have to be a serious photo session. Natural smiles are always the most beautiful. A tripod obviously works best, but use what you got. Just make sure you’re using a camera with a working timer. Bonus points for adding in silly props or a background of some kind!
4Play cards or a board game and bet real money. Playing cards is fun, BUT when you start making wagers it really gets interesting! Winner gets to spend the pot on whatever they want. No questions asked. Blackjack, Crazy Eights, and WAR are great, simple card games that two people can play.
Learn to juggle. Believe it or not, You Tube has tons of videos on this subject. Juggling is such a silly yet strangely relaxing activity. Just make sure not to wake up the kids with your laughing!
6Workout at home together. You can very easily find free workout videos through On Demand, Netflix, Hulu, You Tube, and the library. Might I suggest yoga, Richard Simmons' Sweating To The Oldies, and belly dancing? The couple that sweats together stays together!
7Do a tasting. In a nutshell, pick a food theme then grab items to sample and foods to pair them with. As far as WHAT to taste, I suggest craft beer (if you indulge in adult beverages), chocolate, cheese, artisanal olive oil, or coffee. I’d suggest wine, but that would be a bit expensive. As far as craft beer goes, Hop and Wine is a great resource if you’re stumped on what to buy and what food pairs with which beer. Cheers!
8Marathon watch that show you never have time to see. Have you both been meaning to check out that crazy new show called Mad Men? Never had time to watch Breaking Bad or Orange Is The New Black? Well, grab a snack, throw on something snuggly, and fire up the ole’ Netflix account. I suggest getting a babysitter for this one. It could take all night. Also, make sure it’s a show you BOTH want to watch. It’s not fair making someone sit through 8 hours of The Kardashians if they hate reality TV.
9Start a book series and read out loud to each other. This is something a few of my friends do that I just think is so sweet, dorky, and just amazing. Basically, you pick a book series you both are interested in and take turns reading out loud to each other. If you’re stumped on what to pick, you really can’t go wrong with The Game Of Thrones or anything by Tolkien. Reading a book about personal finance or a current social issue would be a great way to start important dialog as well.
10Have a sandwich making contest. Pick a sandwich and throw down the gauntlet! Who makes the best Rueben? How about the best curry chicken salad? You can even get creative and bring exotic ingredients into the mix, Top Chef style. The options are endless and delicious! Make sure to Instagram pictures of your creation once the date is over.
Have a great stay-at-home date night idea we didn't mention? Let us know in the comments! Spread the love!