Five At Home Date Nights You’ll Love
Fun DIY At Home Date Nights You’ll Both Enjoy
When I was pregnant with Lucy, Eric and I had all these grand plans for the things we would do once she was born. We would go on vacations and take weekend trips. I had out of town bachelorette parties line up and I really believed I would be going. Oh, how completely naive we were…
Once Lucy arrived, it was like everything else in our lives came to a complete halt. I was exclusively breastfeeding, so I basically had to be near her at all times. If she suddenly decided she wanted to eat immediately, and I wasn’t around, the world was basically going to end. It became so clear SO fast that we weren’t going to be road tripping or jetting setting anywhere any time soon. We could barely get out of the house for 20 minutes let alone a full weekend away. I remember a time in her first few weeks when I took a solo trip to the library and I felt like I was in complete heaven. (Needless to say, the bachelorette party getaways were a no go…)
Why Date Nights Are Important for Parents
Around Christmas time, it really become apparent to both of us that the lack of focus on our relationship was starting to take a toll. We weren’t struggling in our relationship by any means and when I look back on that newborn time and I’m so proud of how amazing a team we were! But, for me especially, it was easy to feel like we had totally lost who we once were to this tiny little being. Lucy was one of the world’s crankiest babies (in my postpartum anxiety haze, I was convinced she would never smile and would be unhappy forever) and we were consumed by trying to figure out what she wanted and how to meet her needs.
For our sanity, we had to find ways to reconnect with each other and try to feel a little more like who we were before becoming parents. We knew that getting out of the house regularly was going to be tough with our work schedules and the lack of a consistent babysitter. We had to get creative. And so, a new tradition was born!
Fun, DIY At Home Date Nights You’ll Both Enjoy
All right my friends! Here’s a round up of some of our favorite at home date nights!!
1. Craft Beer Tasting & Homemade Soft Pretzels
I am a self-proclaimed craft beer snob, so this one is one of my absolute favorites! For our wedding we got a two awesome beer tasting flight sets and they are perfect for this super fun at home date night. Basically, all you need to do is head to the grocery store and pick out some craft brews that you’ve never tried before. A lot of grocery stores now have an option to build your own craft six pack and that works perfectly for this!
For our wedding, Eric and I got these super fun beer flight tasting sets! We pick out which beers we’d like to try and pour ourselves a sample of each one! It’s fun to see which ones are our favorites and keep a list of what we know we’ll want to but again!
And of course, beer goes pretty amazingly with soft pretzels! Eric and I made these for the first time years ago and they were a complete disaster, but we’ve gotten better at it over the years. Here’s the recipe we like to use. The dough has to rest for about an hour, so just make sure you give yourself enough time! When they’re done, you can whip up some simple dipping sauces! Our favorite is adding some honey to dijon mustard.
Here are some super fun flight sets. I especially love the ones with chalkboard so you can write down the beers you chose!
2. Puzzle & Popcorn
This is another super simple date night that’s also really easy on your budget! I will admit, I once hated puzzles. Like, really, truly despised them and flat refused to them! Eric, however, loves them. So for one of our first at home date nights after Lucy was born, I agreed to give them another try. I was so surprised to find that I actually enjoyed doing it! (Maybe my brain had changed after baby or something? Haha, who knows!)
We made up some popcorn and decided to make it fancy by drizzling some chocolate sauce over it and topped it with sea salt! You could really do so many fun things with popcorn toppings – caramel, maple syrup, different kinds of salt, garlic powder – be creative with it!
As for the puzzle, we found a fun brand of historical folk art puzzles (omg have I ever written something more nerdy than that…) that have an insert in the box with lots of information about all the landmarks and people in the puzzle. Side note, you can also go to their website and get custom puzzles made from any photograph OR add yourself into one of the existing designs! Hello awesome gift idea!
3. Book Club for Two
Again, this one is super simple and won’t cost you a lot, either! It’s pretty straight forward. Just pick out a book both of you would like to read and get two copies of it! Another idea is to get one copy and make part of the date night reading it out loud to each other. Decide if you want to do the reading beforehand and then talk about the book during date night, or if you’re going to read it as the date night. If you do a little google search, you’ll probably be able to find some book club questions that go along with the book you picked. Gather up some of your favorite snacks and beverages and call it a night!
One that Eric and I have read together that we really enjoyed is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It’s an awesome book for couples to get to know how their partner prefers to have love shown to them and it gives really great examples for how to show love in each of the “five love languages.” There’s also a super fun quiz that you can take to discover what your love language is that can be a fun part of date night!
4. Recreate Your First Date
Take a walk down memory lane and recreate your first date! If you went out for dinner, make that meal at home. Did you go out to the movies? See if you can find it on Netflix or rent it on iTunes. Whatever the date was, find a fun way to make it happen again in your living room!
Eric and I met in college and our first official date was dinner and a movie at his campus apartment. We had been friends for about a year already, but I had still been dating my high school boyfriend. Most people probably won’t believe us, but for the first year we really did hang out only as friends and Eric was the perfect gentleman. I already knew in my heart he was who I was supposed to be with, I just needed to grow up a little and get up the courage to move on from high school.
That night, made us broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken. It was so good and I remember thinking, “Well, points for this guy because he can cook!!!” Then we watched the movie Raptor because it happened to be on TV. Let me tell you, it was hands down the worst movie I have ever seen, but I was so excited to be spending time with Eric that I really didn’t care.
5. Minute To Win It Date Night
Alright, I saved a good one for last! When Eric and I first started dating, there was this crazy game show we would watch together called Minute to Win It. Teams would compete in outrageous one minute games that mostly used stuff you could find around your house. Get ready to laugh like crazy with this one. Here are a few of our favorite Minute to Win It games:
- Cookie Face – tip your head back and put a cookie on your forehead. Using only your facial muscles (no hands!) move the cookie down to your mouth. The person who can eat the most cookies in a minute wins!
- Scoop It Up – place 6 ping pong balls in a bowl. Using just your mouth and a plastic spoon, move all 6 balls into a second, empty bowl. Only use your hands if a ball falls to place it back in the original bowl. The person who can move the 6 ping pong balls fastest (or whoever gets the most in a minute) wins!
- Nose Dive – for this one, you’ll need a bowl full of cotton bowls, a second empty bowl, and a plate with some vaseline on it. Put the bowl of cotton balls and the plate on one side of the room (make sure it’s at about hip height), and empty bowl on the other side of the room. When you start the clock, dip your nose in the vaseline and then try to pick up a cotton ball using only your nose. With the cotton ball, still on your nose, walk to the empty ball and shake it off. The person who can get the most cotton balls to the second bowl wins!
- Hanky Panky – this one is simple. You each get a box of tissues. When you say go, pull out all the tissues as fast as you can. Whoever empties their box first wins! (Don’t throw away the tissues, guys!! Put them in a baggie or stick them back in the box.)
- Junk in the Trunk – My all time favorite!!! Take two empty tissues boxes (maybe the ones you just emptied…) and cut two slits in the back. Thread a belt or some ribbon through so that you can attach it your waist. Put five ping pong balls inside the tissue box. Put the belt on so that the tissue box is behind you. Shake what your mama gave you for a minute. The person to get all the ping pong balls out first (or the most in minute) wins! You’re welcome.
Ok, friends! So there you have it. Five our favorite, simple, DIY at home date nights that are not going to bust your budget! Let me know if you try any of them, or leave me a comment and tell me what your favorite at home date night is!