It’s the challenge for all married parents: How can a husband and wife stay connected once kids come along? When our triplets were born, my husband and I lived far away from family. Our limited finances made New York City babysitting rates seem astronomical. When a friend occasionally offered free babysitting, I struggled mightily to hand my kids over. Sometimes, pure exhaustion made the idea of a date night simply unappealing.
Prioritizing a spouse while juggling the demands of a family is difficult, no matter what stage you’re in. But a strong marriage is worth the effort because the whole family benefits. If date nights out seem too daunting to undertake right now, consider some of these at-home date night ideas to keep that romantic fire kindled.
1. Eat what you want.
Dress it up with candlelight and a black-tie wardrobe or keep it simple with finger foods and a carpet picnic. Enjoy a favorite meal under blankets in front of the fireplace or stream a favorite movie from the year you met or got married.
2. Play a game.
Card games, board games, jigsaw puzzles—all great options.
3. Try DIY.
Look up some wine tasting tips and try new wines in your living room, make a new cocktail and sip it on the patio, or indulge in a favorite homemade dessert as you stargaze. A painting tutorial is just a click away on YouTube. Some inexpensive canvases and paints can make for a fun and creative evening together.
4. Pamper each other.
Trade foot massages or back rubs. Go all out with massage oils and hot towels. Make it steamy with a shared bubble bath by candlelight. Stay refreshed with a pitcher of cucumber-infused ice water or a glass of wine.
5. Read together.
Once upon a time, reading out loud was a common family activity. Revive this old tradition with some poetry or an old classic that will spark some conversation.
6. Ready for a mess? Have a fight!
Start a water fight, wrestling match, mini-marshmallow war, or fling some whipped cream. Remember what it feels like to play together.
7. Have a dance party!
Pick an old favorite or turn on the latest pop tunes and get your groove on. Bonus: This at-home date night idea will burn some calories!
8. Bask in a winter wonderland.
Is it cold and snowy outside? Perfect! While the kids are sawing logs, head out to the yard and build a snowman, make snow angels, or have a snowball fight. When you’re nice and cold, go back inside for some hot drinks and snuggles to warm up.
9. Take a trip down memory lane.
Get cozy, cuddle on the couch, and air-drop old photos and slideshows from your phones to your TV.
Think of a fun date from your past. What made it so memorable?