43 Romantic Date Night Ideas for Married Couples at Home or Outside
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43 Romantic Date Night Ideas for Married Couples at Home or Outside

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Maybe you’ve been married for a year… maybe ten… maybe fifty.

Regardless of how long it’s been, there is no one great secret to a happy and lasting marriage.

But what I can tell you is this… it takes work.

It takes commitment.

It takes creativity.

It takes patience.

Today, especially, it takes patience.

For many of us, this is the first time in our lives that we’ve been asked by government officials to stay at home.

And while there are definitely some positives to take away from this experience, such as spending more time with family and saving money by going out less… it makes some things more difficult.

Like coming up with romantic date ideas for you and your spouse.

Lucky for you, I have some thoughts on the matter that I’m willing to share.

In this article, I’ll offer 43 date night ideas for married couples – split into two categories:

  • Romantic date ideas at home
  • Romantic date ideas for outside of the home

It’s the best of both worlds… providing a list of things to plan now, and those to plan once the dust settles.

But before we get started…

I implore you to get into the habit of planning.

While spontaneity is great, and will often spice things up, a little planning is sometimes required to make things run smoothly.

Let’s face it, free time is not always easy to pencil into a hectic week. So getting into the habit of putting regular date nights on the calendar ahead of time is a good idea.

Planning dates also shows your spouse that spending time together is a top priority, which goes a long way in the romance department.   

Speaking of which… when planning your dates, remember that romance is subjective. 

What may be one person’s cup of tea may not be another’s.

Not every woman wants flowers on her birthday. Not every man wants a six pack of beer on father’s day.

Being romantic often requires three things:

  • Being original.
  • Being thoughtful.
  • Listening to your spouse.

Got it?

Good.

Here we go.

What You Will Learn

Date Ideas for Home

1. Have a Game Night

Game nights are vastly underrated when it comes to romantic date ideas.  Honestly, they make so many games these days that you are bound to find one or two that suit you both!

Naughty games.

Strategic games.

Trivia games.

Artistic games.

Video games.

The sky's the limit when it comes to selection.  Heck, you can even kick it old school and play a game of Battleship or Stratego… if that’s what you’re into!

2. Recreate the Drive-In Movie Experience

There are companies that sell, or rent, supersized inflatable movie screens. Towns use them to host movies on the beach or in the park all of the time.

Lucky for you, they don’t discriminate against venues.

If you don’t want to go that route, maybe you have a side of the house or garage door conducive to projecting your feature film.

Then, simply park your car (or a blanket) in front and cuddle up with a bowl of popcorn and a bucket filled with your beverages of choice.

Have kids?

Why not kick it up a notch and have them bring you your snacks to the car? You can even make them wear a little uniform to add that extra touch of authenticity. 

3. Plan a Getaway in the Backyard

Maybe you’ve had to put your vacation plans on hold.

Or maybe you just desperately need a night or two away from reality at your favorite B&B.

If it can’t actually happen for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean you can’t do your very best to feel like it is.

Eat s'mores by the firepit, stargaze on a blanket, soak in the hot tub with a bottle of wine, skinny dip in the pool after dark… or just play a game of bocce. 

4. Host a Virtual Happy Hour with Friends

Whether you use video conference technology for work or school, or to simply chat with friends and relatives far away…  you’re likely familiar with at least one platform.

Zoom. Skype. Facebook Messenger. Google Hangouts. Facetime. 

They all exist to make communication easier… and highly interactive.

If you can’t get out to the bar, why not email an invite to your friends to join you for a virtual happy hour?

Some chat rooms can accommodate upwards of 25 people at one time, which is likely more than you need for a romantic date idea. A few other couples work just as well!

Keep it intimate and sit back for some snacking, laughing and drinking… without ever leaving the comforts of home.

If you want to add a fancy element, pick a place in your house to “stage” for the call.  Dress up the room like a cozy speakeasy or basement lounge bar… maybe a rooftop terrace vibe?

You can even coordinate with your friends ahead of time to recreate your favorite hangout in everybody’s house.

5. Stream a Live Concert

With so many people choosing to stay at home these days, celebrity musicians have offered up their time and talent to stream live concerts online.

Andrea Bocelli hosted a concert from Milan, Italy a few weeks ago. The DropKick Murphys put on a St. Patrick’s Day party in our living room just before that.

