Beyond Movie night – 10 at home date night ideas

Now that we have 2 babies it has become more difficult for hubby and I to have a night out together. Hubby’s wonderful mommy will come watch both kids at our house when we need a night out, but it’s just so much harder leaving two kids at home, especially while baby girl is so young. Date night and alone time takes so much more effort and planning than it did when we were just newlyweds without kiddos. It can be done though! When we can’t have a night out, we try to be sure we have some intentional hubby/wifey time at least once a week. Often times that means we do a date night in. 

fun ideas for home date nights

Hubby and I enjoy watching movies and tv shows together, but we try to have at least one night a week of 1 on 1 time without the TV. I could watch a movie with or without my hubby and still not be any closer to him, or have made any special memories with him. We often watch a show or a movie together when we don’t have energy to do anything else, and that is super fun! BUT for us, it does not replace doing more personal things like talking, or playing games, getting to know each other more. It is hard for us to get out of the house, so that is why I made this list of creative things to do strengthen your relationship at home, without flipping on the television. *This post contains affiliate links*

This is my list of 10 fun at – home dates to do with your spouse

1. Go on a fake vacation - This is something I came up with last summer because we didn’t have the $ to go on a vacation. hubby was skeptical about trying this, but we both ended up loving it. In short, choose a destination and then plan a fabulous trip together as if you were going there. It’s perfect because you can plan a super exotic trip and imagine doing things that you would not usually try because of fears, finances or time constraints.

2. Have a sleepover in your living room – Simple and sweet. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that’s needed ! Invite your hubby on a sleepover/campout in your living room! It’s something fun and silly to do together, hubby and I did this before I got pregnant with the princess and we both had a lot of fun. This idea came from The Dating Divas - a fabulous site of date night ideas for married couples! Be sure to check them out if you haven’t already!!! 

3. Getting to know your spouse questionaire – I loved this idea from Kathryn. She compiled an awesome list of questions to ask your spouse, these are some great conversation starters and it is such a fun way to get to know your spouse and spark some interesting discussions!

4. Game night – This one is our favorite! Hubby and I usually have at least one game night a week, and it so much fun. We are both pretty competitive but most of all we enjoy the time together. If you are looking for great 2 player games check out the  Amazon page I made, that I constantly update with our latest finds!

5. A fancy dinner at home - Who’s to say you can’t get all dressed up even if you have no where to go? Put on your nicest dress & highest heels and have a candlelit dinner in your dining room (even if the dinner is frozen pizza). It’s the experience and the togetherness that matter, far more than the location!

6. Read a book – Choose a fun novel to read together, or even an awesome book on marriage or parenting. Take turns reading chapters to one another and discussing what you read.

7. Go through your wedding photo album or watch your wedding video together – It can be so romantic to go through old memories and cherish the memories together. I love looking through old pictures with my hubby and laugh as we re-tell our favorite moments to one another. One of the easiest, but most romantic things to do.

8. Drink coffee/hot chocolate on the porch – We don’t have a porch, but I do love drinking hot chocolate on our apartment’s balcony when the weather is nice. It’s beautiful outside and something about the outdoors always sparks deep conversations! I love that being outside makes me feel like we’re “away” from home, but we’re still close enough to hear the baby fuss and I’m able to walk right in a nurse her if need be.

9. Write your love story – This is one that I’m hoping to try soon! Talk it out and write it together, or take turns writing sentences and see how the story ends up! I can see hubby and I laughing for hours as we try to out do each other with clever quips as we take turns telling our story.

10. Go to bed – there’s nothing like turning in early chatting (etc) with the lights off… ;)


I love these dates because they are perfect for low budget weeks, and for weeks when you don’t have time/energy/a babysitter to be able go out. Whatever is keeping you from having a date night and intentional time with your spouse, can probably solved by having a fun, intentional date night IN <3

Have you ever done a date night in? Id love to hear your ideas!!!


Thanks for reading
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Young wife, mama, author, blogger, encourager, friend. Lover of hot weather, chocolate, watching my kids giggle and encouraging people.

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  1. These are great ideas! I know date night has been a little different for me and my hubby since our daughter was born. It’s still so important for our marriage though! Thanks for linking this up with Mommy Moments!

    • It definitely changes after baby!!! :) but not necessarily bad, you just have to be more creative and intentional :)

      • Love your response here, Paula! Love the encouragement of knowing although it changes, a little intentionality (yep, just made that word up :)), can go a long way.

  2. These are some great ideas. It is so important to stay connected, and just gets more complicated the more children you have. It is also good to shake things up and use different ideas to keep things fresh, yet simple and inexpensive.

