Are you and your spouse stuck in a date night rut after one too many evenings spent with Netflix and your favorite neighborhood takeout? Just because you’re a parent of young kids — and may feel a little trapped in your house at night — doesn’t mean romance is dead. It just means it’s time to get a little creative, and we’re here to help.
Don’t worry, we’re not going to make you get too far out of the box or suggest anything too awkward — we know your husband doesn’t really want to get crafty with the kids art supplies or take turns with you reading a book aloud. We’re just going to help you take dinner and a movie on the couch up a notch.
Here are our top 10 ideas:
- Go on a Binge — Seen everything Redbox has to offer? Ditch the movie and binge-watch an entire series together. You can take turns picking, so he’ll get his fill of Walter White, while you catch up on what’s happening with Lady Mary Crawley.
- Set Up a Taste Test — Forgo a traditional dinner and set up a flight of beer, wine, gourmet popcorns, barbecue sauces or whatever else suits your fancies to taste and compare notes on.
- Learn Something New Together — Use movie night to view a stellar TED talk on YouTube or an intriguing new documentary. Some of our favorites include Happy, 112 Weddings, and The Up Series. You’ll be surprised how good these films are — and the conversations they can spark with your partner.
- Cook Together (or Against Each Other) — Make the food prep, not just the eating, one of the main focuses of your night. Buy a new cookbook with some fancy ingredients you’ve never used and work your way through it together. Or, get competitive with a home version of Chopped in which you each buy ingredients for one course of dinner and challenge the other to figure out what to do with them.
- Eat Under the Stars — Once the kids are safely tucked in bed, grab your trusty monitor and take the party outside. Eat on the deck and roast s’mores by candlelight or grab a picnic blanket and lounge in the grass. Use an app like Star Rover to transform your backyard into a planetarium. Just hold up your phone to the sky and it will tell you which stars and constellations you’re seeing.
- Fondue It — This has been a favorite date night activity of mine since we got our fondue set as a wedding present 10 years ago. It’s great fun to experiment with different cheese and chocolate combinations, as well as what to dip in them.
- Make It a Theme Night — Take turns planning a movie and menu that stick to a theme. Like pasta, wine, and cannolis with The Godfather, a bread and cheese spread with French Kiss, or get really adventurous and tackle some of the recipes in Julie & Julia.
- Make It Interesting — Watch a sporting event, awards show, or even a reality show and make bets on the outcome — The Bachelor, Wipeout and American Ninja Warrior all work well for this. (Just make sure you don’t get duped into watching a rerun of the 2007 World Series that your sneaky husband has already seen!)
- Break Out the Home Movies — Who says you have to wait for your anniversary or kids’ birthdays to indulge in those sweet videos of years past?
- Get Your Grove On — If you’re really feeling adventurous, turn on YouTube and have a karaoke party for two or learn a new dance together.
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