If this trend continues, you’ll find more and more artists offering free or paid concerts in your home.

If you don’t like your current choices, there are tons of classic concerts available for download.

6. Learn a New Skill, or Explore a New Hobby

Ever think about taking up photography? Art? Computer coding? The piano?

Finding a new hobby can be extremely rewarding… and doing it with your spouse can make for a perfect romantic date idea.

There are tons of books and online resources to help you get the information you need to get started on your next adventure!

7. Turn Your Living Room Into a Cafe

Have you been longing for your favorite cup of coffee or herbal tea from that little cafe downtown? Do you miss their scones?

How about the girl playing acoustic guitar in the corner, while you sit reading your favorite magazine in an oversized chair?

Or maybe you are feeling nostalgic about the cafe you and your wife had your first date at.

It is possible to capture the ambience of your sweet spot at home… simply by making a few alterations to a living space.

You can probably find a recipe similar to the one you’re craving online, maybe even check out the cafe’s website directly under the ingredient list.

Then, contemplate buying inexpensive slipcovers online to spruce up an old loveseat or chair.

If neither of you are particularly musical, try playing some old records or stream Pandora in the background.

All that’s left now is to adjust the lighting, put your feet up and read through that stack of magazines together.  

8. Play a Game of Twenty Questions

When was the last time the two of you sat down and simply talked about each other. Not about the kids, or problems at work, stresses or insecurities… but each other.

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Your hopes? Your fears? Your dreams for the future?

And what about the past? Do you really know everything there is to know about one another?

Like, what was their favorite food as a kid? Who was their role model? Their first kiss?

If you can’t come up with enough questions on your own, give this article a read.

You can also try spicing things up a bit with a game of Truth or Dare… or your own version of The Newlywed Game, where you can quiz your partner on how well they think they know you. For every answer they get right, you lose an article of clothing. If they get it wrong, it’s their turn to drop their shorts!

9. Download a Good Ol’ Fashioned Radio Program

Back in the day, before there were televisions, people would actually spend hours sitting around as a family… listening to their favorite radio show.

Comedy. Mystery. Drama. Thrillers

Who remembers The War of the Worlds by Orsen Wells? People actually panicked thinking the martians were really invading!

Technology has come a long way since then… and while most of us wouldn’t be keen on trading our big screens for the talkie on a permanent basis, it can certainly be fun once in a while to take a trip down memory lane.

And thanks to that same technology… many of the old programs can be downloaded straight to your smartphone, tablet or laptop. 

10. Go Camping in Your Living Room

So maybe your yard isn’t conducive to a campout, or perhaps the weather isn’t cooperating… maybe you just don’t like camping outside.

Enter the concept of indoor camping.

Set up a tent in the living room or den. Grab your sleeping bags and a comfy pillow.

If you have a fireplace, plan to roast marshamellows or cook hot dogs on a stick. 

Pack yourself a good book to read and download a “sounds of nature” track to your media device.

It can be the perfect indoor getaway.

11. Have Fun With an At-Home Photobooth

Bust out the camera, old Halloween costumes and kids’ toys and get ready to have the ultimate at home photobooth date!

Whether you’re 4 or 40, playing dress-up can be loads of fun… and taking pictures of it is a great way of capturing the laughs for years to come!

Add a little more authenticity by shopping your local dollar store or amazon for props to make a variety of backdrops.

12. Have a Dining Room Tasting Party

Wine and cheese.

Chocolate and fruit.

Beer.

Tapas.

Nobody said you had to head over to a vineyard, brewery or fancy restaurant to experience a palate-pleasing culinary tour de force!

Come up with a menu together ahead of time and do some online shopping for ingredients.

When date night rolls around, set aside some time to prepare everything… then go throw on something nice to wear and meet each other back in your room of choice to taste the fruits of your labor!

13. Serve Breakfast for Dinner… in Bed

Breakfast for dinner is a hit in my home, especially with the kids!

But when you’re looking to incorporate some romance into the mix, sans children, serving each other breakfast in bed… at night… is the way to go!

Get yourself two trays and comfy robes, if you don’t already have them. Then, start looking up recipes to get your mouths watering.

Or, if you prefer to relax, you can always order takeout or delivery from your local diner.

If you’re looking for some post “brinner” activities… put on sexy underwear and have a couples game ready on the nightstand.

Looking for something a little more low key? How about giving each other a foot massage while taking turns reading from a book to one another.

14. Take a cooking class

Wouldn’t it be romantic if you could make amazing restaurant quality dinners at home? 

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Look for cooking classes you and your spouse can attend together.

Well, eat this up!

Cooking classes.

They are a delicious way to spend an evening with your spouse, and also great for steering the conversation away from the everyday stuff.

Today, many top quality chefs offer access to their amazing recipes via online courses.   Some are paid, some are free.  Neither will break the bank.

15. Cook your spouse a candlelight dinner.

It’s time to put those cooking lessons to the test.

That or maybe there’s an old family recipe you’ve been wanting to try?

Or maybe you’ve always been a good cook, but never have time anymore to play around in the kitchen?

Either way, what better guinea pig than your beloved?

Add some candlelight and fancy dishware to the mix, and this is easily one of the top date ideas at home.

16. Schedule an in-home couples massage.

Massages aren’t reserved just for the day spa anymore.

In-home massages have been growing in popularity, largely in part to their convenience, and can even be scheduled online these days.

They are a great way to make date ideas at home feel like a real escape.

17. Set up a photo shoot.

Life is hectic.

It’s easy to get caught up in your day, lose track of time. 

The things you once stopped to look at… the moments you so desperately wanted to capture… have slowly been replaced with pictures of your kids (or nieces and nephews), funny YouTube videos or texts.

Why not change this? Even if just for a night.

As one of your next date ideas at home, why not play photographer?

Take pictures of:

  • each other
  • rooms in your house
  • your favorite places
  • other couples

Capture your life… as it is… at this moment. 

Perfect, not perfect, real.

Then have your date night photos printed and start an album… or put them in frames.

You’ll look back on it one day and be glad you did.    

18. Hire a personal sommelier.

Companies such as The Wine Lovers, actually specialize in private wine tasting parties.

It’s one of the wonderfully dangerous date ideas at home.

Whether it’s just the two of you, or with another couple, it’s guaranteed to be a relaxing and fun evening for all involved. 

Check this out: have the other participants bring different dishes to pair with the wines!

19. Order take out from your favorite restaurant.

This one could be on both the cheap date ideas and dates ideas at home list… in fact, a few of my ideas could be considered crossover events.

Even some of the romantic date ideas.

Still, sometimes there is nothing better than eating your favorite foods in your comfiest lounge pants.

Add your favorite beverages, actual plates and light a few scented candles… and you’re all set.

There’s nobody to impress but each other in your cozy little bubble.

20. Watch your wedding video.

Why not give Netflix or Redbox the night off and look to your home videos collection for inspiration?

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Surprise your spouse with a screening of your wedding video. 

While this is one of the simplest date ideas at home to pull off, it can also be crazy romantic if you play your cards right.

Surprise her, or him, with a screening of your wedding video. 

Clever cat tip: grab another DVD out of its case and replace it with yours. It will look like you’re watching Star Wars… again… right up until you pop the disk in.

Be sure to have a bottle of champagne chilled for a toast…

And if you want brownie points for super duper creativity, have a piece of replica wedding cake ready to eat towards the end of the video.

But don’t go overboard… the same flavor cake will do just fine.

What you really want is to reminisce and enjoy watching the start of your journey together unfold… again.

Oh, and if by some chance your wedding was captured on VHS instead of a digital format, there are services out there that will transfer them for a fee.

There are also kits available if you want to take a shot at doing it yourself from your computer.

21. Turn each other into a work of art.

You’re adults.

You’re married.

You’ve seen each other naked.

I hope.

So drop your pants… and your inhibitions… and get playful.

One of our naughtier date ideas at home, there are tons of products available to help with a little R-rated romance:

  • Body paint
  • Lickable body oils
  • Tattoos
  • Edible underwear
  • Tassels
  • Sexy lingerie

Whatever you do, have fun with it.

And if shopping in public for these items is more than you can handle, there are plenty of online boutiques like The Lingerie Diva or Adam & Eve.

22. Role play.

Ok, your head may be in the gutter after that last date ideas at home contribution.

Sorry.

I want to offer something for everyone.

Besides…

what may not be your thing now, may turn out to be.

You never know.

We were created to evolve.

So, let’s get back to it.

The morning of your date, leave an invitation for your spouse to a role playing party or event.

Put it in an envelope.   Make it look official.

Inside, simply include:

  • The event title
  • The time
  • The place
  • Your wife’s (or husband’s) character name and description

Here’s a fun little example,

“You’re invited to dinner at the White House”

Time: 7:30pm

Place: 1970s Washington, DC

Character: Sara, a newspaper reporter for the Washington Post. Wears bright red lipstick and glasses

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Start your role play date by giving your spouse an official-looking envelope.

Don’t forget to include a note on the bottom to dress accordingly.

And that’s it.

Get into character and get ready for a night where anything goes.  Nothing is off limits with the imagination.

23. Dance to your old records.

Get ready to cut loose… Footloose… kick off those Sunday shoes.

Geek alert.

Admit it though, you can’t help but tap your feet whenever that Loggins tune comes on the radio.

Don’t lie.

It’s okay.

But I digress.

We’re at the end.

Dance makes people happy. Plain and simple.

Even if you’re bad at it, if you’re with the right person, it feels great.

Slow dances, fast dances, line dances, break dances… I’ll take them all for a mood boost, especially when it comes to simple and cheap date ideas at home. 

I personally prefer to bust out the ol’ LP collection, there’s just something nostalgic and freeing about it.

But not everybody has one.

Some people still have CDs… others went all digital.

Maybe you have an old 8-track or cassette player tucked away someplace… an old mix tape perhaps?

Whatever you got, cue it up and get your sexy on.

Dance like nobody, except your spouse, is watching. 

24. Skype with each other from different rooms in the house.     

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, some married couples may not be missing each other quite enough.

Unless your spouse travels a lot for business, or works entirely different hours than you, chances are you at least see each other every day for a couple of hours.

And that is wonderful.

But wouldn’t it also be wonderful if you knew what it felt like to really miss them for just one night? 

In an age of Skype, Messenger, WhatsApp… couples can stay in touch even with an ocean between them. They can see each other as if they were sitting in the same room.

They can talk dirty.

Yes, I may have a problem.

But hear me out.

A perfect way to keep things exciting and fresh, and an A+ worthy selection for date ideas at home, is to simply vanish to a different room for the night. 

Maybe one of you sleeps in the guest room? The sofa? The office?

It doesn’t matter.

Just separate.

Then dial each other up for a video chat before bed.

And again in the morning.

If you really want to make it interesting, you can try and avoid each other the entire day leading up to the chat date. Pretend as if you really are on a business trip.

Whatever works for you.

Date Ideas for Outside the Home

25. Dinner at a restaurant that requires reservations weeks, or more, in advance.

9 times out of 10, if a “special occasion” restaurant is any good, you’ll need a reservation. And getting one may require a bit of patience on your part.

Patience.

There’s that word I mentioned in the very beginning of the article.

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Try taking your spouse to a fancy restaurant that requires reservations.

It’s key in a marriage.

It’s also key when coming up with romantic date ideas.

Often, you can call the restaurant directly to make a reservation. That or visit a website like OpenTable. You can even make special requests there.

26. A horse drawn carriage ride.

If you do a quick search online, you can find companies in your area. Even read some reviews.

The best companies will often offer a variety of “special touches”… such as a blanket on a brisk day, or a champagne toast.

Added bonus: it’s a great way to see a new city.

Charleston, SC, in particular, offers these carriage rides through the old part of the city… and the drivers know their stuff! Private tours start at just $150.

27. Go to a drive-in movie.

This one could also be seen as an inexpensive and cheap date idea, but romantic as heck nonetheless.

Man. Woman. Alone in a car. 

Sensor me now before I say something naughty.

28. Schedule a private tasting at a local vineyard.

Many vineyards are happy to accomodate couples who’d like to spice things up with a private tasting. They may even offer pairing plates (tapas style), which is excellent for before or after dinner. 

29. Go to the opera.

Before you make that face… if you haven’t been to the opera yet, you are depriving yourselves of a unique cultural experience.

Trust me on this.

The opera has been around for centuries for a reason.  It began in Italy, and soon spread like wildfire through the rest of Europe.

Hint: If you really want to impress your spouse, tell them a bit about the opera’s origins.

Contrary to popular belief, the opera isn’t just fat ladies singing… although they do.

No offense.

Their voices are angelic.

And that is a good thing because the opera is a story put almost entirely to music… much like musical theatre. The big difference: opera performers sing everything. Theatre performers mix it up with a combination of speech and song.

Now you’re ready to answer that jeopardy question!

You’re welcome.

All kidding aside

Pick a story you’d be interested in, get dressed up in formal attire, and give it a whirl.  You may be pleasantly surprised.  

30. Take a walk through a botanical garden.

How long could this possibly take? If you’ve seen one pretty flower, you’ve seen them all… right?

Wrong!

Top notch botanical gardens are blooming all over the world… they are picturesque, fragrant and peaceful. One of the best romantic date ideas, in my humble opinion.

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Enjoy a romantic date while appreciating the picturesque, fragrant and peaceful atmosphere of a botanical garden.

Well, unless you’re allergic to flowers… then you might want to ix-nay the arden-gay.

But if you’re “Claritin clear”, or just fine around flowers, play hookey and check one of these out on a weekday afternoon. 

Tip: weekends at a botanical garden tend to get very crowded and are often crawling with kids.

And if you’re married with kids… on a date trying to escape said kids… you may want to avoid this.

I’ve personally been to both Keukenhof in Holland and Gardens of the World in Berlin… and was never bored. 

If you ever get to Berlin, be sure to check out the romantic cableway ride up the flower covered mountainside.  Perfect for hand holding and lower lip nibbling.

31. Try out a self-defense or martial arts class.

Let’s be honest…

There are times you want to just slap your husband upside the head.  Or pull their ear.

I mean, you don’t actually do it… but I’m certain most every husband in the world has pictured himself pulling a Ralph from The Honeymooners once or twice.

No?

Don’t judge me.

It’s the truth.

Marriage cannot be all sunshine and roses… so why should a date be? 

Instead of a quiet dinner, why not try out a local self defence or martial arts class?

It’s a perfectly sane and acceptable way to let that pent up aggression fly!  Plus, it can be excellent foreplay.

Shhhh. We have kids for goodness sake. 

Go online and do a search for self defense or martial arts schools in your area. Or, if you prefer to keep it at home, udemy offers online courses in all facets of self defense.

Me… I prefer to get out whenever I can!

To quote my son’s self defense instructor, Master Mohamed Elshikh, “You can build an amazing life if you build it on a solid foundation.”

If that doesn’t sum up marriage, I don’t know what does.

32. Catch a live sporting event.     

If you’re a lucky guy like my husband is {wink, smile}… your wife likes sports.

If she doesn’t, it’s still ok. This date can work for you!

Sporting events are loud and exciting.

There is often alcohol involved.

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One romantic date option for couples who are also sports fans is to attend live sporting events.

Screaming is permitted… and encouraged!

Cheers! Jeers! Ups! Downs!

It’s an emotional rollercoaster, especially if the team or athlete you’re rooting for is behind.

Solidarity!

Coming together in a venue like this is an ideal way to get some of your own displaced emotions out… and feel much more relaxed after doing so! 

And who knows, you may even become a fanatic… if you’re not already!

33. Try white water rafting or kayaking.

Let’s face it…

Marriage, at times, can push a couple’s limits.   Not only does it test us, but it will try and break us.

We can’t let it.

If you try focusing that negative energy instead on something both physically and emotionally challenging… it may work wonders.

Perhaps you’re in a romantic slump?

Perhaps you’re having money troubles (the bain of most married couples existence).

We’ve all been there.

Instead of letting anxiety consume you, why not meet it head on? Go ahead and face something bigger than your problems… like class III rapids!

Maybe class III is too easy. Maybe it’s too hard.

Maybe it’s just what you need to get your mind off things. 

You’ll figure it out.

Just like you’ll figure your problems out, if you work together.

Marriage takes teamwork.

Once you conquer those rapids, you’ll likely scoff at your other worries. You’ll realize what really matters.

You can do anything.

Together.

34. Go sculpt or paint something.

So if you’ve seen the movie Ghost, you’re familiar with the romantic scene in which Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore are sitting at a pottery wheel together.

Kissing ensues.

The would-be vase or whatever Moore is making is forgotten.

Love takes over.

Cue one of the best romantic date ideas.

Sure, you’ll likely have to keep your clothes on if you’re in a public studio space… arrests don’t exactly scream romance!

But just imagine the possibilities that come from creating beautiful art together.

Plus, you’ll have a souvenir of the evening to take home with you… which can serve as a nice reminder when you’re having a rough day.

You can find local studios in your area with a quick google search.  Many of them even offer BYOB nights, great for couples in search of unique and romantic date ideas.

35. Visit a museum.

Museums aren’t just filled with paintings and sculptures.

Today, we have museums dedicated to:

  • Film and television
  • Aviation
  • Legos
  • Science
  • Immigrants
  • Historical events
  • Sports
  • Space

To name just a few.

Chances are, if you’re interested in something, there’s a museum for it.

And here’s the best part…

Museums are often inexpensive, if not free!  Making them one of the best cheap date ideas for couples on a budget.

Or anyone who’s frugal and likes culture, really.

Also, many museums offer memberships and season passes, which make it an even better value. Some passes include multiple museums. 

There are tons of websites that allow you to search for inexpensive or free tours, events, places, etc….   Just type in your location and go!

36. Have a picnic on the beach.

Restaurants are not your only option for fine dining.

What if I were to tell you there was a place where they only served your favorite foods… and that the view from your seat was always unobstructed?

No tipping is required.

There are never any waits.

The dress code is casual.

It’s called a picnic.

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One of the all-time favorite cheap romantic date ideas… the beach picnic.

And it’s one of my all-time favorite cheap date ideas… especially if it’s on the beach.

But maybe your husband is more of a woodsman?

Or maybe lakes float your wife’s boat?

Waterfalls are always great for ambient background noise.

It really doesn’t matter where you end up, just that you end up together.

Ahhh, peace and quiet.

Hint: make picnics a regular thing and take turns picking the venue.

37. Find a curbside joint to grab lunch at.

One of the best ways to eat out, inexpensively, is to skip the traditional restaurant scene and try dining curb-side instead.

Park your inhibitions at the door…

Turn off that voice inside your head that doesn’t want to make a mess in the car…

They have these places called car washes now.

They vacuum too.  

Just sit back, relax and enjoy that burger and shake that your diet wouldn't approve of… in the comfort and privacy of your own car.

No judgements here.  

38. Go camping.

As far as cheap date ideas go, it doesn’t get much less expensive than camping.

You typically pay to reserve a site… and that’s about it.

There can be some additional fees if you choose to rent fishing or hunting equipment,  mountain bikes, kayaks etc… but that’s entirely up to you.

Money saving tips:

  • Camp in your own tent instead of renting a cabin
  • Reserve a site that is a bit further away from the action
  • Bring your own fishing poles (you may only need to buy a license, which is relatively cheap)
  • Invest in a roof or bike rack so you can bring your own stuff

39. Create a scavenger hunt.

Chances are, you were pretty creative when you first started dating your spouse. 

And that creativity doesn’t just disappear… but it will fade over time if you don’t use it. 

Be creative!

One of the most fun and cheap date ideas is to take your spouse on scavenger hunt. 

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One of the most fun and cheap date ideas is to take your spouse on scavenger hunt.

Create clues that will transport you back to a time or place that means something to you as a couple, like:

  • The spot where you had your first date
  • The park where you shared your first kiss
  • The B&B you spent your first getaway at
  • The place you proposed
  • The first apartment you shared together

Whether it’s just for a couple of hours, or an all day affair, your spouse will love the effort you put into the hunt… and will likely chase you down later for a proper thank you. 

40. Check out an amateur comedy club.

They say laughter is the best medicine.

And that the best comedians are often the ones who can make themselves relatable to their audience.

With a little research, you can easily find a comedian whose material speaks to you personally. 

Love, marriage, children, dating, sex.

There’s a joke (or two, or three)  for all of it… and a brilliant comedian to deliver it. 

Amateur comedy clubs exist to give aspiring comedians their shot at the big time. They want to fill their seats every show.

And you can profit from this with fairly inexpensive ticket prices… making this one of the better cheap date ideas.  

41. Take your spouse on a tour of your alma mater.

Ever find yourself surprisingly free on a Saturday afternoon?

At a loss for what to do with yourself?

Well, look no further than your sweatshirt drawer and take your spouse for a tour of your alma mater.

If it’s a comfortable car ride away,  you may have just won the cheap date ideas lottery!

Put on that ratty old sweatshirt, grab some music for the trip, and hit the road.

Maybe take a spontaneous detour on the way? You can get a quick bite to eat at one of those hidden gems seen on Diners Drive-ins and Dives.