    • thanks so much Heather! Fresh, simple and inexpensive! yes!!! that’s our goal :) love that description! thanks for reading and commenting <3

  3. OK, so my favorite is game night. But what a cool idea to write our love story. I think I will try this one with him! Maybe get a notebook and we each take turns writing in it. Also this just reminded me of something my oldest sister and her husband did, actually when they were dating. The would swap bibles periodically and highlight scriptures and write notes in eachother’s bible.

    • we love game night too!!!! That is a fun idea with the Bible!!! I’m hoping to convince hubby to start writing our love story together soon, but we shall see ;)

  4. LOVE this! <3 Thanks for mentioning me. I pinned to Pinterest!

  5. Great Ideas! My Beloved and I have had Date Nights in before and love them too. Last week on my Marriage Moment I shared 12 Date Night out Ideas. You can find them here.
    I have a weekly monday Marriage Moment Link-up. I would love to invite you over to take a look.

  6. Paula,

    These are great ideas, ones I’ll have to hold onto for future reference. Right now, we live in a motorhome with 4 of our children, 3 of whom are teens, so anything we do at home is virtually a family affair! Still, it’s good to spend time alone with your spouse however you can.



  7. SO many great ideas!!! We don’t have children yet, but even still it’s hard sometimes to not want to just sit on the couch and watch tv.

  8. Wonderful ideas! I have been looking for some creative ones, thank you!!!

  9. It must be dating week in the blogosphere! I wrote a post on “starting to date again” a few days ago, and have added a tab to my blog for folks to post their ideas to share. I hope you will share some of yours, or feel free to post a link to this piece in the comment section.

    Terrific ideas!

  10. I LOVE these ideas!!! especially the sleepover in the living room. so creative!

  11. Hi Paula, I got pregnant 2 months after we got married and then we proceeded to have 4 kids in 5 years… needless to say we don’t go OUT on dates ever. We are big fans of date night though and have one every Saturday night after the kids go to bed. Unfortunately we have fallen into the television trap – and, while I still love date night and look forward to it, there is little connection that goes on. I thought your list was wonderful! I think I might give one of them a try this weekend. Thanks for sharing and keep up your date nights! They are so special and the kids start taking note of them too!

  12. Yay! Have been waiting for this post and it didn’t disappoint. Off to share it via FB, Twitter, etc….

  13. This is a great list! We like to do game night and a nice meal at home, but I had never thought of most of these. We will have to try some of them out!

  14. Oh, I LOVE the sitting outside one… wish my hubby liked being outside more, but with nice weather and few bugs he’s usually willing to go along with me. We do a variation of the living room sleep over – nap time on the futon with the Christmas tree lights on :) It’s even more special with the lights on a dark winter day :) I’m excited to read all the similar posts listed in the comments here!

  15. Great ideas. I know how difficult it is to have a date night! I don’t think my husband and I have been on a date since the end of July. My mom is going to come over and watch the kids on Friday night so we can go out to dinner. That was her Christmas present for us.

    • oh wow! that is a long time, but i’m so excited you get to go on a date this week!!!! :) I hope some of these help you have some special time together next time it’s so long between dates <3

  16. My husband would love the ideas of planning a fake vacation! We will have to try that soon. Your 2 person game ideas link didn’t work and I’d love to hear about those!!

    Lindsey @

  17. Great ideas! My hubby likes watching movies/TV shows, but like you, that doesn’t make me feel any closer to him. We often play board games, though sometimes it feels like there’s limited games for two players. And I like reading with him – parenting books or marriage books – though sometimes he’s too tired for that (he’s a full-time student at the moment). I have a couple friends who have a hot tub and love sitting in that together to relax for an evening – I like that idea, if we ever buy our own house and could install a hot tub! Thanks for sharing! (I’m dropping by from the Mommy Moments blog hop.)

    • So sorry the links for the games didn’t work! My hubby has done lots of searching and discovered some really great 2 player games! One of them is even cooperative so you and the hubby could actually be on the same team playing “against” the game. I was impressed with how hard that one is!!!
      You can see the full list here
      a hot tub sounds so nice and relaxing!!! that would be wonderful! :)

  18. These are great ideas I especially like the fake vacation one. I always want to take a vacation but the money is never there. We are saving here and there but so far our little bit of saving is still not enough. We couldn’t even pay for food for one meal for the family with the savings we have so far. Oh well, pitty party over for now. I can’t wait to try this. Maybe I’ll try this with the kids as well.

