Stay-At-Home Date Night Ideas to Try

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When was the last time you enjoyed a date? Going on a date is a wonderful way to reconnect, de-stress, and catch up with one another. But many couples can’t make a regular date night work due to finances, childcare, or lack of things to do near their home.

As much as I love to get out of the house and explore somewhere new with my husband, there’s a lot to love about the at-home date. You can wear pajamas, you don’t have to pay a sitter, and you can get away with displays of affection that would get you arrested if you were in public. (Wink, wink.)

If you asked me what our at-home date nights usually look like, I’d probably tell you that we only ever order pizza and watch episodes of The Office. But, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized we’re not always predictable. Some of our most fun at-home dates haven’t involved the television at all! Which of these would be fun for you and your boo?

1. Have a cooking competition.

A little healthy competition never hurt anyone! Try a “Chopped” challenge where you each receive mystery ingredients and see who comes up with the best dish. The key here is to pick dishes you can both cook at the same time, because the whole point is to be together in the kitchen.

Try something that makes you a little nervous, like sushi, cheesecake, homemade pasta, or a baked good from The British Baking Show! Raise the stakes by suggesting whoever wins gets a night off from doing the dishes. (Or maybe the winner gets a back rub?)

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2. Take it outside.

Years ago I read this blog post about a couple who climbed out of their apartment to enjoy drinks on their fire escape. Going outside seems like an obvious idea, but before then my husband and I had never been intentional about spending time on our deck together. We’ve since put a bistro table and chairs outside and love to “sneak out” after our daughter has been tucked into bed. (We have the baby monitor with us.)

You can make your outdoor date as casual or fancy as you like. Turn on some low music and grab a blanket if it gets chilly!

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3. Play games.

Do you know how to play poker, gin rummy, checkers, and chess? Learn a new game together or teach one another games. My husband taught me poker, and in return I taught him Spit. I’ve heard great things about the board game Pandemic. Chronology is fun for trivia lovers.

Don’t care for card or board games? Do a jigsaw puzzle or crossword, or take it super old school and play a high-stakes game of hangman!

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4. Tackle a project.

A project is a great way to work together a team and accomplish something together. Not every couple is built to take on something as big as say, a kitchen renovation, though.

Choose a project that will grow your skill set and require communication, while still being simple enough to not cause any tension. Try a DIY project or conquer something that’s been on your to-do list for ages. My husband and I are determined to declutter our laundry room this month!

The key to making this at-home date enjoyable is to keep things light hearted and appreciate the skills your partner brings to the table.

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5. Go digital.

Let’s be real. At the end of the day, all you really want to do is put on sweatpants and veg out with your bae. EMBRACE THIS DESIRE. Have a flirty conversation through gifs, listen to a gripping podcast while giving each other foot rubs, or share the music you’ve been digging lately.

Other ideas: re-watch your favorite SNL clips or play online trivia! Our personal favorite: any trivia games related to Seinfeld, The Office, or Arrested Development.

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6. Walk down memory lane.

I love this date! It doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, what you’re eating, or whether or not the kids are actually in bed. Everyone loves a good love story. Go over yours together, remembering as many details as you possibly can. Do you remember the very first food you ate together? (Ours was Ben and Jerry’s — we shared a pint of Phish Food on the night we met!)

Recall your favorite trip as a couple, the best meal you’ve ever eaten together, funniest stories, most embarrassing moments, and sexy times. (Make sure the kids are in bed before that last one!)

If you haven’t done so already, write your memories down. You won’t regret it!

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7. Dress up and order in.

I love the idea of “stay-in date night clothes,” which I heard about on this podcast about date night (at minute 21). The occasion feels more special when you’re in pretty loungewear, so do both yourself and your husband a favor and treat yourself to a pretty set of pajamas. Take a bath, swipe on some lipstick, and put on your date clothes while your husband puts the kids to bed, then indulge in your favorite takeout! Eat by candlelight to make dinner extra romantic.

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8. Embrace a theme.

The idea of a themed date-night might sound cheesy but trust me — it’s so fun! Plus, laughing together increases intimacy, so embrace the cheese factor.

We’ve worn our Chicago Bears shirts and enjoyed deep dish shipped from Chicago. We’ve recreated one of our college date nights: watching The Office while eating grilled cheese. Another fun idea is choosing a country, like Italy, and eating Italian food while watching an Italian movie. (We love this one.) Do I dare suggest you both adopt an Italian accent?

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9. At-home spa.

Years ago, I surprised my husband with a spontaneous spa night at home. I filled a deep plastic tub with warm soapy water and let him soak his feet while we watched TV. I then gave him a long foot and leg massage before covering his legs with towels that had been soaking in hot water. He couldn’t believe his good fortune! Little foot and back rubs occur fairly frequently in our house, but nothing beats a nice, long massage.

Wear face masks and soak your feet in the tub. Sip on infused water (or champagne) and try not to laugh while your husband gives you a pedicure. Rub lotion or massage oil on one another’s backs. (This is a sure way to cause “connection.”)

I hope these suggestions are a fun jumping-off point for you and your partner. Remember, romance doesn’t come from valet service and high heels — it comes from the enjoyment of shared love.

Laura's headshot

Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. She blogs at 

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