The idea of having a date night might seem like a pipe dream when you have a newborn. While I was lucky enough to have an incredible mom who lived around the corner from me and help us with date nights. I was unlucky when she had to move for two years away to China and we just brought home our sweet newborn. So for all those struggling to find a babysitter, I feel you. Here are 15 fun date night ideas at home that don’t require a babysitter
15 Fun Date Night Ideas at Home that DON’T Require a Babysitter
Here are ten slightly more inventive date night at home ideas for dating during include some during their waking hours.
No-babysitter dates involving the kids
It can be a tricky balance to let the kids participate and still have it feel like a date or at least a special occasion.
- Kid’s Serve Parents – Get the kids to serve you somehow. Big kids can prepare dinner, little kids can walk on your back and we can call it a spa/massage. Sometimes my kids try to demand some money for their efforts, so 25 cent massages go quite a long way
- Indoor Picnic. Throw a wintry picnic in the living room, a silly way to celebrate that you’re more than a couple, you’re a family. We had a frozen picnic with marshmallows, hot cocoa and maybe some coffee and baily’s for the adults.
- Class it up. Order the best takeout in town, serve it on the good china with cloth napkins. Light candles.
- Play karaoke or video games! where you do the singing and your kids accompany with egg shakers and tambourines from their kits. We used to play Rock Band back in the days when that game was unpopular. The big kids would join in and the little kids instruments were unplugged, because hey, the band needs to succeed!
- Relive the Past – Pop in your wedding video and sit back and relive the past. Your kids will love seeing all the family and the videos and you and your spouse will get to relive that amazing day.
While the kids are sleeping!
- Netflix & Chill – Hey, us parents invented Netflix and chill, it was just called renting a movie. Turn an ordinary evening in front of the TV into a movie date with junior mints and a big bowl of buttery popcorn. Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and onDemand options so you don’t even need to plan ahead very much for the film. Make it a series.
Recipe for date: film plus movie snacks. Easy! (since its so easy, remember to put on a clean shirt so your partner knows its a date)
- Make dinner after dinner but in a fun, sexy way. Enjoy the dance of cooking together and let it last the whole evening.
Recipe for date: mix food with ambiance and cooking stuff. Average difficulty but planning is required.
- Share a fancy dessert!(if cooking is too much effort) Share a fancy dessert and wine by candlelight. Make it something decadent like souffle or fondue.
Recipe for date: dessert plus beverage of choice. Pretty easy, if you get carryout or grocery dessert, prep is minimal.
- Invite friends over for a post-bedtime double date with board games or video games. If your friends have kids, try a half-sleepover. If it fails, then next time you can stick to your child-free pals.
Recipe for date: let your friends bring the game and you just clear the plastic toys off of the couch. Easy!
- Vacation Planning Date – This is one of my favorites. Studies say planning a vacation brings people as much joy as the vacation itself. It’s a great way to reconnect with your partner and get ready for your next incredible adventure.
- Tapas & Tails – One of our favorite date nights at home has been tapas and tails. My husband breaks out the bar set I got him for Christmas and we enjoy some delicious craft cocktails along with some tast tapas. Something about a cradt cocktail and tapas is fun and romantic.
- Massage Envy – It’s timed to get relaxed for this date night idea at home. Have a great night of you and your spouse giving each other a full body massage.
15-30 Minute Dates at home while the kids are “distracted”
Sometimes you have to take what you get and with parenting a 15 -30 minute break can be a great way to still have fun with your spouse.
- Elmo sex. As described by Mom101, “in which you plop the kids down in front of Elmo, race into the bedroom for 15 minutes, then get the 2-minute warning when the theme music comes on?”. Look, the magic doesn’t have to stop, although some days it does seem impossible.
- “Nap time” When your kids are in the phase where they are in that sweet spot of not going to injure themselves, let them know mom and dad need to take a nap and then have a little romantic date inside your bedroom. Sometimes we watch a show together and other times we just sit back and chat and read some magazines. It’s a nice retreat from the daily chaos and helps mom and dad reconnect.
- Escape to the Backyard – My kids are always in the backyard but sometimes when they are playing inside, it is nice to just escape with my hubby to the backyard with a cup of coffee and snuggle under the blanket by our little fire pit.
What kind of things do you do to have a “date night” at home?
Somewhat-related thoughts: Over on our BabyCenter column, I extol the virtues of video games for parents during naptime.