    • I had a similar pity party last summer when all of our friends were going on trips and we were stuck at home! We are saving all our pennies for a house!!! I hope you have fun on your fake one! I know it was great for us! :)

  19. Thanks for all of the great suggestions! We fall into the TV every night trap, and it’s mostly my fault because I’m usually too tired to do any more thinking or moving by the end of the day. Those games look interesting, we will have to try them out. It’s hard to find games that are exciting with just 2 players, although we do like to play Wii games together sometimes. :)

  20. Great list! We are having game night tonight. No TV, no computers – just Hubs and me, trying to kick each other’s butt in Bananagrams. ;-)

  21. Such fun ideas!

  22. #5 is a classic for a reason! Nice list!

  23. Oh Paula I love your ideas. So, so smart! I wrote a Date Night post today too.
    Come by and see me. I really enjoyed meeting your.
    Thanks for sharing your great ideas!
    Have a wonderful Thursday,

  24. Hey, Paula! Thanks for adding yourself to the Thursday link-up this week. I have been following your comments here on date nights, and find that blogging this week appears to follow this theme. Are we all that in tune? :)

    Have a terrific day!

  25. These are great! We don’t have kids, but hubby is in seminary and the Army, so we rarely have time/energy to go on out-of-the-house dates. So I can definitely use some of these ideas! Thanks! {Visiting from RDD linkup}

  26. Hey! Nice to meet you! Great post! We have done in dates before. When the kids were a little younger we could put them down early and have more hang out time. But now the time just isn’t enough! The other night we had an impromptu coffee date on the living room couch, just coffee and chatting. It was NICE!! But coffee keeps him up at night so I should probably go get some decaf:)

  27. Love your list, Paula! Have you ever checked out The Dating Divas for at-home date night ideas. I love those gals and their awesome date night tips.

  28. What fabulous ideas! With 3 kiddos and no family nearby all of our dates have been at home in recent years…but they are every bit as meaningful! My husband and I take turns planning the evening.Here are two of our most memorable: 1) my husband grabbed a roll of duck tape along with a challenge to see what we could each create with it. He made glasses and I made a handbag…while we sharing lots of laughs. 2) an evening in the kitchen together putting together a set of freezer meals…complete with fancy drinks, beautiful music, and a little dancing. ;)

  29. When I read my grandparents old love letters I realized they use to have their dates on her front porch in a swing. Enjoyed your site!

  30. Thanks for the pin! Gotcha back!!! Great ideas, have a happy day!

  31. GREAT ideas! I am always trying to think of new, cheaper ways to have date nights and these are some great ways to do that! Thanks for sharing!

  32. Hi! I found you on the blog hop and LOVE your blog! I am your newest follower and was kinda hopin’ that you’d pop on by my blog, stay a while, and follow back if you like what you read!

    Have a great weekend,


  33. I love this list of great ideas! We do a variation on the fancy dinner at home where I make steaks but we get all the side dishes from take-out (like Texas Roadhouse). That way, it isn’t nearly as expensive as a whole dinner out and there is only on pan to clean. Win-win.

    BTW, I linked to this post in my Sample Saturday roundup of favorite posts this week!

  34. so sweet paula! ethan and i have had many at home dates since having kids and they are really special! thanks for sharing!

  35. I remember how hard it was to get “us” time when the kids were young, so this is a great post with lovely ideas x
    I came by via the blog hop and iwanted to follow you, but I couldn’t find any way to do so except via email, no GFC or bloglovin?? If you drop a link on my blog on how to follow you I will do so.
    Angela x

  36. You shared some excellent ideas for spending time alone at home. For years we just didn’t get out because there was no one to watch our children. What we often did to spend time alone was: to eat a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream TOGETHER taking turns to take a bite. It was so fun!! Thanks for linking up and sharing this post over at WholeHearted Home.

  37. This is great!! We can always use more in-home date ideas since we don’t get out enough either. I love all the ideas you came up with, so creative and they sound so fun. Thank you for sharing!

    And thank you for linking up with Marriage Week :)

  38. Delores says:

    Found your list of at home date night ideas through Google. Great list! Will definitely have to try some. I’ve also been seeing blog posts about Datelivery, they seem to be a good option for in home date nights as well. Here’s one of the blog reviews I came across

  39. I appreciate the list of two-person games. Now that we’re empty nesters, it’s harder to play games (other than the obvious ones :) with only two. And to #10 I would add — “Go to bed BEFORE you’re exhausted.” Tired bodies make for tired lovemaking — certainly not our best. That’s my 2cents worth!

  40. We don’t have kids yet but these are all awesome ideas to do whilst waiting for our bundle of joy!!! :D Thanks for sharing!

  41. We don’t have kids yet but these are all awesome ideas to do whilst waiting for our bundle of joy!!! :D Thanks for sharing! :)

  42. Great list, Paula! Yes, we do date nights in all the time. Because our work hours are so long, our absolute favorite thing in the world (next to traveling) is doing nothing. Sitting on our patio, enjoying a glass of wine, and just talking. That’s our idea of a fabulous date night in.

