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!