7 Fun Date Night Ideas

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When we were younger, ย we hung this photograph in our little studio apartment. Visitors were sure to comment, “Cool picture. Who’s the guy kissing Jessica?” We were dumb-founded that they

  1. thought we’d display a photo of me and another man embracing!
  2. didn’t recognize my husband, despite the long hair and Napoleon Bonapart coat.
  3. would admire the photo anyway.

To this day we laugh over that photo and the comments it has generated. And laughing together is something that we love to do. FishPapa has this great belly laugh/guffaw that I love to hear…. especially if I can bring it on with my quick, razor-sharp wit.

Over the last month we have rediscovered date nights. Between Grampa and Uncle Jace, we’ve had free babysitting provided each week. While I don’t believe that strong marriages require date nights or that a lack of date nights means danger, I do think they are a great asset to marriage. It’s been so fun to take a break from “life as mom and pop” and head out for a few hours of just us.

Looking for some date night inspiration?

1. Go out to eat. Since we are true gluttons foodies, we enjoy simply dining out together. While we have fond memories of restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen or Cheesecake Factory, we’ve recently opted for simpler, less expensive places. Sometimes it’s a free lunch, other times just a good cheap eat. But, spending time together over a meal that I don’t have to cook, that I don’t have to say, “Eat your vegetables,” and that I don’t have to clean up? Well, that is a fantastic way to spend an evening with my husband.

2. Head to the library or bookstore. Bookstores have become regular hang outs over the last twenty years. Gourmet coffee, mellow music, and good reads, make it the perfect venue to window shop together and get philosophical over mochas and biscotti. You might even consider picking out a book to read together!

3. Catch a show, concert or movie. Years ago we bought season passes to an open-air theatre. We enjoyed a picnic dinner while watching A Midsummer’s Night Dream performed live. But, the movie theatre or even a movie at home once the kids go to bed is a great way to pass the evening. And there are chick flicks that guys might like.

4. Go grocery shopping. Yes, we really have done this on date nights. It reminds me of the old days when we’d wander the store together. Late night shopping without kids in tow takes on a totally different feel. I love how Rachel blessed Doug on this grocery shopping trip. Too cute! Be imaginative and turn the mundane into a memory.

5. Go to an amusement park! We usually think of places like Disneyland and Six Flags in terms of our children. But imagine going on every ride without worrying about height limitations! If you’ve got a park within easy distance, make a day trip just the two of you.

6. Take a hike — or a walk. Exercise, God’s creation and the one you love? What could be better? Seek out the local hiking and biking trails and go on an adventure together. Even a walk in the snow can be exhilarating — especially if you’re only responsible for your own mittens! Pack a picnic and watch the sunset.

7. Visit a museum. We have wonderful memories of strolling through the Louvre in Paris. We stopped at every painting and examined it and talked together. We weren’t just taking in art or history, we were sharing an experience. Investigate the museums in your city; some even have free admission on certain days of the month.

Date nights don’t need to be extravagant or expensive. What’s most important is spending time together, just for fun.

What’s a fun date night for you?

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  1. My hubs and I have often used grocery shopping as a date. Sounds lame, but shopping with hubby changes everything about the store. He sees all kinds of goodies that he never gets at home b/c I’m too frugal to buy them. He grabs this and that, tossing it into our cart, he really enjoys a little variety and freedom in this. Of course, I always wind up spending over budget when he joins me, but it’s not that often and I’m ok with it.

    It also gives hubs a chance to point out meals and/or products he might like to try.

    Along the same lines, places like Lowes or Home Depot can make for fun dates. It gives us a chance to talk about projects and repairs that need done, without the company of 9 more voices interupting! We can dream a little about projects that may or may not ever happen, isn’t that what we want with our men, a little unity? How can a movie compare to that?

    Kelly Morris

  2. These are great ideas!! The theme park idea is an exciting one that I will try. You have such great ideas, I can’t think of anything to add. My husband and I have done some of the ones that you have suggested.

  3. Go spotlighting to check out animals. ๐Ÿ˜€ One date that I did was to blindfold my hubby and took him to the beach. We had a picnic under the stars. ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ve also gone out riding around in the golf cart while he plays.

