Everyday Hacks

Stay-at-home date nights

Romantic and fun!

We’ve all heard it said often: spending one-on-one time with your partner is key to a strong relationship. But finding the time and money for a weekly date night, especially when kids are small and need babysitters, can be almost impossible. Fear not, because FYI has a hack for that! Here are some stay-at-home date night ideas that require minimal planning and very little cash.

What to do with the kids?
Well, you could try putting them to bed early. I don’t know about your little angels, but my son would never go for that one. So if you’d like date night to start before bedtime, give the kids a fun evening of their own in another room with a movie and snacks. Consider hiring a mother’s helper: a young teen who may not be old enough to babysit on his or her own yet, but wouldn’t mind earning a few dollars to watch a movie and eat pizza with your kids.

If you have friends with kids, offer to do a date night swap: you take their kids for a couple of hours one evening and on another weekend night they’ll take yours.

Night at the movies

Thanks to video streaming services, there are more movies than ever before to watch from the comfort of your own couch. Make it special by trying one of the following:

  • Watch a movie you saw together on one of your first dates. Even if one or both of you hated the movie, you’ll have something to laugh and reminisce about.
  • Go nostalgic and watch a movie your parents or grandparents saw when they were dating. You might have to search a little to find a copy of the flick if it’s not readily streamed and you can always check your public library to see if it has a copy.
  • Pick a country, any country. Make it a foreign-film-and-food night by choosing a country, selecting a film from that country (with subtitles if you don’t speak the language) and order takeout from a restaurant that serves that country’s cuisine.

Night-in on the town
Just because you’re staying in doesn’t mean you can’t look and act like you are really going out on the town.

Get dressed up, wearing what you would if you were headed out. Plan and cook a special dinner or order takeout from your favorite upscale restaurant. If you order takeout, serve it on plates at a table set for dinner. Put away your technology, play some music, sit together, have dinner and talk. (One exception to putting down the technology: post your evening on social
media. With your tongue firmly in cheek, “check in” at your house, take some photos of how fantastic you look and post pictures of your delicious meal.) Create an evening you won’t, and can’t, forget.

Take time for a tasting

Whether you and your partner are lovers of beer, wine, chocolate, cheese or ice cream, you can have a tasting evening where you partake of new brands and flavors of your favorite treat. To prepare for your evening of tasting, each of you is responsible for bringing three or four new brands or flavors of your treat that you haven’t tried before. If you’ve never experienced a tasting, an online search can help you get started, letting you know what to look for, vocabulary to use and how to set up your tasting to get the most out of the flavors.

Dance the night away

You don’t need to go to the hottest local club to get your groove on. Have a dance party where you are. Plan ahead and create a playlist of songs you both like and will move to, and then close the curtains, dim the lights to get a little club atmosphere going and start dancing. For a more club-like atmosphere, string colored lights around the room or borrow someone’s mirrored ball (c’mon someone you know has one).

Regardless of how you spend your evening together, find a way to make it special. Keep technology distractions to a minimum, choose something out of your normal routine and focus on each other rather than the 10,000 things you both have to do. A couple hours’ vacation from reality can make facing real life a little bit easier.

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