10 Romantic (Stay-at-Home) Date Night Ideas

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on June 21, 2011

In a perfect world, married couples would be able to get away together for a night or two of romance on a regular basis, out-of-the-house date nights would be a regular occurrence, and even the occasional lunch date would show up on their calendars.

But you know how it is: babies are born, money gets tight and couples tired, and so arrive seasons when it simply doesn’t happen. But while that may be regrettable (depending upon the couple and their preferences), it need not spell the end of romance.

Bring on the glorious Stay-at-Home Date Night!

With a little creativity, stay-at-home date nights can be just as fun–if not more so–than your average night on the town.


Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to get your creative juices flowing…

  1. Fill up the backyard baby pool, pour a couple of drinks and soak under the starry night sky.
  2. Dress to the nines, light candles, turn on Sinatra and enjoy on a romantic candlelight dinner for two.
  3. Pull the mattress off your bed and into the t.v. room, pile it high with your softest pillows and blankets, pull on your pajamas, grab two spoons and your favorite dessert and snuggle in front of a movie.
  4. Pitch a tent in the backyard, build a bonfire and roast marshmallows.
  5. Take turns asking one another questions. No matter how long you’ve been married there is always more to be learned about your better half. Don’t worry too much about the quality of the question. Even the most mundane of questions has been known to spark fascinating conversations in our house.
  6. Make your bedroom into a love nest. I purchased a bed canopy years ago. Occasionally I’ll pull it out, dust it off and put it up for the night. Then I fill the room with candlelight and other sundry romantic items and pretend that Dan and I are tucked away in a sumptuous hotel room or cottage somewhere.
  7. Play a board game. A little lighthearted competition can make for a very playful date night, indeed. If you’re feeling especially competitive put a little something on the line. I’ll leave the specifics up to you (wink, wink).
  8. Purchase this DVD (or something similar), clear away the furniture and dance the night away.
  9. Spend a night in Italy. Rent Roman Holiday, eat pizza, sip wine and enjoy a bit of gelato. (Or substitute the country of your choice and make the necessary adjustments.)
  10. Make playlists for one another and spend time listening to your favorite, romantic songs. Be sure to throw in a few memory-jogging selections!

Help me add to the list, won’t you? What is your favorite Stay-at-Home Date Night activity? (Besides that one. Really, girls! Wink, wink.)


Take care, cuties!


P.S. For more ideas, download my free e-Booklet, 52 Simple Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Grace in my Heart June 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Oh, lovely ideas!

Honestly, my favorite is so simple I don't even know if it counts! But I just love to have a glass of wine with my hub on the back porch and chat. Nothing fancy- just sharing our hopes, dreams, and things we hope to accomplish one day.

Cari June 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

On Saturdays, after the yard work is done, the house cleaned, and the kids tucked in to bed after a dinner that came off the BBQ, my husband and I will share a pitcher of margaritas and sit outside. When the mosquitoes get too bad, we'll head inside, take the laptop to bed, and watch cheesy ghost hunting shows, making fun of their fakeness. Maybe not as thrilling as dates we could come up with if we had access to a babysitter, but it still serves to keep us connected and present to the other.

anne June 21, 2011 at 5:43 pm

have a picnic in-doors, in (or out of) whatever clothes you choose.

read aloud to each other, mutual favorite stories, poetry, or stories from each one's childhood

take a bath!

give massages

Kara H. June 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Our favorite at-home date night is when my husband does Fondue Night. He plans it the way the Melting Pot does, with multiple courses. He even uses their cookbook, which can be gotten on Amazon. Because the food takes longer to eat, it stimulates converstation, as does the special cocktail he invented for me. Also, seriously, is there any better comfort food than melted cheese and melted chocolate? We eat by candle-light and enjoy a rom-com afterward, if we're not ready for bed yet.
Also, I love the idea of dressing up for at-home nights. I have definitely done that.

BettyDuffy June 21, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Not too romantic, but we like to paint together. I cut in, he uses the roller–lots of reaching around one another, trying not actually to touch, since we're holding wet brushes.

Also, hammock made for two, always inviting on a breezy afternoon. I'll read a book while he and the baby nap, and the big kids play nearby. It's not conversational, but cuddle-worthy.

Finally, sometimes it's easier to get a sitter on a Saturday morning than a Saturday night–so we'll go for a bike ride, maybe stop at the bakery.

Laura June 21, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Mmm, I want the bed canopy!
In other news, thanks for commenting on my blog, Betty! I'm tickled pink you read it, and that I've found yours to read as well.
God bless you and yours!

Betty Beguiles June 21, 2011 at 6:55 pm

You girls are awesome. I love these ideas!

Lisa June 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

We like to pick up dinner from a nice grocery store (like Central Market) so it feels like we're being "fancy" and I don't have lots of dishes to do later! We can do a nice dinner on around $8 total. Also, though this idea is one that involves going out, we are planning this for our 5 year anniversary this week– we'll eat dinner at home with the kids, put them to bed, get a sitter for an hour or two, and go to a local fancy restaurant for coffee and a dessert to split. With just the dessert to eat, we don't feel the need to hurry and get home because "it's costing us a fortune– move, move, where's the check??" We can relax and talk and know we'll only be out a small amount at the end of the night.

bearing June 21, 2011 at 6:57 pm

You left out the part where you drug all the children with Benadryl and put them to bed at 7 pm.