  4. Great ideas! I love the simple picnic in the park. We have a State Park close and it’s always fun. If the weather is bad, throw a blanket on the floor at the house (minus kidlets of course).
    Take in an afternoon movie (cheaper than at night).
    Try something your Mate enjoys (we discussed golfing yesterday. I’m willing to learn and it’s time together)! Fishing is another one, my dad used to take me and I loved our time, even if I am a girly girl. LOL

  5. Thanks for the awesome date night ideas….We rarely go out as a couple, but want to start doing it more often. We unfortunately spent way too much on our date last weekend. We went out with friends to dinner and drinks and had to pay a sitter. We will use some of your ideas for next time. I esp. like the take a hike and picnic idea!! Thanks.

  6. The hubby and I don’t get a lot of date nights. Our family lives far away, and I just don’t like “imposing” on friends, so we spend a lot of “dates” at home watching movies. We’ll often leave the chores for another day, cuddle up in bed, and watch an instant movie from Netflix. That way, we don’t have to do any planning.

    We also like to wander book stores, but we do that ensemble with children.

  7. We love wandering around IKEA or Costco. There are always fun things/people to see in those places. And you can go in and out without spending any money!

  8. Great ideas! When we move closer to family (Lord willing), we’ll be able to do date nights again. We are 10 hours from family, and don’t have money in the budget for frequent nights out. We try to do a date night at home, with a movie and fun snack or something. It is on our “to do” list this year and I hope we continue to cross it off as “done”!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My husband and I have gone on many a date to the grocery store. Something about being together makes a normally mundane task much more fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hubby will make popcorn, measure out the M&Ms and refill our glasses of tea — then we sit on the couch and watch our favorite TV shows or a movie.

  11. Love your blog! Just wanted to let you know that I’ve linked to this post from my “This ‘n That Thursday” … I know it’s several months old, but it’s really great and I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to share it with others. Hope you’re having a good week!

  12. We don’t have family nearby, so date night involves paying a sitter. We do try to get a sitter once a month and get out for dinner or a movie (and on rare occasions, both). But, when we can’t get out, I feed the kids early and move up the bedtime process then hubby and I enjoy take out or we make Indian food (the kind that they sell in boxes in the supermarket and TJs) and we sit and eat it in front of the TV while we rent a movie from On Demand. It is a great way for us to connect, all for under $10! We did just recently splurge on a Date Day (a full 24 hours) – we won a free night at a hotel in our city so we got a sitter to stay overnight, got tickets to a show (Jersey Boys) that we bought with points to reduce the cost, and we went out to dinner at a Tapas restaurant that also had Flamenco dancing. We got to sleep in and go home relaxed and connected. Date nights are really key…no matter how you do them.

  13. I had made some type of dinner, that of course, the kids hated and wouldn’t eat. Even though it had everything normal in it – they just wouldn’t touch it! Hubby had been working all day, and was into over time hours and wouldn’t get home until 7 or so (an hour earlier than normal winter bedtime, about 2 hours earlier than summer bedtime – which it was summer!) thankfully though, the kids had not had their naps that day. I made them a simple dinner, got them into bed by 6:50 and as Hubby walked in the door – I had the leftover’s reheated. Since it was summer, it was still light outside, and we got to sit at the table together, and enjoy conversation together and not worry about the kids. The kids were asleep moments after they were in bed (lucky us!) and because I was still nursing the baby I didn’t have to stress out about leaving the house, timing my nursing so that I could leave – and get back before she would want to eat again! Leftovers and an evening together at home! Was one of the best ever date nights!

  14. We are not lucky enough to have family nearby to babysit for us so when the kids were younger and since a babysitter would often cost more than the dinner out, we used to have date night at home. I would put the kids to bed adn G would bring home a nice takeout meal and we would picnic in the living room by candlelight. Of course I would make it a point to dress up, no shlubby dressing for date night.

  15. We just discovered the Bingo hall! A co-worker took us on my husband’s birthday (you get to play for free on your birthday) and we discovered a fun and fairly inexpensive date night!