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Date Ideas

10 Great At-Home Date Ideas (for Parents)

I know, I know. There’s toys everywhere… You hum ‘Hot Potato’ by the Wiggles because it’s stuck in your damn head from watching it over and over again… You haven’t had a conversation for months that doesn’t involve the potty, the children, Iggle Piggle… you eat at 5 o’clock when they eat because it’s easier… I don’t even have a kid and I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

How about this? Just one night a week, once you’ve put the kids to bed, turn off the phones and the laptop and spend some time with your sweetie doing something novel and fun. There has never been a more important time for the two of you to cultivate your relationship and spend some one-on-one adult time together reconnecting. Try not to talk about the kids for a bit (as much as you love them, you will be better parents for having had a break in the adult world!) and spend some quality time together. It’s proven that doing new things together keeps you close to each other – bonded and happy.

Below are just A FEW of the ideas we have on our generator that can be done at home. If you’re working on a fortnightly date night (a lot of couples with kids just can’t manage once a week) then this is five months worth of dates for you! Right here!

Also, find another likeminded couple with children and trade off weekly so that you get a date night OUT every once in a while! You take their kids one week, they take yours the next…

alt textMy attempt at drawing Den

1. Get arty
Go to an art supply store and get professional graphite pencils, a big artist pad and maybe a “learn to draw” book (or jump online to find out for free). You’ll be surprised at how easy it can be! You may even convince your partner to pose for life drawing practice if you’re lucky. Check out our attempt here!

2. Theme your movie nights!
It’s important for you to do new things together, but they needn’t be huge sweeping gestures. Something as simple as theming your own little night for two will inject some novelty into your bog-standard DVD-and-dinner night:

  • Italian Night: Make mini pizzas together, open a bottle of chianti, get some Tiramisu and pick up an Italian themed movie – Life is Beautiful, The Italian Job, The Talented Mr. Ripley or Roman Holiday are all excellent choices.
  • Spanish/Mexican Night: Think Tacos or Paella on the menu, a pitcher of Sangria to wash it down and movies like Y Tu Mama Tambien, Like Water for Hot Chocolate, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Motorcycle Diaries, Vicky Cristina Barcelona to transport you to exotic places.
  • Japanese Night: Make sushi or udon noodle soup together and rent out Lost in Translation, Memoirs of a Geisha and snuggle on the couch with a box of Pocky to watch.

3. Play Strip Chess
Chess, sexy? Absolutely! Here are the rules: for every piece you capture that isn’t a pawn, your opponent must remove an item of clothing. It changes the whole strategy of the game! Dim the lights, put on some hot music and go for checkmate!

4. Have a floor picnic
Go to the deli and stock up on some picnic essentials – antipasto, cheeses, frittata, arancini and have your own little private picnic together in the comfort of your home. The grass in the backyard or even the lounge room floor are perfect – pop down a rug, kick off your shoes and pop open a bottle of wine.

alt textKikki-k’s Love Conversation Starters

5. Love Conversation Starters from Kikki.K
Run out of things to talk about that don’t involve the children?These great Love Conversation Starters from Kikki-k will revitalize your chats with your partner. Crack open a bottle of wine and settle in on the couch together to ask the hard questions – from your first heartbreak to a walk down memory lane with your sweetie, it will spark long-forgotten memories and warm fuzzy feelings.

6. Have a candlelight dinner.
Treat your honey to a full three course meal extravaganza – and be sure to milk all the brownie points you can get with a homemade dessert! Light the candles, put on some romantic music and enjoy a restaurant-quality meal for two in peace and quiet… all the little things will make this one special… a clean house, no TV, garnish on the food, wiping the spots off the plates once you’ve served it up… and be sure to put in a little effort on your own appearance too!

7. Have your partner teach you something new
Almost as good as learning something new together is having your partner teach you something fun that you never knew how to do!

  • Be grease monkeys for the night! Strap on some overalls and have your man teach you how to change the oil, check the transmission and change a tyre on your car.
  • Learn to play a song. Assuming your partner is musical, have them teach you how to play a song on the guitar, piano, etc.
  • Learn to play the Nintendo. I hate these things, personally, but if your partner can be patient with you, then take an interest in what they’re doing and learn to play a computer game with them .
  • Knitting, crocheting, baking a cake, dancing, photography, language… the possibilities are endless!

Just remember, both of you, to not take it too seriously! And keep it basic, so you can enjoy each other’s company at the same time.

8. Pamper your sweetie
God knows they deserve it – quiet time, no children calling out… turn the house into a mini day spa and pamper each other senseless. Facials, manicures, massages, body scrubs. Stock up on some great products with your $30 budget, pop on soothing whale noises, light some aromatherapy candles. The internet has loads of information on how to give great home treatments – so much more cost effective and intimate for you both.

9. Take a bath together
When was the last time you relaxed in the tub together? Champagne, bubbles, romantic music, rose petals, candles. If you don’t take the time to create some romance in your life, it’s never going to happen. Toss all the foam toys and rubber duckies somewhere you can’t see them and reclaim some you time in your own house. We love Lush for great bath products to get you going.

10. Get cheeky and spoil your partner with a striptease!
Go on… it’s a little risqué, but if the kids do wake up and catch you with a feather boa and fishnets, just tell them you’re playing dress ups and you’re a Pussycat Doll! Or position your sweetie in the bedroom where the kidlets are hard-pressed to interrupt. The pop on a bit of Joe Cocker and strut your stuff. Need inspiration?

See $30 Date Night for plenty more ideas that can be achieved, sans kidlets!

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Author |

Writer, dating columnist, wife, coffee addict, foodie, fashionista... Melburnian through and through. Muser, dancer, blogger, tweeter. Likes to get her head on telly now and again. Sleeper, dreamer, a sucker for romance. And of course... a cheap date.


2 comments for “10 Great At-Home Date Ideas (for Parents)”

  1. Posted by Meghan | November 24, 2008, 11:22 pm

    You know, I never even thought of *not* leaving the house for date night… we have a 6 month old and we have no time and no energy to go out but some of these ideas sound like fun!

  2. Posted by Kerry | August 15, 2009, 12:49 am

    After reading your website you have got my husband and I inspired and yes we do have kid (4 & 2yrs). We have just taken a family trip to a winery, cheese shop and chocolate factory and have come back with some very yummy food & wine for a “date” tonight once we have the kids in bed. Just about to head out and run them round the oval so we can wear them out for an early night!!!!

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