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9 ideas for staying in on date night

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Image: George Rudy/Shutterstock

Whether you’re on a budget, you’re too tired to go anywhere, or you’ve been running around so much that all you want is a nice evening at home, you can still enjoy a date night in. In our hectic lives, it’s sometimes nice to just stay home and relax. And yes, you can do more than rent a movie from Redbox or watch the same show on Netflix again. The following ideas will get your creative juices flowing and demonstrate how you can have an enjoyable date from the comfort of your own living room.

Midnight Brunch

Okay, you don’t have to actually wait until midnight. You’re both probably already tired from a hectic work week. But breakfast food for dinner can be a fun change of pace. Make it a feast, complete with eggs, sausage, pancakes and mimosas. You can even watch a breakfast-related film while eating, such as “The Breakfast Club” or “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Is there some kind of special breakfast food that your boyfriend’s mom made him every morning as a kid? Make that too and get to know you’re man a little better.

Sports Night

Somewhere, someone is playing some kind of sport and wants you to watch. Even if it’s just a high school level sport, it’s fun to make bets on who will win and you can come up with a fun prize for the winner, or the loser has to do a chore they hate, etc. Don’t forget to eat hot dogs, burgers, nachos and beer! There’s no doubt that he will love this date night idea.

Living Room Camp Out

Your kids probably love to build forts. Well, this one is adults only. Construct your tent out of blankets and pillows, or set up the real tent in your living room. Use lamps and candles for light, pretend there’s no cell-service, and bake your dinner in tin foil, just like a real camp out. Or, you know, order in some Chinese food. Either one.

Work Out

It can be a challenge to find time to work out, but if you both commit to it, it’s easier when you have an accountability partner. Find workout videos on YouTube, rent a DVD on yoga poses, or play on the Wii Fit. Bring out each other’s competitive side by challenging one another to do the most reps, the hardest pose, or the sweatiest workout. Reward yourselves with chocolate and wine when you’re done to make it feel more like date night.

Tasting Night

Whether you want to do wine and cheese or chocolate, you can’t go wrong. Swing by the store on your way home from work and load up on various kinds of delectable treats. Try them all and vote on the best ones. You can also spice it up by feeding each other. Ambiance music and low lighting can’t hurt, either. On a related note, fondue nights are equally as tasty.

Personal Book Club

If you are both avid readers, get the same book and discuss it over coffee as you read. This option is totally customizable based on your reading interests (sci-fi, classic, young adult, etc.). Plus, if there’s a movie adaptation, you can watch it together after you finish reading the book.

Theme Night

Pick a theme, any theme! If you want a fiesta, make tacos, play mariachi music, and watch a Spanish movie (with English subtitles or without). Pretend you’re in the 1920’s: dress in black, drink booze sneakily, and party all night with jazz or ragtime songs. Scary movie nights are also fun; snuggle up under the blankets and laugh at the scary parts, knowing your significant other is right there if you need him.

Explore a New Culture

Similar to the theme night idea, pick a different culture and immerse yourself in it for the night. Download a free app like “Duolingo” and learn some basic words of the language. Create recipes that are popular in that country. Even take up certain customs, like how in China they eat sitting on pillows instead of chairs. However much or little you want to do, it’s always fun to broaden your horizons and try something new.

The Story of You

Write down the story of how you both met, and any struggles you faced in getting together/becoming engaged/getting married. It’s interesting to see how each person remembers different details or had a different perception of the same event. Kick it up a notch and make a video recording of telling the story. One day, you can show the stories or videos to your kids. This special night will be heartfelt both in the moment, and in the future when you share it with others.

Happy date night!