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It’s not uncommon to find yourself sitting at home with your partner… wishing you were out dining at your favorite restaurant instead.
But sneaking away isn’t always an option, especially if you have younger kids. Babysitters may not always be available and, even if you do find one, they cost money. In fact, they can cost more than the date itself sometimes!
Trust me on this… my husband and I have four kids under the age of 10.
And even if you have teenagers in the house, or have no kids at all, it may still not be feasible to go out… whether it’s financial reasons or hectic schedules to blame.
Still, there is hope for when going out isn’t in the cards. It just takes a little bit of creativity.
So in this article, I’ll outline 25 of my favorite at home date ideas. Whether you try one, or try them all… I guarantee you’ll be glad you did.
1. Movie Night
Movies are a great excuse to cozy up with your partner. Whether it’s streaming a new release or revisiting an old favorite, it can be a great escape from reality… even if just for a little while.
Some couples may even prefer to watch old home movies and take that walk down memory lane.
Or, you can get super creative and rent or buy an outdoor projector… then park your car or set up some lawn chairs for the ultimate drive-up experience!
As an added bonus, watching movies at home is much easier on the wallet than going to a cinema. Just pop some popcorn, grab your favorite drink, sit back and enjoy the show!
2. Couples Book Club
It can be hard finding the time to sit down and read a good book.
Between work, household and kid stuff… many parents will tell you that all they want to do after the kids go to bed is “veg out” in front of the tv for a while. But that isn’t always the best thing if you want to get a good night’s sleep.
So why not use date night as an excuse to get cozy with a good book… and your spouse!
Decide on which book you’re going to read ahead of time. Then, discuss it over coffee (or something a wee bit stronger) when you have a night to yourselves.
Another option that may be worth a try are audio books. Having someone read a book to you is not only reminiscent of childhood, but also keeps you and your partner on the same page.
It also frees up your hands for other things… if you catch my drift.
3. Wine Tasting & Tapas
Couples pay hundreds of dollars for wine tasting tours in Napa Valley, California. In fact, many will build an entire vacation out of it.
Individual wineries typically average $25 per person for just the tasting.
While this can be an enjoyable way to spend a day, you don’t necessarily have to leave the house to have a similar experience.
Thanks to companies like Vinebox and Firstleaf, it’s now easier than ever to have top quality wines from all over the world delivered to your home… either via a one-time shipment or subscription service.
There are also companies who will send a licensed sommelier to your home, to offer a private wine tasting and pairing with delicious tapas.
If your preferences extend beyond wine, Boston-based company Host, offers virtual tastings of beers and spirits as well.
4. Play A Game Of 20 Questions
How well do you really know your partner?
Sure, we all know the reason (or reasons) why we love them… but do we know how our significant other got to be the person we wanted to commit our lives too?
What were they like as a child?
Who was their role model?
What did they want to be when they grew up?
What were their fears?
Putting together a list of questions to ask each other can be a tremendous bonding experience for the two of you… and one of the most low key at home date ideas there is.
5. Board Game Battle
A little bit of friendly, sometimes even heated, competition can be excellent foreplay for couples in search of more at home date ideas.
Board games have never gone out of style and now, more than ever, couples-inspired board games are on the rise!
Many are designed to spark conversation… while others are designed to let “sparks” fly between the two of you.
6. Recreate Your First Date
Nobody forgets their first date… whether it was a success or an utter disaster. For better or for worse, it was a huge part of your love story.
That is why recreating your first date is one of the most romantic at home date ideas.
If you dined at a restaurant, see if they are still open for delivery or take out. If not, try cooking or ordering the same dishes you ordered. If there is a theme, such as Italian or Mexican, you can order decorations online and download playlists to capture the atmosphere.
If your first date was at a movie or music festival, why not try obtaining a copy of it to screen at home? Or ordering some kind of memorabilia online?
Get as creative as you can with this one and I promise your partner won’t be disappointed. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
7. Get Cooking
Cooking together is a wonderful way to unwind.
You can select the recipes ahead of time and plan a day to go shopping for ingredients. That or have them delivered straight to your door.
Once that’s done, all that’s left to do is crack open a bottle of wine or sparkling water and get cooking.
If you want to add a sexy element to the evening, try inciting a friendly food fight… which can lead to showering together when it’s time to clean up.
Did someone say “ooh la la”?
8. Take An Online Course Together
Online courses are available for almost any topic, skill or hobby that suits your interest.
Some are free, while others require a one-time payment or subscription.
