Friday, February 5, 2016

7 romantic ideas for date nights in at home!

7 romantic ideas for date nights in at home!

So, I don't go out on Valentine's Day. I don't go out to dinner, I don't see a movie, I don't do it. Why, you ask? Well let me tell you. When you pay $100+ to go out on Valentine's day, you expect a nice candlelit romantic, intimate dinner. Lot's of gazing into each other's eyes, soft music, slow pace, right?

The reality is being crammed into a tiny table in a restaurant already elbow to elbow with other couples each expecting their romantic, intimate dinner. You get harried, rushed servers who are missing out on a romantic candlelit dinner with their own partners. You get rushed through your dinner by the knowledge that there are 1,400 other couples all salivating for your table the second you so much as get up to go to the bathroom. Some of those unlucky saps actually thought they could get into any restaurant on V-day without a reservation! Bwaa ha ha!

(In case you can't tell, I used to wait tables. It soured Valentine's Day out for me, just a tad. Tip your wait staff on holidays please!)

Anyhow, with Valentine's Day almost upon us, I thought I'd share seven of our favorite ideas for date nights in. Click through for all our favorites!


1. Cook a meal together

7 romantic ideas for date nights in at home!

Noah and I cook together at least once or twice a week already, but to turn this activity into a date night we take a couple of extra steps. We'll turn down the lights in the rest of the house, set a nice table, put on some music and spend some time talking about our day and preparing a 'special' meal. For us that usually means something that takes a lot of prep (longer prep = longer date!) and is something we might not usually eat, like the pesto-marinated scallops above

We also often try a new recipe, make something expensive or learn a new cooking skill on these dates. At the end we sit down and share our meal! We might also spend some time critiquing the recipe or talking about what we'd change next time, so it's a collaborative effort (and often is incorporated into my recipe-post writing process!)


2. Hedonism in bed 

Not going to lie, this is Noah and I's favorite and go-to date night if we're not feeling like going out. Mainly it involves going to bed super early on a day we're both tired and eating take out, ice cream and having a beer while watching a movie. Basically not getting out of bed all evening and eschewing all adult responsibilities for the night. The idea is that it's relaxing and feels vaguely wrong and fun to have beers and eat in bed. It's also much easier to snuggle while you watch your movie.

Also, I could not for the life of me find a stock photo that wasn't...er...risque. And the point of this date isn't necessarily to be risque (though that's encouraged if you feel like it!). The point is to  ignore any messes or tasks needing to be done around the house, ignore all adulting that might need to be done, and focus on each other in a contained space, the same way you might in a restaurant. Plus, you don't have to put on pants!


3. Wine (or beer!) tasting

7 romantic ideas for date nights in at home!

This is a really fun one to pair with #1! Splurge a little bit on three or four good beers (or wine, if you prefer) and do a little taste testing. Set up small tastes of each in shot glasses or small drink glasses and compare notes. 


4. Glow stick bath bubble bath 

I know, we've all heard of this idea for kids bubble baths right? Most of us who are parents have done with and our kids loved it! The adult version of this is even better, I promise. Usually it also includes some music and is just as romantic as a hot tub and much more private. It's a great way to relax and enjoy being alone at the end of the day.


5. Strip board (or card) games

I don't think I need to elaborate too much on this! This idea was born last time we played Settlers of Cataan and needed to make the stakes just a bit higher and a little more interesting. 

6. Read to each other 

This one for us originated when I made a joke about the sexiest thing a man could do on a date being "read The Hobbit to me in high Bardic style, dressed in a doublet and hose." Now, Noah does not own a doublet and hose (yet!) but reading to each other is something we can do regularly that doesn't need any planning and still feels like a date, and also doesn't require neither of us to get out of our PJ's. Or bed for that matter! This activity frequently gets combined with #2. 


7. Host a double date

7 romantic ideas for date nights in at home!

Want to celebrate Valentine's Day (or any other romantic night), but don't have any desire to brave the rabid masses? The perfect answer is to stay at home and host a dinner. You can take the money you'd have spent eating out and instead spend it on some great decorations and nice food to share with your friends, too! We did this recently when we hosted a romantic Valentine's Day dinner for four. It was a blast! 

Whatever you decide to do this Valentine's Day, I hope you have fun and get the time to focus on each other. After all, like Christmas, this holiday is supposed to be about spending time appreciating the ones you love, not buying the perfect gift or eating the perfect meal. The point is to have fun and spend time being in love! Kiss each other and relax a little, it's what makes this day special.

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5 comments:

  1. Yay, I'm so glad I saw this! You have some ideas here that are different from all the other date night in lists I've ready. We usually prefer to do Valentine's Day in since it can get so busy and crazy out! We've also been trying to stick to a budget lately so we can't always go out for a weekly date night. Instead, I've been trying to come up with more ideas to make a date night at home more special than just a normal night at home. These ideas are great!

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  2. Oh, man! 2, 4, and 7 are all great! And I say that as a person who hates Valentine's Day with a passion. I feel like it's a way for companies to rip money out of us, and encourages lazy partners to feel like they can get away with one or two demonstrations of love a year - ugh to both. But your ideas are really fun and meaningful! You put a lot of thought into them, I can tell, and I appreciate it!

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  3. Oh, man! 2, 4, and 7 are all great! And I say that as a person who hates Valentine's Day with a passion. I feel like it's a way for companies to rip money out of us, and encourages lazy partners to feel like they can get away with one or two demonstrations of love a year - ugh to both. But your ideas are really fun and meaningful! You put a lot of thought into them, I can tell, and I appreciate it!

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  4. So many fun ideas here! I'm not into the expensive, cramped dinner out either :) Eating ice cream in bed is way more my style :-P Thanks for linking up with last week's Merry Monday party!

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  5. These are great ideas. It's been a while since my husband and I have had a date night. Thank you sharing these great tips with us at the Welcome Home Wednesday's Link Party!

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