When my wife and I were first married, we had a strict budget. Not much has changed, but I laugh now at how we tried to save money back then. One of our favorite things to do on a date is to go to the movies. The theater is connected to a mall and you can walk past the concession stand into the food court. Our “brilliant” money-saving plan followed this sequence.
First, we purchased a large refillable soda at the theater to share. Then, we walked to the food court for dinner at Chick-Fil-A, where we didn’t need to buy a drink. After dinner, we returned to the movies, where we’d refill our soda and get popcorn. After the movie, we’d refill the cup again (this time, without ice) to drink at home. I probably saved $2. I hadn’t thought of this yet—a better way to save money on date night.
I thought date nights were expensive back then. With the arrival of children comes the added expense of a babysitter. Whatever a night out used to cost is now double, at least. A better way to save is to have a date night in. Don’t get me wrong. Going out is still a good investment, but when you can’t leave the house or want to save cash, a date night in is ideal. Here are 7 things to do on a date at home.
Sit around the fire pit.
There’s nothing cozier than sitting together and staring into a fire on a crisp night. Roast hot dogs or kabobs on a stick. Make s’mores or just enjoy marshmallows. If you want to take it up a level, string white Christmas lights in the trees and bushes around the yard. There’s nothing cozier than sitting together and staring into a fire on a crisp night.
Read a great book together.
Choose a book, magazine, or poetry that both of you are interested in reading. Take turns reading out loud to one another. Stop occasionally to discuss what you are reading.
Dim the lights.
Leave the TV off, lower the lighting, choose a great Pandora station, and talk. Go to the grocery store and get her favorite desserts and drinks. Arrange them nicely on a serving plate for the coffee table. Put some of her favorite flowers in vases and place them around the room. Those little details tell her you know her and you’re thinking about her.
Look at old photographs or home videos.
Get nostalgic and take a tour of how far you’ve come. Share how you felt when the photos you’re looking at were taken. Notice which ones seem to be her favorites or the ones she responds to emotionally. Later, you can take those and do something special with them as an anniversary, birthday, or Mother’s Day gift.
Have an outdoor movie night.
Borrow or perhaps even purchase your own projector. Hook it up to a DVD player or computer, plug in some speakers, hang a white sheet, and have a movie night outside under the stars. You also could combine this with the fire pit.
Play your favorite games.
Break out games you haven’t played since you were kids. Play card games like Uno or War. Try board games like Stratego or Monopoly and perhaps Connect Four. You could even go current and download game apps or play video games. Just remember it’s not about winning.
Cook a new recipe together.
I was never into food or cooking before I met my wife. But food can bring creativity and joy to life. Eating together builds community, but making food together offers a profound opportunity to bond. Pick a recipe from a great cookbook that neither of you has tried yet. Then you can talk about all the flavors and what you like most about the dish. It may become one of your favorite activities together.
Sound off: What at-home date ideas have you tried with your wife?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What would be an ideal way to spend a date at home?”