You’re exhausted… you’re hungry… and you've probably been living in pajamas for the past four days. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sit down for a fun or romantic date night with your partner!
When you have a baby, your entire relationship changes…
You used to cuddle at night → Now you want to scream when their foot touches your leg because you’re so overstimulated.
You used to care what your breath smelled like around them → Now you feel lucky if they even get to see you with your hair brushed.
You used to have time to get ready and go out for a date night → Now your definition of “date night” is scrolling on your phones on the couch while you re-watch Schitt’s Creek for the fourth time.
Hey, no judgment here. I totally get it.
When I was going through IVF while raising a colicky baby in the middle of an international pandemic (yep, you read all of that correctly), my husband made an effort to set up little at-home date nights for me and it completely changed my view on what can be considered “romantic” alone time.
Planning a special at-home date night is a great way for parents to spend intentional, quality time together without having to worry about getting ready to leave the house, paying for a babysitter or cutting date night short if something goes wrong at home.
Here are 18 At-Home Date Night Ideas for New Parents or Parents with Young Children (no leaving-the-house required!)
1. Movie Night
$45 for movie tickets, popcorn and a small soda?! No, thank you! When the baby goes to bed, set up a cozy movie night in your living room with some battery-powered candles and a floor bed made of all the random blankets you own and pillows from your bed! Grab some gas station candy for a nostalgic vibe.
2. Indoor Picnic
Spread out a blanket on the living room floor, light some candles, and enjoy a delicious DoorDash meal together.
3. Game Night
If you’re anything like me and my husband… you take game night VERY seriously. Grab a bottle of wine and set up your favorite card or board game. Whoever wins best 2 out of 3 (or 5 out of 7) games gets to pick a dare that the loser has to do that night.
4. DIY Spa Evening
Create a soothing ambiance with dim lighting, relaxing music, and scented candles. Take turns giving each other massages or facials. We like to pull up a massage YouTube video on our laptop so we can follow along (no lame 2-minute massages in this house!) or you can find a step-by-step facial guide for relaxing, yet effective facials.
5. Cook or Bake Together
After the kids go to bed… it’s time to conquer the kitchen. Throw on some Frank Sinatra, crack open the red wine that’s been in your pantry for 10 months and cook or bake a new dish from scratch! Make each other laugh by critiquing your creations like you are Gordan Ramsey.
6. Wine and Cheese Tasting
Become a turophile (fancy word for cheese expert). Hit up Whole Foods and choose a selection of some of your favorite wines and cheese… and some that you haven’t tried before! You can spend the night taste-testing different pairings.
7. Art Night
Set up an art station with various art supplies or grab some paint-by-numbers from the craft store. One time, we each picked a wooden object from Michaels (I chose a jewelry box and he chose a birdhouse) and we spent the night painting! Relax, bond, and unleash your creative sides.
8. DIY Pizza Night
Set up a pizza making station with pre-made dough and alllllllll the toppings you can think of. Have a little competition to see who can make the best pizza! You can print some cute pizza signs for a cute added "touch."
9. Virtual Date Night
Set up a virtual double date night with another couple who are also parents. Hop on a Zoom call and have a double date from the comfort of your own homes. You can chat, play games, or even have a virtual dinner together.
10. Book Club
Choose a book that you and your partner can read together. Create a mini book club at home by assigning a chapter a week and pick one night a week where you sit and review your thoughts and predictions over some snacks.
11. Dance Party
Nothing gets stress out better than waving your arms in the air like you just don’t care! Clear some space in your living room and ask Alexa to play some 90s hits. Don’t forget to end the party with a slow dance.
12. Theme Night
Pick a theme for your date night like Hawaiian luau, 80s throwback, or superheroes. Buy some cheap decorations from The Dollar Store and surprise each other with your themed outfit of choice. Serve food that matches your theme and watch a movie that brings your theme to life!
13. Outdoor Movie Night
If you have a backyard or patio, you have all the makings of a romantic, outdoor movie night. Hang a white sheet or use a projector screen (or just use your laptop!), and enjoy a movie under the stars. Set up a cozy seating area with blankets and pillows so you can snuggle up close.
14. Comedy Night
Laughter is the best medicine! Have an Adam Sandler movie marathon or watch some new stand-up comedies on Netflix. (We just watched No Hard Feelings with Jennifer Lawrence- guaranteed to make you belly laugh!)
15. Build a Fort
You’re lying if you say that building a fort doesn’t excite you. There is something SO cozy about binging your favorite candies and watching a movie from the comfort of a blanket fort. Forget about the outside world for a few hours and just enjoy each other’s presence.
16. Karaoke Night
Karaoke Night only works if you have a space far enough away from your sleeping tots! Purchase a cheap Karaoke machine from Amazon or use a Karaoke app on your phone. Mix it up by picking the song that your partner has to sing and then critique them like you are Randy Jackson or Simon Cowell.
17. Scavenger Hunt
Organize a scavenger hunt for your partner. Create clues and hide small prizes with each clue (anything from their favorite treat to something a little more risqué…) and at the end of the hunt, sit down and enjoy the prizes together!
18. Charcuterie Night
Buy some charcuterie boards from Amazon and surprise each other with a charcuterie masterpiece! Set up a charcuterie station in the kitchen with different cheeses, meats, spreads, nuts and fruits and build your own charcuterie board that you’ll reveal to each other and enjoy together.
The most important thing to remember is to TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to connect with your partner. You don’t need to stress about leaving your kids with a sitter or a family member. You don’t have to worry about forcing yourself to stay awake past 11pm to go to a fancy dinner.
You can make your own fun (stress-free) time right at home with these 18 at-home date night ideas for new parents.
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