Keeping connected with your partner through regular date nights can feel a heck of a lot harder once you have kids. Friday night rolls around, you’ve juggled unsettled babies and negotiated with tenacious toddlers all week and once they’re (finally!) asleep, collapsing on the couch can sometimes feel like the only conceivable option. We get it! Even so, we all know how much we need those shared moments alone with our partners, especially during the thick fog of new parenthood. Ah…that’s right…remember me?
Half the battle with organising a date night is often just choosing something to do. To simplify things for you, we’ve put together a list of our favourite ‘stay-at-home’ date night ideas. You don’t need to organise a babysitter, there are no expensive taxi fares home and you’ll still have time for an early night, because we know that sleep – is – life!
1. The ‘Fancy’ Date – à la maison
Many great restaurants offer take-away options nowadays, thanks to a certain global pandemic we are all familiar with. Make the night easy for yourselves and get some delicious take-away food delivered once the kids are in bed. You could light candles, set the table nicely, maybe even put on a date-night playlist. Take the chance to get dressed up a little and enjoy a touch of glam at home.
2. The Fondue Night
The old-school fondue set is not essential here, although they are super fun. Keep it simple – a bowl of melted chocolate served with some strawberries, bananas and marshmallows. Need we say more?
3. The Painting and Pinot Night
With tiny people in the house I am guessing you might already have some art supplies on hand. This art session, however, is adults only! Set up some canvases or paper and choose a theme to paint on together with your partner – it could be one another’s portraits, still life, a landscape, geometric patterns. Oh, and wine. Did I say wine?
4. The ‘Cheeseboardgames’ Night
Prepare a quick and easy cheeseboard with a selection of dips, cheeses (or preferred plant-based alternative), crackers, dried fruit and nuts, fruit and veg and some chocolate. Minimal prep required. Don’t even need to turn on a hotplate. Now just set yourselves up with a board game and your preferred beverage.
5. The Movie Date
Sometimes you just can’t beat this classic date idea. Alternate turns to pick a favourite movie, jump into something cosy and lounge around on the couch for the evening. Popcorn strongly encouraged!
6. Learn a New Skill Together
There’s a lot to be said for developing shared interests as a couple. It could be bread-making, pickling, photography, a DIY ceramics kit, yoga, ballroom dancing, furniture restoration – who said a date needs to be all about dinner? Plus, you can use the internet to teach yourselves pretty much anything these days, so the sky is your limit here.
7. Write a Letter to One Another
This is a great idea for a low-key date night that still feels special. It doesn’t take long, and you will be surprised at how this shared time reflecting, writing and reading one another’s letters can help to reconnect you both. To get the words flowing, you could have 2 or 3 questions to write about, like ‘tell me how you remember our first date’ or ‘the thing I love about you most right now is…’.
8. Swap babysitting with a trusted parent friend
For the times when you really do need to just go out somewhere together, ask a friend if they can look after your children for a few hours and offer to return the favour so they can do the same. It really does take a village to raise a child, after all!