An Uncomplicated Life Blog: At Home Date Nights

Monday, April 6, 2020

At Home Date Nights

If you're on a budget or you're on lock down to avoid the pandemic, use these creative ideas for an at home date night

It's not that funny, but it's definitely good timing. I brainstormed this post idea several months ago, long before coronavirus was a household name. Long before schools were closed, travel was disrupted and restaurants shuttered. I was talking to a friend about ways to keep your marriage alive after kids, and came up with this. Now, it's a more timely topic than ever! These are some creative ways to keep dating your spouse, even after kids eat up all your money, even when a nasty pandemic virus shuts your city down. Here are some fun, at home date nights that work after the kids are asleep, or if you're kid-free, anytime!

- Back yard wine tasting
This one is a little bit harder, unless you want to buy a few bottles of wine and have them open for a while... But, you can get a bottle you wouldn't have normally picked out to try with your spouse. Or, you can get mini bottles and try two or three. I know my grocery stores stock half bottles, so if you wanted to do a proper tasting with a couple of different wines, I'd suggest those. Most wines will keep for a week corked on a counter in a cool, dark place so if you *can* buy real bottles and will drink them, go for it! I suggest trying blends or wine that you wouldn't normally get or don't normally like, or perhaps don't even know anything about! For a while, in my 20's, I only drank Spanish wines. I had no idea what I was buying, and no idea what I was drinking, but I knew that most were dry and that's what I liked and I was never disappointed. I never really knew what I was buying, just that it was Spanish and dry and would *probably* be delicious. It's a great way to try new wines!

Don't drink? Try different kinds of chocolate!

- In-home picnic
This is a little extra work, but it's so fun! Turn off the TV. Light a fire if you have a fire place. Lay out a blanket. And get out some picnic food! Cheese and crackers, fruit, veggie crudite and dips - an old fashioned picnic basket, paper plates and napkins, anything that makes it a more unique experience that resembles an actual picnic! If you live in a climate where you could actually sit outside, do it. Back yard, front yard - just bring the baby monitor with you to keep an "eye" on your kiddos! You'd be surprised how fun it is to eat on the floor and have a different scene than your traditional dinner table. A fun add on: get a board game and play! Board games, word games, fun food, a new atmosphere, a romantic fire - you'd be surprised how fun this can be. 

- At home cooking class
If you can't make it somewhere to an *actual* cooking class, look one up online and do it! Watch it first and then get the supplies, then set your laptop up and watch as you cook. I'd recommend making  something that neither of you know how to make. Argentinian steaks and chimichrri? Go for it! Seabass with a seaweed side salad? Or find one that will teach you new ways to utilize pantry staples. Try something new, try a new meat or a new cooking method, and learn together!

Here's a roundup of places to check out for online cooking classes.

- Make breakfast in bed
Yes, have breakfast for dinner. Yes, eat it in bed! Use trays, whip up some Eggs Benedict or pancakes/waffles, add a side of bacon and a mimosa or decaf coffee. You could even get a newspaper and read it together to make it "morning official"! If you don't have newspaper delivery service, you could play a board game or do a word puzzle together.

We were gifted this breakfast in bed tray for our wedding, and it's been used all of two times. Put the things you have to good use!

- Competitive? Stage a competition between you and your spouse!
This could be a bunch of different things. If you're physical/athletic, you could make a backyard obstacle course. Set up cones, or use potted plants, and ride your kids bikes (that are clearly too small for you and hard to ride!) around them in a pattern. Fastest one wins! Or, if you have older kids, have them make a scavenger hunt for you. That gives them an activity to do while they're awake and a fun one for you and your partner to do after they're in bed. Not into athletics? Have a cooking competition. Pick three things from your pantry and make a meal with them. Best meal wins!

Most of us are home right now because we're sheltering out an insanely dangerous virus. But when the dust settles with that, there are a number of reasons you might need to transition your date nights to your home: a new baby, your budget doesn't cover a date night out, or maybe you had reservations to the best place in town and your sitter cancels on you last minute. Whatever the reason, being home bound doesn't have to mean dinner and Netflix every time. Get creative! There are tons of fun at home date night options. 


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