  43. Aww, I love all these sweet ideas! We fall back on the movie/TV show way too much. We’ll have to try some of these date ideas! :)

  44. I’m visiting from All Things Pretty. This is inspiring me to get creative with my husband for date nights in. It’s very easy just to sit in front of the tv, but like you said, it doesn’t create memories or help keep our relationship strong.
    ~Erin @ Erin’s 2 Cents

  45. Once kids join the scene date night becomes late nights! Some very creative ideas you have shared here. Key to my sanity to get out with my man at least monthly. We sometimes go for a walk to the nearest cafe and have a coffee (tea for me). Or even just a walk with no kiddies can be quite refreshing. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Visiting from via LOBS link up party

  46. Pinned it! Great ideas for our monthly date night. Thanks again for linking up at All Things Pretty.

  47. What a fabulous bunch of ideas… SO fun! Thanks so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell… you’ve been Featured! Come on over and grab a button. Love to have you share again- Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo ~Ruthie

  48. Super ideas!

    I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven’t already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

    Hugs, Cathy

  49. I love this! Great reminder of some things we can and need to do together. God Bless You!

  50. Just wanted you to know that you were featured in our ULTIMATE Date Idea Round-up today! Thanks for sharing your date ideas! XOXO, The Dating Divas

  51. Great ideas! So often we can take our husbands for granted, but I love the idea of mixing it up and instead of the default mode of tv or the same ole stuff; creating date nights at home. I’ll have to try one of these ideas this weekend! Thanks for a great list!

  52. Fancy dinner at home. Yes!

  53. HI Paula! Stopping in from SITS.. love an at-home date night. My husband and I regularly pull out the Scrabble game. It is fun because it gets you talking. Now if I can just get him to put down the iPad:)

  54. LOVE these ideas. I may have to try the livingroom camp out. My husband doesn’t enjoy traditional camping, but I bet I can talk him into this. :D

  55. I love board games. My last birthday was a family game day. I checked your link of favorites and only the first game is one I know. Not a bad thing–definitely a source of possible future purchases. We love Carcasonne, Ticket to Ride, Survivor Atlantis, Catan, and more. Thanks for the Post. Enjoy your SITS Day.

  56. This is so sweet. Thanks for sharing these tips. We love sitting on the balcony and looking for shooting stars. Hubby hates it that I always win. HA!! Nice to meet you and beautiful site. Stacey

  57. These are some great ideas and I will definitely look further into #3 on the list. My husband and I don’t have young children anymore so we go out to dinner every Friday night. I’m usually the one trying to come up with things to talk about so I would love to get some new ideas. We’re having too many repeat conversations now… Children, politics, blah, blah, blah.

  58. Fabulous ideas! I have never thought of most of these tips before… Now I am so keen on trying out some. Thanks for the ideas Paula! have a wonderful SITS day :)

  59. I love the idea of writing your love story together! So cute! :) Thanks for sharing so many great ideas.

  60. Hey Paula, Happy SITS Day! Great list. I am definitely doing the drinks on the porch thing. Maybe tonight! We love games too, we just fall into the TV trap and never play. Hmmm, maybe we’ll play games….on the porch! Thanks for the ideas, and the reminder to make time for each other!

  61. These are all really great ideas! Lawd knows trying to get a date night with 4 Kiddies at home is almost impossible…thanks so much for sharing!

  62. We do a lot of these since we are always cautious about spending money on dates but there are great ones here that we haven’t tried yet, like a fancy dinner at home. Visiting from SITS! Enjoy your day!

  63. Great ideas – even though our boys are older and we don’t need a sitter, it is hard to make the time to get out often – I love the idea os planning a fun night in.
    Hope you had a great SITS Day!!!

  64. I hope your SITS Day was wonderful, Paula! I had to laugh because I was trying to convince my husband the other day to build a fort in our living room like I used to do as kids. He thought I was a little nuts. But knowing me, I will just do it anyways. Sometimes it’s fun to just act like a kid. I love the idea of game night, we love Rummy Cube/Tile and Farkle. I need to that more often. I’m so guilty of wanting to just veg out in front of the TV after work.

  65. This is just perfect :)

  66. When we were kids, my parents would frequently send us to the basement or upstairs to play for a couple hours, telling us–“Only come get us if someone is bleeding!” and they would have date nights in. You do what works!

  67. This is a great list of suggestions. It’s definitely a great way to spice up your marriage beyond just the normal bedroom activities. I love the idea of writing your love story together. I may have to get my husband on board with that one. Thanks for these ideas.


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