I'm Lisa Kirk, a wife, mama, writer, and founder. Since 2010, Something Pretty has been home to my favorite memories, reflections, and inspirations. Thanks so much for reading!

How to Make an At-Home Date Special


I know I’ve talked quite a bit about at-home dates since Dave and I became parents, but here’s a little confession for you: they were often our date night of choice pre-baby too! Dave is more extroverted than I am, but I think he’d still agree that we share a bit of a homebody streak. A piece of me wishes we had gone out more before Charlie was born, but apparently, we had a budget back then too, so it wasn’t always realistic ;) All that to say, we’ve become pros at at-home dates, and in case you’re new parents, you can’t find a babysitter, you want to save a few dollars by staying in, or your Valentine’s Day plans simply don’t go beyond your front door, I’d love to share a few of our favorite at-home date night tips today.

Come up with a plan. Even if you’re doing more or less the same activity you do every night (let’s say snuggling up for a movie, for the sake of conversation), coming up with a plan ahead of time can make all the difference between feeling like it’s a “date” versus a normal night at home. Pick out the movie ahead of time, grab popcorn and candy from the grocery store, and choose a start time, just like there would be at a movie theater. You’ll look forward to it all day long!

Change things up. My friend Emily wrote a blog post last year about injecting novelty into everyday life that had a HUGE impact on me–I now often try to come up with “novel” things to add to our date nights in order to make them truly memorable. That could mean anything from piling all the pillows and blankets on the floor for movie night instead of sitting on the couch, lighting all the candles and switching off the lights during dinner, sharing a charcuterie board on the porch instead of in the kitchen, or learning a new card game together. Recently, we made homemade pretzels to accompany a Sound of Music movie night, and it was so much fun!

Enjoy a special drink or treat. This is one of the easiest ways to add some novelty to an at-home date night and make it feel extra special. We love mixing up Moscow mules in copper mugs, but a bottle of wine, a pot of tea, a batch of hot chocolate, or your cocktail of choice are all great options.

Make a little bit of effort. This doesn’t necessarily mean going all out in your on-the-town best, because let’s be honest, one of the best parts of at-home dates is that you can be comfy. That said, consider opting for your cute loungewear over your old college sweatshirt, straighten up the room you’ll be spending time in, light a candle or two, and maybe even spritz on a little perfume or put on lip gloss. This is date night after all :)

Is there anything you would add to this list? I’d love to hear!






  1. Rachel says:

    One of my favorite at home date nights is to make a homemade salad + dressing (this one is my absolute fav — https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/kale-caesar-salad-recipe/) and then have Fernando go pickup buffalo wings. We usually go for boneless wings because they are less messy. haha!
    I like to make the salad at home because it’s healthier than just having takeout wings for dinner and by making part of the meal at home you save a little $$. Then while Fernando picks up the wings, I prep the salads/sides and get the show/movie ready. We rarely eat after kid bedtime (we have dinner as a family every night) so this is a nice treat every once in awhile.

    • Lisa says:

      What a fun idea! I have had great luck with Gimme Some Oven recipes so I can’t wait to try that one. Dave loves grilling chicken wings but we’ve never made them for a date night in, so I think we’re going to need to put that on our list, especially as the weather warms up and we can eat them on the porch!

  2. Em says:

    I love this post so much!! We are still new to at-home date nights, and perhaps because of that they still seem extra-exciting because of the novelty, but we will definitely be trying some of these tips! :)

    • Lisa says:

      There’s definitely something special about them! Let me know if y’all come up with any other good tips and tricks! :)

  3. Rhiannon says:

    This is such fun! We recently started FPU through our church so we are all for affordable (read: free!) date nights in the interest of financial freedom. This is just the post I needed :)

    • Lisa says:

      That’s so exciting, Rhi! We haven’t done FPU but have heard wonderful things. I hope it’s incredibly fruitful for y’all!

  4. I love this post! Definitely going try some of your ideas! We love at-home dates, but we could take it up a notch!

  5. Dana says:

    We have been cooking a lot more in honor of Free Fun February, which has led to lots of dancing in the kitchen as we test out our wedding playlist! Killeen is usually where we do at home date nights because there’s no where to go haha, but we’re trying to be better about making the most of our time together!


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