70 At Home Date Night Ideas {on the CHEAP}

Since having a baby, my husband and I have fallen into that trap of spending less and less time alone together.  It’s awfully easy when you’ve got a kiddo that you both want to spend time with, and when you’re both tired at the end of the day.  It doesn’t make things any easier that I often spend evenings working after our girl goes to sleep.

Lacy & Brandon

Us, pre-baby.

But we’re on a pretty tight budget.  Our “entertainment” budget each month is pretty meager, and paying for a babysitter would leave us with very little left for the actual date!

A couple of months ago, we decided to try at home date nights every Friday.  This is not as easy as it sounds.  When you don’t have a restaurant reservation or a movie showtime to make, it’s really easy to find excuses not to have date night.  Somebody gets sick.  Somebody has to work late.  We’re both too tired to watch a movie.  We didn’t plan anything…  The list goes on and on!

So, I decided to come up with a list of date night ideas for us to choose from.  We’ll alternate being the one who chooses and plans the date—and, of course, we can choose something not on the list!  The only rules are that it has to be inexpensive, and it has to be something that can be done while the baby is asleep upstairs—so cheap dates like walking around the block or running out to the ice cream parlor are off the table.  (If you’ve got a baby monitor, you can pretty safely head for the yard or the garage, I figure.)

Remember: You can get movies from the library for free, and the internet has tons of great resources for things like game ideas you can play, videos to teach you a new skill, even karaoke at home.  I’ve included links below where appropriate.

Got any other brilliant ideas? I would LOVE to hear them—and add them to the list!

70 at-home date night ideas on the cheap from LaughingLemonPie.com

 

  1. Fondu & a Swiss movie
  2. star gazing in the back yard
  3. “drive-in” movie in the garage with your laptop or tablet (don’t turn on the car!!!)
  4. bubble bath
  5. pizza, chianti, gelato and “The Godfather” or “The Italian Job”
  6. karaoke party at home
  7. Twister
  8. dine al fresco
  9. have a picnic indoors
  10. set up a tent and sleeping bags and go camping indoors
  11. beer tasting with homemade pretzels and different mustards
  12. wine and chocolate tasting
  13. do a crossword puzzle together
  14. make the biggest, craziest ice cream sundae ever and eat it together
  15. play penny ante (or strip) poker
  16. decorate coffee mugs for each other with porcelain pens
  17. look up horoscopes online or in library books
  18. take online personality tests together
  19. give each other back rubs or foot massages
  20. give each other DIY facials
  21. get beer and wings or hot dogs and watch a game or sports movie
  22. get crafty with the kids’ art supplies
  23. recreate a previous great date at home (ie: picnic under the Eiffel Tower in Paris; movie you saw together, etc.)
  24. play board games
  25. watch videos on YouTube to learn how to dance in your own living room
  26. read a book out loud
  27. look at your photo albums
  28. watch a bunch of episodes of your favorite TV show in a row
  29. take turns coming up with movie theme nights: food and attire should match the movie
  30. write your bucket lists
  31. get travel books from the library and plan your next big vacation (even if it’s many years away); or, set a budget and see how far you could get for a weekend getaway (with or without the kids)
  32. roast marshmallows over your fire pitor your stove if you don’t know how to build a fire pit!
  33. play the first word game: write words on slips of paper; take turns drawing a word and talking about the first thing that comes to mind when you see it.
  34. take turns picking books for a mini book club; don’t forget the wine
  35. bake and decorate cookies together
  36. do a puzzle or play board games
  37. clean out and organize your photos together (can be great for walking down memory lane)
  38. wrap gifts while you watch a holiday movie
  39. play video games
  40. watch or edit home movies together
  41. make a video, scrapbook, or journal for your children
  42. make a blanket fort (really)
  43. recreate a memorable restaurant meal you had together
  44. make mix tapes… er, playlists for each other while watching “High Fidelity”
  45. stage and take artsy portraits of each other
  46. sit down and actually learn how to use a gadget or piece of software—learn all the settings on your camera, figure out how to program your DVR, find the best apps for your phone or iPad, etc.
  47. learn a new game like mahjong
  48. play frisbee golf in the back yard with laundry baskets as the “holes”
  49. watch the first movie you saw together
  50. sushi and an anime movie
  51. eat dinner or dessert in bed
  52. do a home improvement project together
  53. take a virtual tour of a museum online: Louvre, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, National Gallery of Art
  54. buy or check out a big stack of magazines for each of you and enjoy a “bookstore” date at home with fancy hot drinks and desserts
  55. research your family histories together online; make a family tree for your kids
  56. watch a video of a concert together
  57. watch a documentary together
  58. run through the sprinklers or soak in the kiddie pool—without the kids
  59. play HORSE with a small ball and trash can
  60. have a water gun, water balloon, or pillow fight
  61. try a new exercise together like yoga or Zumba; you can find instructional videos on YouTube
  62. learn a new card game for two players
  63. paint together: get a large canvas and three colors of paint and start painting; rotate the canvas every 10 minutes or so and finish each other’s work
  64. Chinese take out and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”
  65. make chocolate-dipped EVERYTHING (there is no bad here)
  66. comb through home decor magazines or websites and redecorate your house through imagination
  67. costume contest: pick a favorite movie and each of you come to the date dressed as one of the characters; whoever has the best costume picks the next date
  68. find a list of top movies or books and plan to see or read all of them together
  69. draw or paint portraits of each other
  70. spoil each other: each person picks one indulgent luxury they know the other will love to surprise them with

{Want a printable version of this list? Click here!}

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32 Comments

  1. Thanks Lacy! We are in a date night rut and I’ll for sure be trying a few of these :] Thanks friend!!

  2. My pleasure! Hope you have fun!

  3. Thank you for your honesty! We all strive for the perfection found in the media, but it can’t always be perfect! We had a $7 Papa Murphy’s heart pizza for Valentine’s and it was perfect for us!

  4. Great suggestions! I’ll definitely try some out. 🙂 It’s very difficult to find the time to do date nights especially if you’re a busy mom. I also came across a new subscription box that sends you a monthly date night you can do at home. It may be worth a try, especially if you’re in a dating rut like us. Check out http://www.datelivery.com

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  6. Outstanding ideas! 🙂 I am pleased to know we’re not the only ones who struggle to find time and cash for a date night. We can absolutely do more of that at home, though.

  7. Just wanted you to know that you were featured in our ULTIMATE Date Idea Round-up today! http://www.thedatingdivas.com/romantic-rendezvous/101-date-idea-round-ups-the-ultimate-date-night-list/ Thanks for sharing your date ideas! XOXO, The Dating Divas

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  10. LOVED the drive in theater ID. I borrowed a projector from our IT department at work. While my wife was out I ran out and got a movie from Redbox and popcorn from the theater. When I came home I backed the car into the garage and set the projector on the roof. Hooked up my laptop and popped the movie in. I moved my stereo to the back seat of my car and hooked that up to the projector. we had so much fun

    Pic – http://goo.gl/NuXxOg

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  22. Love this list! With a two year old at home and low funds this week, this is so needed. Thanks for posting it!

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