The best thing to do is first decide what it is you’d like to learn or try out with your partner on date night… and then simply google alternatives.
Websites like Grokker, Skillshare and Masterclass run the gambit of interests… such as yoga, art, photography, cooking, poker playing and film making. Many of which are taught by professionals in the field.
If you’re looking for something a bit more lowkey, try your community’s webpage or local small businesses. YouTube is another option.
9. Get Moving
Exercise gets the heart pumping and increases endorphins… which are proven to elevate one’s mood and reduce stress or anxiety.
And as with most things, having a partner to share things with can make the experience all the more rich. It’s also a great way to keep yourself accountable.
So why not spend date night going for a walk, bike or jog with your partner? Maybe even give hiking or kayaking a try, if you’re able.
And when you’re done, you can reward each other with a (semi) healthy treat… such as a yogurt parfait or low calorie muffins.
10. Take A Pretend Vacation
Who doesn’t love a vacation? Or ever wishes they could suddenly transport themselves someplace else for a little while?
Well, while it may be possible to actually drop everything and go… with a little imagination, you can still get away. Or at least feel like it.
One of the most creative at home date ideas is the pretend vacation. You can either pick a favorite spot… or dream up something new.
Once you’ve landed on a locale, you can go to work shopping for food items and decor specific to the area.
Dedicate a room or two in your home, or even outdoors, and start setting up the ultimate staycation for the night! (And while you're at it, listen to our favorite songs about vacations!)
11. Have A Late Night Picnic
There is something about late night snacking that can be super comforting. It can also feel a little “naughty”… since we all know that eating after a certain hour is bad for us.
But once in a while it won’t kill you. In fact, it can be one of the more fun at home date ideas!
So pack a picnic basket, grab a blanket and head outside for a romantic snack under the stars.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate, no worries. You can get creative with a tent or indoor picnic.
12. Camp Out In The Backyard (Or Indoors)
Camping can be extremely romantic… especially if some of the comforts of home are within reach – such as a bathroom, shower or refridgerator.
Camping out at home is one of my favorite and easy at home date ideas.
All you need is a tent and sleeping bags (or air mattress and blankets) and you’re good to go.
Add to the ambience with some music, a firepit and s'mores. Grab a telescope or binoculars for stargazing if the skies are clear.
If the weather falls short, you can always head back inside and set up camp by the fireplace or other cozy room.
Do you ever watch those home renovation shows on television and wish you had the time, or money, to redecorate a room (or two) in your house?
The good news is, there is always a way to work it into almost any budget. In fact, many shows or websites offer a list of materials and their alternates, based on pricing.
As for time, what better moment than a date night to paint the spare bedroom together? Or reupholster a chair in your office?
If you’re not ready to get to work right away, you can spend date night exploring websites that allow you to redesign a room and see what it would look like.
Journaling is a great outlet for letting your emotions out… both the good and the bad.
It can be extremely catharitc and has many benefits for one’s mental wellbeing. And a positive mentality often goes hand in hand with a healthy physical lifestyle.
Journaling with your partner allows you to share not only your vulnerabilities, fears and anxieties… but your hopes, dreams, expectations and deepest desires as well.
Set aside some time to write your separate journal entries and then read them to one another when you’re through. This is one of the at home dates ideas guaranteed to bring you closer together.
15. Research A Dream Vacation
We spoke earlier about creating a pretend vacation at home, but maybe it’s time to actually research and plan an actual getaway?
Pour yourselves a drink and cozy up on the couch with your iPad or laptop and start building that dream vacation.
Research lodging, airfare, meals, tours, excursions and price it all out. Read traveler reviews.
Even if you don’t book it, you will come away with a tangible dream to look forward to.
And in the meantime, you can set goals for yourself and start budgeting to make it a reality when the time is right.
16. Discover Poetry
Poetry can be extremely romantic. Just ask William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats.
I may have taken some poetry courses in college.
Putting your feelings for someone into words written down on paper will give them something to cherish and look back on forever.
Poetry can be as simple as a haiku, or as complex as a sonnet… but with just a bit of research, anybody can write a poem, as long as you have a few key elements.
If you’re not feeling brave enough to channel your inner Shakespeare, you can always buy a book of romantic poems and select a few you’d like to read aloud to your partner.
17. Sketch or Paint Each Other
How do you see your partner? Your relationship?
There is a saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”… and it’s so true.
We witness it all the time in famous paintings or photographs.
