Talking Pokemon with one small person whilst trying to burp another, is all well and good. But let’s be honest: there are times when you need adult conversation and food! For mums and dads, nights out together are the holy grail – but sadly, they’re not always possible. But that’s where stay-at-home date nights come in, while still keeping a watchful eye on the kids as they (fingers-crossed) sleep. Try these 10 ideas to help your relationship survive kids.
1. Homemade “Night at the Cinema”
Everybody loves a night out at the pictures – but it’s easy to bring the pictures to you! This awesome ‘Double Feature Date Night’ pack from Dating Divas gives you everything you need to really get into the spirit – just download the free pack and print out tickets, popcorn boxes, and a bunch of other cool stuff.
There’s even a ‘His choice/Her choice’ form where you both get to choose a movie. These choices can’t be vetoed – perfect for when one of you fancies ‘Titanic,’ and the other is in the mood for ‘The Terminator!’ You both get your way.
There are hundreds of movie options on Netflix too. But if you’re finding it hard to choose, try FlickSurfer, which lets you filter and sort Netflix titles by genre, title, director, cast members, ratings and more.
2. Garden picnic
This is probably one for the summer months (unless you’re feeling brave, or have a serious outdoor heater). Rather than staying cooped up within the same four walls, take it outside and have your very own backyard picnic. Prepare some easy food (or order takeaway), lay down a picnic rug, and enjoy a dusky evening outdoors. A change is as good as a rest, they say.
For extra bonus points, light up a bonfire, fire pit or chimnea, buy a family sized bag of marshmallows and cocktail sticks, and get some smores on the go.
3. The Inflatable Pub (…or similar!)
This idea is inspired by the LADbible video that went viral last year. It started with a scenario we’re all familiar with; mum and dad bitterly discussing how long it’s been since they had a night out, while baby coos and laughs in the background. Dad agrees to a night out, but when Mum arrives the next night all glam she’s met with the unexpected.
Needless to say, this isn’t going to work for everyone – hiring an inflatable pub could set you back around £200-400 per day, without the smoke machine. But, point is, it doesn’t have to be an inflatable pub (although if that does float your boat, here’s a company that does offer a staggering range of inflatables across the UK). This video demonstrates how to create memorable experiences and great nights without leaving the house (or paying for a babysitter) by making some creative effort to do something a bit different.
4. Power cut night
A simple, but effective idea: kill the electricity. Light some candles and take things back to basics. Eat dinner by candlelight, turn off the TV, turn your phone off (yes, actually do it!) – blank out all the distractions – and talk to each other! It’s amazing how quickly and powerfully this can help you reconnect.
5. Come Dine with Me
A couples twist on the TV show, ‘Come Dine with Me’. Assuming you’re friendly with other couples in a similar boat, invite them round to your place and throw a dinner party. You swap venues each time, but to make it interesting, you give each party a rating to determine a winning party at the end. This should ensure some competitive cooking, and hopefully some good food, If you’re strictly limited to just the two of you, it’s even easier: Dad throws a dinner party one week, and Mum the next. (The rating system may be slightly undermined in this case, but who cares – you get two dinner parties!)
6. Sunset & Stargazing
This one may sound slightly cheesy, but stick with us. Sunsets are breathtaking – and yet every night, most of us are totally oblivious to this explosion of colour in the sky literally on our doorstep. Take a look and find out what time sunset is in your area, and go watch it together. Throw in a bottle of wine or some beer and you’ve got an effortless date night that’s incredibly simple and beautiful.
The bonus after sunset – provided it’s nice and clear – is the opportunity to take in the stars. If this tickles your fancy, check out this ultimate guide to getting started in backyard astronomy.
7. Games Night
A blanket title for a bunch of different games to play together. Board games, games consoles, or anything else. (Check out these 101 boredom busters for couples for some very original ideas) Just grab a game, and go! The important thing is that you’re playing the same game (together) and having fun!
8. Holiday Planning
People often promote nostalgia – revisiting happy memories in the form of photographs, videos, and old songs – as a way for couples to reconnect. But scientists say that looking forward could be better – that anticipation arouses more intense emotion than retrospection.
Planning a holiday or getaway together can be the cornerstone of a fantastic date night. As the Greek fabulist and storyteller Aesop said, “Our mere anticipations of life outrun its realities,” and this is so often the case when it comes to holiday planning. Spending time planning a break isn’t just stimulating and exciting while you’re doing it. It gives you something to look forward to all year round, which is incredibly important for overall well-being, particularly during the mentally draining years of early parenthood.
So get the holiday brochures and highlighter pens out, and get excited together!
9. Theme night
Theme nights open up almost limitless possibilities. A Parisienne night with French food like delicious crepes, French music and coffee. Or you could go German, with beer, sausages and oompah music (though lederhosen may be pushing it). There are too many options to name – but it’s really fun to immerse yourself in other cultures in this way. Taking the theme idea even further, ‘Parties for Adults’ on Party Delights will give you some great ideas for themes to try. A 60’s night, tropical fiesta, or medieval banquet for 2?
10. Meat Fondue
We all love to eat together – the only problem is that it’s sometimes over a little too quickly! Fondues are a great way to slow down, relax, enjoy and chat together while enjoying a delicious meal. It’s really simple to put together too, as the video below shows.
And, because you’re cooking while you eat, you can be sat down grazing on delicious skewers, for a good couple of hours.
Have fun together!
We all love spending time with our kids, but it’s important to make time for each other as well. Studies suggest that the decline in relationship satisfaction for couples with kids is nearly twice as steep than for those without. So, difficult as it might seem, now you have 10 fun excuses to book yourself a regular date night – even if it is just at home!
How do you celebrate ‘date nights’ at home? Let us know in the comments!