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At-home date night ideas are crucial especially right now. While so many of us are stuck at home during the pandemic, getting out of a routine with your partner is important for keeping a relationship fresh. This is true even for natural homebodies.
As much as I love my husband Ryan, we’re both working from home now and that’s a LOT of together time.
So we’ve been making concerted efforts to differentiate between the everyday routine and those special “date nights.” Date nights for couples are important even during normal times. Date nights in quarantine are even more so.
These special dates give us something to look forward to. After too much time stuck inside the same four walls, all the days start to blend together. I can barely remember if it’s Monday or Friday. It’s drudgery. Having a date night on the calendar is something to get excited about!
We’ve even split up the duties. On the 1st weekend of the month, I plan the date. On the 3rd weekend, he does. Intervening weekends are more low-key. Those are usually movie nights, Netflix and chill style.
So what do we do?
We’ve tried just about everything! But the at-home dates aren’t going to end anytime soon, so I’ve been looking for more ideas.
Putting together this stay at home date ideas for couples has been a near lifesaver. As a bonus, most of these are super cheap date nights at home, too!
What makes these particular nights different from any other night? They’re intentional. We make an effort. We call it a date night. And they really are a lot of fun!
At-Home Date Night Ideas with Alcohol
It’s no secret I love a good adult beverage. My motto is, after all, I drink and I sew things. So this section is probably my favorite at home date night ideas!
Art & Wine Night
Do you know those places where you can go and enjoy a glass of beer or wine while learning to paint? We actually live within walking distance of TWO of those places! Since the pandemic has shut them down indefinitely, we’ve started doing this in our own living room.
You don’t need paint if you’re afraid of making a mess. We used crayons and colored pencils! And we took turns choosing very easy objects to draw. Behold our avocados!
Spice it up and try drawing each other. Naked…
Virtual Beer Fests
As all in-person events have been cancelled for the forseeable future, so have all the summer beer fests Ryan and I usually attend. The really smart event organizers have moved these all into a virtual setting. You sign up, get your beer sent to you, then enjoy a few videos about the beers or breweries featured.
This is actually a great way to save the money we usually throw at these events. With festivals priced at about $50-100 per person, a virtual one is more moderately available at $35-70. And we end up just sharing each beer, so we only “buy” one ticket. Then we enjoy them on the comfort of our own couch without having to worry about where to find our Uber.
Or a bathroom…
I then post my opinions about the beers on my Instagram stories…
Wine or Beer Bottle Share
Parties in our social circle usually involve some sort of bottle sharing (usually beer, but you can do this with wine too). Everyone brings a bottle of something they really like, and everyone enjoys a small glass of it.
This is the leftovers from our last party. Way back in the before times.
With just two of us, it’s easier [on our livers] to do this with single can beers than full wine bottles. This has helped us explore new brands and even changed our minds about some beer styles. Which can also lead to:
Beer or Wine Pairings
Whether you’re an old pro or new to alcohol, pairing it with food can elevate the gastronomic experience to a truly sensual one.
Case in point, I’ve been enjoying beer for over 20 years. But I absolutely abhorred IPAs until just recently when I learned that they go REALLY well with fatty food. If my husband chooses a super “dank” IPA for a bottle share, then I know to get some cheese. Suddenly that super bitter beer becomes much more palatable. And I get to eat cheese!
Learning about pairings (or if you’re old hat at them, creating new pairings) is a great way to both expand your palate and explore new flavors together.
At-Home Date Night Ideas in the Kitchen
Not everyone likes alcohol. That’s fine. Here’s an expanded list of food-based ideas that don’t have to include it unless you want to!
Are you making sourdough? Then you can also make pizza dough!
Years ago when I was a food blogger, I won a pizza contest and created a new pie for a local restaurant. That recipe is coming to this blog soon, but in the meantime you can make your own with any toppings you want!
This is the last pizza we made. It’s delicious.
Opt for personal pizzas or one to share. It takes a little while, but it’s a fun and interactive style of date.
Create a Charcuterie Plate
Cheese and charcuterie plates are all the rage! I follow one local Instagram account that posts nothing but beautiful arrangements (it also makes me hungry).
Making your own isn’t hard, you just need a cutting board or plate and a selection of cheeses and cold cuts. Level up with herbs, nuts, crackers, and spreads.
Or you could leave it up to the professionals and order one in. We do that not infrequently…
Bake Together or For One Another
You all know that I’m not a huge baker, but my husband is great at it. I get frustrated with the exact science of it, but that’s where he excels. And I love when he bakes for me.
Part of our story is that he baked me carrot cake cupcakes for our first Valentine’s Day together. I took this to mean he was really serious about me, but to this day he still claims he just REALLY loves baking. That was over 7 years ago, so I guess we were both right!
Anyway, that’s all to say that he bakes me cupcakes on special occasions. Like a date night!
He’s also really excellent at pies, and I really should tell you all about his rum and bourbon laden sweet potato pie…in the meantime, here’s a no-bake one!
Order In and Eat Out
Honestly this is my favorite and we do this at least once a week. It supports our local economy AND helps us avoid doing too many dishes. It’s win-win!
This doesn’t have to be a fancy meal either (Jack in the Box delivers!). Dinner is about the company, after all.
Enjoying dinner al fresco is a great way to level up any meal. Living in an urban condo complex, we don’t have a yard. But we do have a balcony and a courtyard, both of which are a safe way to eat “out.”
We take our delivery, plate it nicely so it’s also a feast for the eyes, and then enjoy the late afternoon or dusky evening. If there isn’t a local fire, of course.
Increase the romantic factor by dressing to the nines. Pretend you’re actually going out for a night on the town!
At-Home Date Night Ideas On the Couch
You can take a much more competitive approach to date night with games!
We’re big on game nights with friends. Cards Against Humanity, Exploding Kittens, Throw Throw Burrito, and Utter Nonsense are all favorites among our crowd.
Playing those with only one other person isn’t as fun. But that doesn’t mean two-player games don’t exist!
Most traditional board games like Monopoly and checkers are good ol’ standbys. Modern games like Lost Cities, Patchwork, and even Codenames work for just one couple too.
Aside from poker, just about any card game can be played with two people too.
If you’re like me, you’re not a big gamer. But I’ve recently rediscovered the joy and nostalgia of the games from my childhood. We now have a slew of 8-bit Nintendo and even Super Nintendo games.
I’m currently nursing a sprained thumb from too much Super Mario Bros and Excitebike. We even play against each other in Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
You could just make it a Netflix and chill night. There are certain movies that emphasize the “chill” part, if you know what I’m saying and I think you do.
Horror movies tend to get the adrenaline going. Vintage movies like Nosferatu or the ’70s-’80s series like Nightmare on Elm Street are classic. Need a more modern take? Get Out and Silence of the Lambs are serious psychological thrillers.
Prefer musicals? Try Hamilton, The Sounds of Music, or Dirty Dancing.
Art house more your scene? But you also really like to know the actors names? Have you watched An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn yet?
There’s always super hero movies. Black Panther and Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey are both enjoyable.
You can just peruse one of a dozen hit movie lists. Or let Netflix suggest something!
Have you jumped on board the jigsaw puzzle train yet? We’ve done over 10 since the beginning of the year (this hobby pre-dates Covid). We also learned that they have to be 1,000 piece puzzles otherwise we finish them too quickly. We did do one 759 piece puzzle, but it was terrible and I don’t recommend them.
We sent that one to a friend.
Puzzles probably don’t get completed in one night, not at our house anyway. They can take from as little to a week to up to a month. During that time our dining table is over taken by it, which isn’t a huge deal.
Pro tip: instead of those flimsy puzzle mats, we use this Dritz Superboard as a mat for our puzzles (you can see it in the picture above). That way it can be folded up and out of the way should we need our table.
Also crossword puzzles are readily available. We’re partial to the LA Times Monday-Wednesday crosswords. Otherwise we feel too stupid, like quarantine is melting our brains.
(And we always do them in pencil.)
Like I mentioned, I don’t have a yard. But if you do, your universe of at-home dates expands way beyond mine.
We live smack in the middle of a city center, so the light pollution obscures all but the brightest celestial beings. So we use a couple of apps to observe the night sky.
If you don’t have a telescope, Sky Guide and SkyView (available in both the Apple and Google app stores) are great for figuring out what you’re looking at. If you do have a telescope, astrophotography is a fun hobby too.
Or you can just stare at the sky and wonder if anything is looking back.
Watch the Sunset
Is it too cold once the sun goes down? Enjoy that golden light just before and watch the sunset. It’s magical, even though it happens every single day.
The Golden Hour (the time just before the sunsets completely, when everything has a warm glow) is also a great time to shoot your partner. With a camera, that is!
Shoot Your Partner
Set up a photo shoot with your significant other. Phones these days rival many entry-level DSLRs, but use whatever is at your disposal. Capture each other laughing and enjoying the time you have with one another.
You only live once! Make the memories, then print them out to display around the house.
Of course, you can easily do this inside too. But that great golden light outside gives everyone a glow up.
Pitch a tent and sleep under the stars! Or build a fort! Channel your inner child and make the pillow fort of your dreams.
Not one for sleeping outside? What about just lounging on a hammock reading a good book?
Sometimes date nights don’t require much other than laying next to each other. Whether that includes reading together or separately, or just quietly enjoying their presence, date night is all about who you spend it with.
Do it with the one you love.
For more fun, check out these lists:
- 41 Easy and Beautiful Date Night Ideas For Married Couples
- 100+ Unique and Frugal Date Ideas
- 15 Cheap At Home Date Night Ideas
- Stay At Home Date Night Ideas
- 17+ Affordable At Home Date Night Ideas
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