Ann Seeton June 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

All my husband has to do is turn on the walz music and ask me to dance–nothing else is as wonderful or as romantic!

Allison June 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Love #9. We were in Rome recently and the trip coincided with our 20th wedding anniversary. We miss ROme so much and have gone out for gelato just to "bring us back."

Fun ideas.

Becca June 22, 2011 at 12:43 am

This might sound silly, but we love to play RockBand together! We'll put the kids to bed and then either pop open some wine or my husband will make mixed drinks and we will rock the night away. We take turns doing the drums and singing. It makes me feel like I've "gone out" without leaving the basement, and we always end up laughing a ton and having a great time. I swear, I think doing this every few weeks has saved my sanity after having my last baby.

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith June 22, 2011 at 3:36 am

We built a fire pit in our backyard a few years ago, it is the perfect place for us to sit back look at the stars and talk.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble June 22, 2011 at 4:12 am


And, bearing, ha ha ha!!!

Christina June 22, 2011 at 1:28 pm

We love reading aloud to each other, too. Some of our best nights have been spent sipping port (to remind us of our honeymoon in Portugal! Ahhh…) and guffawing at P.G. Wodehouse stories. Although the laughter has been known to backfire and wake up the baby…

kristine hass June 22, 2011 at 9:33 pm

Take out sushi. A slow walk (not pushing a stroller) and actually holding hands. A glass of wine and snuggling up watching an episode of a favorite 22-minute TV show on the ipad cozy in bed. Lame … but we live for those moments.

Jamie June 23, 2011 at 2:30 am

I LOVE this post!! I'm going to try the questions one tonight. <3 The Hubs and I did the board game one last week and it was SO much fun!!

I'm your newest follower – found your blog from A Blessed Journey. Looking forward to reading! :o)


Louise June 23, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I loved this post, and it came at a most apropos time for me, as my husband and I have been trying to figure out more ways for us to connect as a couple with very limited free time and money. These suggestions are fantastic! Grace in my Heart, we love drinking wine on the back porch and chatting, too!

Christie June 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

The first anniversary after our youngest was born was tight for various reasons. We had enough in the budget for either a dinner for two or a babysitter, not both. So I bought a romantic music CD, cooked a great dinner, and sent the kids to the sitter. We dressed to the nines and after a candlelit dinner we shoved the table against the wall and danced the night away! Well, at least as far away as the kids' bedtime. It was even fun taking the family van out to pick up the kids from the sitters'!

Koala Bear Writer June 24, 2011 at 4:45 pm

We do board games sometimes and dance occasionally. Lately, we've been sitting outside on the patio after the girls go to bed, sipping a glass of wine and chatting and snacking on chips or crackers and cheese.

Jen Medlock June 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for these ideas! My husband and I had a little money saved for a fancy dinner out for our anniversary, but life got in the way and snatched up the cash. Now instead of sulking that we can't celebrate, I have a few ideas to put to good use so we can celebrate at home (after the kids are in bed of course).

Practicing Mammal June 27, 2011 at 4:35 am

My husband Sparky and I have recently celebrated our 20th anniversary. We have been having date nights on the couch ever since the babies started arriving. Seven children later, and twenty years, we are still having our weekly (at least!) comment from kids: all you guys ever do is have date nights! The dates nights always include a)some great snack. Presently wine, good sharp cheddar and crackers. b) snuggling on the couch. c) time to talk and hold hands.

As an aside, when we started this our children were little, and we were broke. Many of them are no longer little, and we are no longer broke. But date nights remain the same, except, for years we got our little ones to bed first. Now for the biggers, we have to say, K, guys. Go to bed. And they do. Oh, sure the token complaining takes place, but they always leave us alone. I think its just a game they play. They love to see us romancing almost as much as we do.

Its what they want to take into their own marriages. Blessings, PM

faerieeva June 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I'm with Anne on the indoors picnic. We did one for the whole family for christmas eve. Then we loved the idea so much that we did one for mommy and daddy only on New Year's night, after the boys were off to bed. A glass of champagne, some nibbles and a soft quilt to lay down on, with all the toys out of our way.

totally random remark: the word I am supposed to type for the word verification is "Talita" as in "talita cumi", "girl arise". Things like that make me happy!

CMerie May 4, 2012 at 6:34 pm

So I did a search on google tonight for stay at home date night (or something of that fashion) and your blog with this post was third in the list! How exciting that I was directed to someone I know (or at least feel like I do) and trust?! Yay for date night!
CMerie recently posted..Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real – The May EditionMy Profile

Beautifuleyes June 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

What stay at home ideas can you all give a young single mother whos dating a wonderful and is a lil shy to turn on the heat?
Its more than obivoius he is yarning for some specail us time but he will never say it or act like they are a bother

Theresa October 19, 2012 at 9:47 pm

My husband hung white lights around our ouside patio and we danced to a special mix cd he had put together earlier that day.it was AMAZING!

Kiri December 7, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I’ve just started seeing someone and all these ideas are really good- I really like the board game idea, it’s so fun and simple!

I recently set up a date night where I hang some lanterns in the back yard (just to make it look a little more romantic) and we lay in a double hammock with a bottle of wine, under the stars playing 20 questions, and just chatting. It was free, fun and felt really intimate!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

{ 2 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post: