There are a million excuses to let date nights slide off the schedule. Too many couples find themselves feeling too busy, out of ideas, without a babysitter or exercising a tight budget. These are all valid reasons not to have extravagant date nights, but don’t let them keep you from investing in your relationship.
Having regular date nights is one of the best ways to keep a relationship healthy, romantic and exciting. There are dozens of ways to bolster your relationship without compromising finances or sucking up time. No need to be creative, either, the ideas are already planned out for you.
Check out these date ideas that cost little to no money and can be done at home or nearby, with or without kids.
Date ideas with kids
1. Plan a themed movie night
Choose a movie and make it into a special occasion by making the night themed around the film. First, match dinner and dessert to the movie. Have spaghetti and dog-bone shaped cookies when you watch Lady and the Tramp or a classic french dish (french fries count) with an elaborately set table before Beauty and the Beast.
Kids will love the extra special treat of a themed movie night and you and your partner will be able to kick back and relax.
2. Do an at-home spa
This date activity is great for self-care and to calm both kids and adults. Do an at-home spa day and have the kids run the show, pampering you from head to foot. They can do hairstyles, paint nails (for real or play pretend), and offer a back rub.
Use household items to make a massage extra fun – roll a tennis ball to enhance a back massage or make this three-ingredient slime for a soothing hand rub. Set the lights to low, light some candles and play calming music.
3. Have your kids play restaurant
You have to eat dinner anyway, you might as well make it fun. One of the easiest date ideas you can do in the comfort of your own home with no extra cost to you is to have your kids “play restaurant.”
Have your kids design signs and menus, while you and your partner cook and plate the food. Your kids can even dress up as waiters and use accents. Have the kids serve dinner and then eat in another room. Older kids can light candles to make it more intimate. Splurge and tip your kids for excellent service.
Date ideas for just parents
1. Wine tour
Surprise your spouse with a homemade wine tour. This requires some set up in advance, but it’s a unique and creative stay-at-home date on the cheap. Keep your kids occupied with a movie while you and your loved one have a romantic date night.
To do this, you’ll want to buy a variety of wine and snacks. Pair them using this guide or make your own pairings. Type up little descriptions of the wine and cheeses, like you would hear at a wine tasting. Set them in places around the house or yard and dress up for the date. When your partner gets home, have him or her do a little scavenger hunt to find all the stops!
2. Have a dessert contest
A dessert contest is an easy, cheap and quick date night idea to spark some friendly competition. Use the ingredients you have at home and set a timer for the competition. Without using a recipe, make the best dessert you can in 20 minutes, or however long you decide.
Spice up the competition by going to a grocery store before. Set a budget ($5 will do) and a timer (a shorter time limit makes it more exciting) and choose some special ingredients for your dessert. Everything else in the kitchen is fair game but your partner can’t use your special ingredient. This date is fun and delicious.
3. Invest in your relationship
Your relationship with your loved one is one of the most important resources you have. The emotional support, affection and security that you have built is worth keeping strong even if it takes some unconventional, budget date nights. Restore the fun in your marriage and your whole family will benefit.
If you think your family has hit a slump and you need a little more than date ideas to boost your mental health, reach out to Pyramid Online Counseling. With your busy parenting schedule the thought may never have crossed your mind to start therapy, but with the convenience and ease of online counseling there’s no reason not to try it. Whether you’re interested in counseling for couples, families or individuals Pyramid Online Counseling can help. Call 833-525-3077 today to get started.