At-Home Dates and How to Plan Them

For many years, we didn’t have the funds to go out on dates unless we got free babysitting. Once we moved away from family, that meant lots of at-home dates. The key to a successful date at home lies in making it special somehow. If you do the same old thing you always do once the kids are in bed, then it doesn’t really count.

(I originally wrote this post as a way to save money, but with social distancing in full swing, it’s more applicable than ever!)

Our dates almost always have a theme. I think it makes them really fun and easier to plan. I love being creative, even though it’s hard to come up with ideas sometimes. The internet is my best friend for that.

at-home dates
Nerf war from a date 10 years ago!

Don’t Forget…

  1. Food. (What kind of date doesn’t have food?) We don’t usually do dinner, since the kids are still awake, but choose a special snack or dessert instead. To save the most money, I make it myself.
  2. Fun clothes. If the theme permits, we try to dress up, even if it’s really goofy.
  3. Decorations (sometimes). They’re usually pretty simple and made of supplies we already have on hand.
  4. An activity or 2. This usually means a game, movie, creating something like a song or poem, or a combination of any of these.

Theme Ideas

  • Harry Potter: Eat eye of newt (olives), Bertie Bott’s Beans, or dragon dung (no bake cookies). Dress up in bathrobes or old graduation robes. Play Harry Potter Scene It or watch one of the movies.
  • Red Hot: Enjoy jalapeno hummus, buffalo popcorn, or another spicy snack. Wear something red, and watch a movie with a red cover or red in the title.
  • 1/2: Make and eat 1/2 of a dessert, watch 1/2 of a movie, write 1/2 of a poem and finish each other’s.
  • Percy Jackson (Ancient Greece): Online translate a note from English to Greek and back to English to see the funny translation. Have a javelin throwing contest (playing darts) or a sword fight with foam swords. Write your own myth in ode form to sing around a campfire. Eat the ashes of killed monsters (roasted marshmallows.)
  • High Class: Dress up fancy, choose strange (but classy) names for a future child or pet, play cards, have a “ball” with fancy music, travel somewhere exotic using Google Earth flight simulator.

Dates can be romantic, but they can also be pretty silly (or nerdy, if you’re like us.) Though it’s not the same as being “out” somewhere, some of my fondest memories are of these silly dates we used to do every week. Now, they don’t happen as often, but that’s a habit I’m going to start up again. A little creativity can make at-home dates affordable, memorable, and within the guidelines of social distancing.

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