Maybe you have a babysitter for the night (remember the last time you were sans kiddos?). Or you finally have a break in your hectic work schedule. Whatever combination of stars aligned, you and your significant other have time to yourselves and it’s date night. Except going out to dinner and a movie with a pandemic going on may not sound like fun.
So you need some indoor date ideas. More specifically: a romantic date night at home. After you’ve been home for months.
There’s a bright side to your at-home date night. No waiting in line for a table in a crowded restaurant. No compulsive commentator behind you at the movie theater. No paying crazy prices to do the same old stuff.
If you haven’t been keeping a running bucket list of date night ideas, this list is for you.
1. Cook dinner together (or get takeout)
Make an old favorite or learn how to make something new together. Here are some great at-home date night recipes. Great homemade pasta, anyone? How about some great brunch ideas? And, of course, your definition of cooking may look more like getting takeout from your favorite restaurant or maybe trying someplace new. The point is that you’re together with your significant other, and there is food involved. It’s a great start.
2. Have a picnic on the living room floor
Set up a picnic blanket in front of the fire, the TV or your light source of preference. Maybe combine the two with a cool (in every way) yule log video.
3. Do a wine tasting
21+? Wine and cheese. Bourbon. Or for any age: Chocolate and anything else. Doritos. Ice cream sundaes. Whatever you feel like tasting, really. Choose a theme and try a variety. It’s a fun way to try new things and feel cultured and fancy at the same time.
4. Movie marathon
Okay, this could be seen as going the direction of the old dinner-and-a-movie standby I mildly trashed above. However. This will be more intentional, more intimate and far easier on your budget. Watch movies on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc., etc. You have a hundred subscriptions for a reason! Maybe you have an actual DVD collection—all those slim cases you haven’t looked at or thought about in ten years. Or maybe you have a VHS player. Just kidding, you probably replaced your VHS tapes with DVDs.
5. Game night
Depending on the dynamics of your relationship, go for games that call for a little friendly competition, or video games where you team up to beat the computer.
Monopoly, Life, Shoots and Ladders… What’s your flavor? You can find dozens of options online, too, such as Dominion. Tabletopia offers over 1000 board games online. Jenga isn’t a board game, but it’s still tons of fun.
Bust out the Nintendo Switch, if you were lucky enough to score one before they sold out everywhere. Dust off the original NES, or any console, of course. Play ‘em if you got ‘em.Pro tip: Game night pairs nicely with snacks and drinks.
6. Look through old photos and videos
Depending on how much history you have together, this could be looking at old photos of each of you individually or remembering your lives before the pandemic. If you’re like a lot of other people, you have a digital fossil archive of photos and video scattered among old smartphones, hard drives and cloud accounts. Probably some surprises waiting in there for you!
7. Play “Would you rather…?”
It’s super fun and you’ll learn lots about yourself and your partner.
8. Take personality tests
While you’re learning more about each other, maybe you want to dig a little deeper. Whether you take the Myers-Briggs or learn your love languages, this is a great way to understand your and your partner’s personality traits on a deeper level. Learning what makes you both tick and what gestures are the most meaningful to your partner can only increase your empathy and strengthen your relationship.
9. Trade massages by candlelight
The perfect playlist. Massage oils. Robes optional. You can probably handle things from here.
10. Share a bubble bath
Sure, not everyone has a giant whirlpool bathtub. But you could do worse than a snug fit.
Talk about a cheap date! Plus, it’s just the best.
Bonus DIY home date night ideas for couples
Theme your night
The food, the clothes, the games, the movies, whatever you do, do it all the way. Test the limits of your commitment.