How To Plan the Perfect Date Night… Without Leaving the House
When Marla Lawson and I worked together last summer to style this sweet in-home session, we couldn’t have ever dreamed that in less than a year, we would all be spending a lot more time at home than usual. Thankfully, we can all take some tips from this sweet and special session with Alice and Daniel, and maybe turn this time at home into a more intentional time to re-connect with the ones we love most. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for date nights, Stay At Home style!
Start With the Simple Things
No doubt you’ve already gotten your fair share of TV time, and maybe have even hit the point of breaking out puzzles and board games, but the most simple way to make a date night is to take one of these things and make it feel special. Instead of lounging on the couch binge watching the third season in a row of whatever Netflix suggests, pick a movie together that you both genuinely want to watch. Put the devices away, maybe put on something other than the sweatpants you’ve been wearing all week, and light a candle or two. If you’re going for game or puzzle night instead of the screens, actually spend some time making snacks and open a bottle of wine before you get started to make it feel a little more special!
Make Breakfast an Occasion
If you’re finding yourself a little too drained at the end of the day, especially for couples where one or both people are in an essential business and are still having to go to work, consider a breakfast date. Set up a table spread, grab the berries and the muffins and the coffee, and then sit and read a book together over an extended breakfast. During our normal day-to-day lives, slow breakfasts are usually replaced by rushing out the door with a bagel in hand, so why not make the most of more time together by starting the day off together.
Get Active Together
While something like going for a walk together may seem so simple, getting outside together can end up being a really special event, especially when you’re stuck at home throughout the day. If you’re a little walked-out already, consider taking an online yoga or HIIT class together! Most studios and other fitness resources are turning to free online classes right now, so you’ll be able to take pretty much any type of class. Even if you’re trying something new and feel a little ridiculous, you get to do it together! A lot of popular fitness studios are offering free 14-day trials, which you’ll get a lot more use out of now than you would normally. Some of these include The Class and Tracy Anderson. Other studios, like Barry’s Bootcamp and Corepower Yoga, are offering free class streaming and IG live classes.
Or, Get Lazy Together
Sometimes the best date nights actually involve zero planning at all. Throw together a delicious cheese board, grab a bottle of wine, and just chill. Whether you end up working on a puzzle, watching a movie, or just listening to records and talking about life, let this be an amazing opportunity to actually sit with your partner and just chill. Don’t talk about house work, or work work, or the kids if you have them. Try to channel the mindset you had when you first met the person that you now share your life with, and really get excited about just spending time with them.
Take a Cooking Class, In Home Style
Instead of just whipping together something simple, clean out the kitchen, pour two glasses of wine, and commit to learning to make a new recipe together. Whether you pull out the never-used cookbooks that we all buy for kitchen decor (guilty) or hop on the internet to read a cooking blog, prep and cook the entire meal together, while listening to a great record instead of watching the news. A few of my favorite cooking blogs – My New Roots is great for healthy but delicious meals, Food 52 is an amazing resource for visually driven foodies, and Minimalist Baker is great for quick and easy recipes.
Make an At-Home Version of Your First Date
Sit down together and try to reflect back on your first date – first of all, it’ll be fun to hear what you both remember, and what stands out when looking back on the day. Once you’ve remembered everything together, think about a creative way to re-live the day in the confines of your home. If your first date was bowling, take to your hallway and set up a makeshift bowling setup. If your first date was at a bar or restaurant, maybe do some simple re-decorating to make the room feel more like that place. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want… let’s be honest, you have the time!
Make a Backyard Picnic
As the weather starts to get warmer, take advantage of the sunshine by eating your dinner as a romantic sunset picnic! Grab a blanket, bring the pets, and enjoy your meal in some fresh air. This is an amazing time to get to do the things that we really don’t get to enjoy in the midst of our chaotic and crazy lives, so take the time outdoors to enjoy each other’s company.
Eat a Fancy Dinner
I know that most of these are surrounding food, but there’s a good reason for that. Food, historically, has always been such a strong point of comfort and connection, and I think we all need a little extra of each right now! To put a creative spin on cooking together, sit down (maybe with a bottle of wine) and talk about your favorite meal you’ve ever shared. Once you have that picked out, hop online or pull out the cookbooks and figure out how to try to re-create it.
Sick of Cooking? Order Takeout from Your Favorite Local Restaurant.
Double benefit here, you’re getting to support a business in your local community during a difficult time, and you’re also not having to cook or clean! Most restaurants are offering either curbside pickup or delivery to a larger radius than normal these days, so make an event of ordering from them! Sit down, look at the menu together like you would at a restaurant, and then place your order! If you’re doing delivery, sit at the table and enjoy a glass of wine together before your food arrives. A great tip here – once the food comes, put it on plates and eat with real silverware. Not only will you feel a little more like real people, but it will make you eat a little more slowly and enjoy your food a little more.
Make Cocktails Together
Ok, so we’re all maybe having a couple more drinks a week than usual. Why not make it fun? Raid your liquor cabinet and figure out what fun and creative cocktails you can make from what you have on hand. Maybe make a weekly cocktail date, where you try something new with totally different flavors and notes while using the same liquor. If you’re an obsessive buyer of fancy kitchen devices, and happen to have something like a cocktail smoker on hand, now is the perfect time to break that thing out!