Valentine’s Day. The most romantic day – and night – of the year. Except if you’re a parent who forgot to book a babysitter.
But wait! All hope for a magical evening is not lost. It turns out Cupid does house calls. With a little forward thinking, this Valentine’s Day can be just as fun and romantic as it was in your pre-child days!
We’ve compiled a list of the best at-home date nights EVER. We’re sure there’s going to be at least one that will make your night special.
1. Dinner under the stars
Grab a big floppy pillow and drag your kids’ Kmart teepee out onto the lawn for a wine and cheese picnic. Or keep it classy and dust off the patio table for the occasion.
Then after dinner, lay on your backs in the grass and stare up at the night sky. It’s amazing how much the open space outside opens up conversation.
2. Movie night
Forgo dinner, turn out the lights and stuff yourselves silly with all your favourite movie snacks (popcorn, Maltesers, even choc tops) on your living room floor while a blockbuster rolls out on your wide screen. If you can’t agree on a movie you both want to watch, how about the first movie you ever watched together?
BONUS: Grab sleeping bags and make it a sleep over. Juuuust don’t do anything you wouldn’t want your kids unexpectedly walking in on in the middle of the night…
3. Tasting night
Select a few wines or craft beers you haven’t tried before and sample them with cheese, crackers and dried fruits as accompaniments. Or for the sweet-toothed couple, artisan chocolate tasting with gourmet nuts and pretzels may be more your speed.
4. Games night
There are plenty of board games and card games that suit two players; you’re bound to find something that suits your tastes. Scrabble, Uno, Settlers of Katan, Yahtzee, Trouble and even Snap can easily be played as a pair. Don’t have any games in the house? Ask around – we all have that one friend who collects board games like stamps.
5. Play video games together
If video games are your husband’s thang, join him on the couch and take him on. He’ll either be impressed by your mad skills on screen, or will think it’s adorable when you keep ‘accidentally’ shooting him. Best. Wife. Ever.
6. Spa night
Drop into your nearest Lush store or consult Pinterest and whip up some DIY products. Have a bath together with bath salts, give each other massages with oils, apply mud masks and even give each other pedicures if your man is game! Buy new matching fluffy bath robes to level up this at-home date idea.
7. Candle lit dinner
Unplug all phones and screens for this intimate date night. Write up a menu, dress up for each other, and cook a gourmet dinner and dessert together. Then flick off the lights and enjoy your meal in candle light – with a well-chosen wine, obviously!
8. Dance the night away
Make a play list of “your” songs, clear the furniture and make the living room your own personal dance floor for the night!
9. Do a puzzle together
There’s something quite cozy about sitting side-by-side at a table and working together to complete a puzzle. The bonus of this date night is that if your puzzle is challenging enough, this activity could be revisited for a few nights until you finally finish it!
10. Homemade pizzas
Pick up your favourite toppings at the store and get your Masterchef on as you assemble your ultimate dream pizzas. You can buy pizza bases at the store or whip up your own. For a bonus, make your bases heart-shaped!
11. Remember the good old days
Print some old photos from your early dating days and spend some time snuggling on the couch looking through them, fondly remembering the years gone by.
12. Dream together
Set goals for the next 5, 10, 15 years and imagine how life will look. Even if some of your ideas are outrageous, it’s fun to bring them out in the open and entertain the idea of them coming to fruition. You never know!
13. Consult YouTube
Cue up a YouTube playlist of hilarious virals and snuggle up watching them together. Take on a YouTube dance or fitness class together – the more embarrassing the better (couples’ belly dancing, anyone?) Or try out some YouTube karaoke (yes it’s a thing, and would work well for a double date with another couple too!)
14. Search online for your dream home
Even if it’s wayyyy out of your price range, it’s fun to imagine!
15. Watch a sports game
OK, so footy’s not back yet, but there’s plenty of Winter Olympics action on free-to-air TV this Valentine’s Day. Not a fan of the luge or moguls? Then find a fave sport event online, on Foxtel, or break out the footy/ Bathurst/ World Cup DVD box set. Dress down, drink beer, and scoff nachos, wings and hot dogs together as you cheer on your team.
16. Take personality tests
You can find plenty of personalty tests online. Or work out your love languages. Even those Buzzfeed “which Disney princess are you?” quizzes will spark conversation!
17. Write bucket lists
We all have ideas of things we want to do before we die, but have you ever actually written yours down? Doing it together can be a lot of fun, and also a bit revealing…!
The main goal is to keep it intentional. If Valentine’s Day is important to you, don’t let it slide by. A lot of the above ideas require little to no planning (and as parents, that’s #lifegoals, right!?) So enjoy your evening – hope it’s a romantic one!
Want another fun date night idea? Check out what this couple did – and for only $10!