Experts and laymen agree that the best way to keep the spark alive in a relationship is regularly scheduled date nights. While no couple would disagree that time alone together to connect and be a couple would, duh, help you maintain and even deepen connection with your partner, reality sometimes makes this a challenge.
Regular date nights sound simple in theory, but the follow-through can get messy. Maybe you have conflicting work schedules. Maybe you have children and spending $100+ on dinner and a babysitter just isn’t on the table. Maybe you and your partner are new parents who aren’t ready to leave your infant in the care of someone else.
Yes, these situations undoubtedly present challenges when planning a date night and holidays like Valentine’s Day add extra pressure. Consider some of these options as stress-free alternatives.
10 Great Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas
1. Vinyl Listening Party. We just love this idea! Whether you already have a record player or pick up a secondhand player on Craigslist, take turns sharing albums and songs that you love with your partner. Since vinyl has made a comeback, there are plenty of shops popping up where you can get used records on the cheap. Another easy alternative is to take turns playing songs and playlists on Spotify. This activity goes pairs well with a bottle of wine.
2. Roast Marshmallows. Did you know you can find an electric s’mores/fondue maker for $30? We were surprised too. This is a fun, safe, and easy way to enjoy a little taste of summer all year round. Throw some blankets on the floor, open a box of graham crackers, and pretend you’re camping for the night. If you want to create an adult version of the classic s’more try different kinds of artisanal chocolate bars, made with hints of chile, sea salt, caramel, or lavender.
3. Make Dessert Together. If roasting marshmallows and acquiring new gizmos and gadgets seems like too much work for you, keep it simple and make dessert. Take the time to select a recipe together — something that you’ll enjoy making and eating. After the kids are fed and tucked away in their jammies, mix a couple cocktails and get cooking. The dessert can be as simple as a boxed brownies as long as you’re enjoying each other’s company.
4. Work on a Puzzle. When was the last time you pulled out a jigsaw puzzle? While it may not sound exciting, a puzzle is a surprisingly fun group activity. It’s a simple activity that you can work on together while you talk, enjoy some snacks, and have a beer. You’ll be amazed at how relaxed you feel after taking a break from glaring light of your phone or TV screen.
5. Follow a Bob Ross Video. This is just plain fun. Remember Bob Ross, the iconic TV art instructor from ‘80s? Even if you don’t, the videos are worth a watch. Bob’s soothing voice guides viewers step-by-step through the creation of a landscape painting. While oil paints are expensive, regular old Crayola watercolors — or even markers! — are just a few bucks. Follow along and giggle at each other’s artistic ability.
6. Play Cards. Another simple activity to go with an assortment of late-night snacks: cards. There are plenty of two-person card games that you can play or learn. Some examples include Double Solitaire (yes, you read that correctly), 66, Rummy, Pinochle, and the elegantly named Egyptian Rat Screw. Spending quality time together doesn’t have to be complicated to be fun!
7. Have a Slumber Party. This activity is ideal for the couple who would rather wear fuzzy slippers than slacks or heels on a date. Pick out your favorite slumber party movies from when you were a kid, pile the couch high with blankets and pillows, pop popcorn and indulge in the a nostalgic candy selection from your childhood. Comfortable pajamas and eating too much sugar are musts for this date.
8. Tasting or Pairing. Wine tasting and food pairing classes tend to be fancy affairs. Not only are they expensive, but you have to arrive ready to learn, wearing stuffy clothing. We are not about stuffy clothing. There are a million free videos online that can guide you through any kind of tasting and pairing you can imagine and you can wear your pajamas! Some options out there are whiskey and chocolate, wine tasting, or beer and cheese. Have the items on hand and follow along together for your own private one-on-one pairing.
9. The Ultimate Bucket List. This is a fun activity to get to know your partner. Order take out, light some candles, and make an official “bucket list” of all the things you want to do together, no matter how outrageous. This a great way to get to know more about your partner’s dreams and desires and build on your connection.
10. Adult Coloring Books. Coloring books for grown ups are officially “a thing.” A quick search on Amazon will yield hundreds of adult coloring books featuring complex patterns and scenes for you to follow. Adult coloring books became popular after some studies showed that coloring can have the same positive effects on your brain as meditation. Sit down with your significant other and color yourself to zen-like inner peace.
We hope these stay-at-home date night ideas help you think outside the box for your date night (and opt for cozy pajamas instead!). Check out The Pajama Company Blog at thepajamacompany.com/blog for more ideas for family fun.