Hi, my name is Carrie and my husband and I haven’t been out since our daughter was born. Well that’s not technically true, we’ve been to two weddings, thanks to our friends who have two kids that have each wed this year. On a side note, aren’t weddings the best dates… free food, cake, drinks and dancing! What can be better than that?
To be honest, we’re just not ready to miss Caroline’s bed time (she’s just so sweet and cute!) and knowing that we have to get up early in the morning kind of ruins a late night out.
So as Valentine’s Day approaches, my husband and I started talking about what we wanted to do to celebrate. I love going out, but restaurants seem to be super crowded on Valentine’s day. We’re also trying to save money and stick to a budget. When you add in the cost of dinner plus a babysitter, it can add up pretty quickly. (I know! It’s super fun being a grown up.) So we decided to do a stay at home date this year. We love stay at home dates! It makes a night at home feel a little bit special and my husband goes to the effort of planning them which is great for me! Also, since our little one goes to bed at 7:30 and sleeps all the way through the night, we can start our date at 8PM for some kid free time!
So here are some things that are important when planning stay at home dates…
* Pick a day and stick to it
* Get rid of all distractions during your date (i.e. no phones)
* Set some mood lighting – dim the lights or light some candles
* Go with it even if it feels silly. We felt really goofy at first having a date at home, but we ended up loving it!
Our dates usually consist of dessert, drinks and some sort of fun.
Here are my top 10 favorite at-home dates…
1. Relive your first date – What’s the first movie you saw together? Find that movie on Netflix, pop a bowl of popcorn and curl up on the couch together. Relive those first date butterflies when your hands touch in the popcorn bowl.
2. Make out party – Back in the early days of your relationship, kissing could have been considered a sport or an all day event. Turn the lights down and spend some time just kissing and cuddling.
3. S’more date – My husband and I love to sit outside by the fire pit or inside by the fireplace. We make s’mores or sip hot chocolate while cuddling by the fire.
4. Game night – My grandparents played scrabble every night and kept a running game going. Sometimes its nice to break out a game and actually have conversation, instead of putting the kids to bed and then sitting on separate couches watching TV. Scrabble is a great two person game as well as dominoes, but don’t be afraid to spice it up a little bit. Amazon has some great games for couples!
5. Have a late dinner for two – On Saturdays, I make my husband wait to eat until Caroline has gone to bed. This makes for a late dinner, but it ensures that I actually can eat as slow as I want and can eat everything on my plate without sharing. Occasionally we’ll make a fancy dinner that night and sit in our dining room. Feel free to even get dressed up for each other.
6. Get in bed early – Go to bed right away. Bring your favorite dessert and watch movies in bed together. Pretend like its a Saturday morning before you had kids when you used to just lay in bed all day.
7. Theme Night – My husband and I were married in Hawaii. It was an amazing wedding and an amazing vacation. We love to watch movies that are filmed where we got married or to sit and remember the last night we were there and had amazing steak on the beach while the sun set. So make a food that fits the theme of your location, watch a movie that features that location, or light a couple of tiki torches in the backyard and pretend you’re really there. (Umbrellas in your drinks are a must!)
8. Workout together – Before we had kids, my husband and I ran together and worked out together. I loved Saturday mornings after our run when we would come and lay on the living room floor under the fan before fixing breakfast. Of course after your workout, you’ll have to take a shower together!
9. Build something together – I was going to say craft night, but as my husband likes to remind me, you’re not married to a girl. So maybe he doesn’t want to scrapbook together, but he might want to build some furniture or redo something in the house. My favorite website that has free plans for building things is www.ana-white.com. She has them listed by how easy the projects are, and usually includes an estimated cost. Wouldn’t it be great to have a piece of furniture in your house that you and your husband built together!
10. Look through old photos – Take a walk down memory lane. Break out those old college photos and remember how young and free you used to be. Better yet, dig up photos from when you were both kids and share some of your favorite childhood memories.
Remember that your date could be as simple as watching your favorite TV show while sharing a coke and some popcorn! It doesn’t have to be complicated, but sit down and plan out a time. Having planned time together makes it feel a little more special than just your average night. The best part (unlike when you’re out in public), making out is highly encouraged!