So why not try putting your feelings for your partner into a picture? It can be a painting or sketch.
Heck, even if you can only draw stick figures… you can get creative with word bubbles and colors.
You can always make this one of your regular at home date ideas and keep adding artwork every few weeks to a scrapbook that the two of you can look back on over the years.
If you need a little inspiration, check this out.
18. Play Sex Genie
Genies typically grant three wishes… but you only really need to grant each other one at a time for this spicey at home date idea.
The two of you can start by jotting down your sexual wishes on small pieces of paper. Then fold them up to place into two bottles (mason jars work great).
Everytime you play the game, each of you picks and grants one wish from your respective bottles.
No take backs allowed! So just make sure to set the ground rules and boundaries ahead of time.
19. Spa Date
Just because you're stuck at home for the night, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself to a spa-like experience.
Grab your essential oils, lotions, loofahs, bubble bath, soothing music and candles… and prepare yourself to let go.
Take turns massaging each other all over and then have a romantic soak in a calming bath.
You can even throw in a mani/pedi if the mood strikes you.
20. Go Through Old Photos
Nothing quite captures life’s greatest moments together than a candid photograph… one you didn’t know was coming and portrays pure emotion.
A smile. A tear. A laugh. Surprise.
One of the sweetest at home date ideas is to sift through all photographs together… whether on the computer or in an album. You may even want to create a digital slideshow of old photos to share with your kids one day.
It’s the perfect way to look back on the past to see just how far you’ve come as a couple.
21. Setup A DIY Photo Booth
DIY photo booths can make for such a fun date night in.
Grab yourself some props.
Cute, sexy or silly outfits.
Then pick a spot for the photoshoot and grab your camera.
You can come up with a theme ahead of time, such as “Around the World”… and take pics of yourself in all the different places you’d like to visit one day. And when you actually get there, post the pics side by side to see how close you were!
22. Go On A Virtual Double Date
Online teleconferencing apps like Zoom, Google Hangout and Skype make it easier than ever to stay connected with family and friends… no matter where they live.
So why not use it as an excuse to go on a virtual double date with another couple?
You can play games, stream a movie together, have drinks and chat.
There are even businesses that will host online date nights for multiple couples. You can find companies offering: trivia, wine tasting, art classes, escape room challenges, murder mystery… even video games! You name it and there is probably a company to host it.
23. Do A Puzzle
Putting puzzles together is super relaxing… not to mention an excellent way to improve brain function.
In fact, there are a number of benefits to doing puzzles. And doing one with your partner is one of the more low key at home date ideas.
If you’re a novice, start simple and work your way up to the more difficult ones. I’ve known couples to frame their most impressive completed puzzles.
You can even make puzzles out of photographs nowadays, which will add a nostalgic element to the evening.
24. Explore Your Artistic Side
Pottery. Clay. Painting. Photography. Pastels. Sculpture.
There are so many ways to tap into one’s creative side… and so many avenues to explore. In fact, with so much to choose from, it’s highly unlikely that you won’t find an outlet that suits you.
Hit up the art supply store with your partner and give yourselves a sampling of materials to work with.
Next, do you research via books or online, and find some beginner tutorials or classes to peruse.
You don’t necessarily have to choose the same methods as your partner either… one of you may want to take a stab at painting while the other photographs the experience.
When all is said and done, be sure to showcase your work someplace in the house.
25. Karaoke Showdown
We all know that music can be therapeutic. It can help us tap into our emotions… and also elevate our mood.
It speaks volumes.
We’ve all had those songs that take us back to certain moments in time, both the good and bad.
A childhood birthday party. A first date. Your first college party. Your wedding. The birth of your first child. The death of a loved one.
And when we’re feeling happy or angry or sad… we’ve all been known to turn up the volume when that song comes on that sums those feelings up perfectly.
Music is a part of our lives, which makes karaoke one of the great at home date ideas.
You just each need to create a song list and have at it! Best performance and song selection wins!
Add some fun prizes (such as “love coupons” or sweet treats) to make it the perfect night at home.
Final Thoughts On At Home Date Ideas
In this article, I’ve given you a list of creative at home date ideas to keep you and your partner engaged and entertained.
I’d like to think there is something for everyone… and also encourage you to step out of your comfort zone.
After all, relationships often start with a leap of faith.
It honestly doesn’t matter which activities you try… it only matters that you do them together.
Date nights are so important for couples, at every stage in life. That time to reconnect and recenter is crucial for maintaining a lasting and loving relationship.
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.