When you do arrive at your destination, give your spouse the unofficial tour. Show him all of the things and places that made it special for you.

After all, there’s nothing like a walk down memory lane to help you better appreciate the path you’re currently on.

42. Enter a fun race together.

I may be going out on a limb here…

But you may not be as fit and trim as you were when you first met your spouse.

Am I wrong?

Don’t feel bad.

My husband calls it the “old brown shoe” syndrome. 

And trust me when I say this, I wasn’t thrilled with the analogy when he first used it to describe me…

But when he explained, it made sense.

Once you’ve gotten so comfortable with someone, you tend to let certain things go.

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Recruit your spouse as your partner and make a date out of entering a fun race together.

It’s completely normal.

When you’re married, certain things take priority over the name brand clothes and makeup… joining a gym… buying all organic foods.

Especially if you have kids.  

Shopping at a big box store matters.

Their piano lessons matter.

Gymnastics class matters.

You tell yourself that throwing your hair into a ponytail and wearing yoga pants to pick up the kids from school is ok… because you couldn’t be late and didn’t have time to shower after your 20 minute jog.  

You let yourself off the hook for eating McDonalds because you didn’t have time to make dinner in between running one kid home from the soccer field and another to swim lessons. 

Sure, I would like to lose a few pounds.

Most of the married couples I know would.

But it’s not easy, especially if you try and lose it on your own. 

So don’t.

  1. Recruit your spouse as your partner and make a date out of it
  2. Go for a walk, jog or bike ride together — at least 2-3 times per week, for 30 minutes
  3. Research a fun race
  4. Pay the entry fee online 
  5. Put the race on your calendar

Win the race!

Ok, maybe that’s a stretch…

Finish the race!

Better?

Just commit to it and do it.

Note to self: if you absolutely must, this can be a “family date” activity

Of all the cheap date ideas I’ve offered, this may be the one you’ll thank me for most.

If you don’t believe me, take a look in the mirror when it’s all over… then go buy yourself a pair of smaller jeans.  

43. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or nursing home.

Helping those less fortunate is one of the most effective ways to appreciate your own life… and the people in it. 

And that is why this idea made the list of romantic date ideas.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person. 

A grateful person.

But I’m human.

There are times when I think that my problems or concerns are just as valid as other people’s… maybe even moreso.

There are times I feel there aren’t enough hours in my day to lend a hand to someone else.

There are times I yearn for a break from reality.

Am I selfish?

No.

I’m married. And I’m a mom.

I have genuine feelings that sometimes make me angry, sad, stressed or confused…

Alone.

But then I look around.

I watch or read the news…

And I feel lucky.

I have a partner to share my life with, family and friends to help along the way.

Not everybody has that.

So why not make it a point to trade in one of your traditional date nights (every now and again) for a meaningful one? VolunteerMatch is a great resource to get your started.

As the Dalai Lama said, “…the very motion of our life is towards happiness.” 

Change starts with you.

At the end of the day, marriage is a garden that needs constant tending too. And making time for dates is like watering the garden.

My husband used to tease that all people are on their best behavior in the beginning of a relationship.

That they are more attentive early on because they are trying to win someone’s affections… almost like a game.

Marriage is the trophy.

And while he said this very tongue and check, nearly ten years later, I do see some truth in it.

Our relationship has changed.

As it should.

We are not just a couple any longer, we are parents.

Our dating led to marriage. Our marriage led to four beautiful, healthy and loving children.

And those children have changed us forever.

Maybe you don’t have kids yet… maybe you don’t want to.

But marriage has still changed you.

You have another person’s opinions and feelings and future to consider now.

You need to be considerate.

So let’s review…

In this blog, I have outlined 43 romantic date night ideas for married couples at home or outside.

There is something for everyone… regardless of how much space you have or how big your budget is.

Regardless of which option (or options) you choose… all that really matters is that you’re making time for one another. 

Remember that.

Get into the habit of making time for one another.

As often as you can.

Dates are like reset buttons in a marriage, and can often make all right in the world again with the simplest of gestures.

There is no correlation between how much you spend on a date – and how good that date will be.

All that matters is you are, say it with me, considerate.

Thoughtful.

Attentive.

Just like the old days.

Now go have fun, you crazy kids!

Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.

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43 Romantic Date Night Ideas for Married Couples at Home or Outside

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