Stuck at home, but still looking for some fun ideas for quality time with your spouse? We have some new creative and fun ideas for spending quality time together at home.
From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.
Another winter, another season of few—if any—date nights out.
That’s true today because we’re still living through a global pandemic, but any number of circumstances could create this challenge for a couple.
Tight budgets, too many kids at home, kids with special needs who can’t be left in anyone else’s care, illness or injury, or even being exceedingly busy and needing a night at home more than you need another night out.
Whatever the reason that is keeping you at home right now, it doesn’t eliminate the need for connection with our spouses.
As someone who’s written a whole slew of blog posts about dating your spouse, I should have remembered this—but to tell you the truth, I forgot.
And as the world and our lives have grown progressively more chaotic and complicated, and our responses to all that have been as unique as we are (and therefore baffling to the other who’s handling all of it differently), my husband and I have grown distant.
The connection that we rely on to keep our relationship steady has become frayed, to say the least.
And while many factors play into that, our lack of intentional, just-the-two-of-us together time—where we talk about something other than the day-to-day, urgent needs of our family—is one of the main culprits. I can’t change those other factors, but I can get back to planning date nights.
Even if they look a little different than usual.
If you’re looking for creative, non-movie, at-home dates, I’ve got you covered!
9 More Ideas for At-Home Dates (That Aren’t Watching a Movie)
Or, hey, if you both like crossword puzzles or adult coloring books, that might work too!
Board games, card games, and puzzles are best, because you’re interacting with one another.
But coloring or completing word puzzles while you sit quietly together might be nice, too—especially if you frequently feel like ships passing in the night or business partners who only discuss the business of parenting and family management.
Taking a break from all that, together, could be a pleasant way to work back into spending time together simply for fun.
Goals and Budgets
Sounds romantic, right?
Well, actually, I’m guessing spreadsheets and bulleted lists might put stars in some of your eyes. (I won’t deny I’m a big fan of them myself!)
But my suggestion is to set aside time to make plans for the year but to make sure you order in (or make) some fun food.
Or play fun music.
Whatever the two of you enjoy, incorporate that into your serious planning date and then enjoy dreaming about your future and working together to make those dreams come true.
Virtual Escape Room
I wouldn’t normally suggest something on-screen for a date night, but I’ve heard that virtual escape rooms can be a blast. (Depending on what’s safe and open in your community, you also might look into local escape rooms that allow you to be the only participants in your time slot.)
Try a New Coffee Shop
Now, when I first made this list, my idea was for couples to go into new-to-them coffee shops, buy their favorite drinks, and sit and talk for hours.
Times are different now, but this one still works! Find a new coffee shop, order online or by phone, pick up your drinks curbside, then go park and talk.
With fewer distractions, this date might even be more meaningful.
And, of course, if you can’t both leave home right now, you can order with a food delivery service or have one person pick up your order and bring it home.
The point isn’t the location right now; it’s doing something new and fun with your favorite person.
A variation on this theme would be to try new restaurants the same way.
Support local businesses and find your new favorite dish.
I’m planning to do this with my husband and BBQ restaurants we haven’t tried yet.
Try a new recipe together.
My husband and I love watching Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins—but I’m going to invite him to make something delicious in our house, with me, instead of just salivating over what’s on the screen!
Bust a Move
This may not be for every couple (to be honest, it’s probably not for my husband and me), but I bet it would be a blast for some of you!
Take an at-home dance lesson. I’ve seen multiple ads for those on Facebook, but I know many local dance studios now provide online lessons as well.
Or, just search YouTube!
And if dancing isn’t your thing, but moving is, you could try a virtual kickboxing class, a yoga video or maybe even an interactive video game.
Plan (and Eat) a Progressive Dinner
Normally, this would mean getting drinks at one restaurant, then eating appetizers, your main dishes, and dessert at three separate restaurants.
Or, if you do it with a group of friends, you rotate homes for each course.
But, life being what it is right now, a progressive dinner looks like ordering each course from a different place, picking it all up and bringing it home, then enjoying it as leisurely as you want.
Same concept, just a bit different, but still tasty and fun!
Serving the community might look different when you can’t leave home, but it’s not impossible—and it’s just as rewarding.
Pack care bags for the homeless; make no-sew blankets for the children’s hospital; write letters to patients in nursing homes.
Another idea I’m excited about: my family signed up to cook meals for teens living in a homeless transition home.
Giving back together is so meaningful and so good for your relationship (and the community!).
Browse the Bookstore
Well, okay, this is not possible for many of us right now.
But that’s okay!
Look up lists of recommended books (the MomAdvice Book Club is a great place to start!), and take turns looking them up and creating your own reading lists.
And if you or your husband don’t like to read, have a movie marathon. You could make a list of old movies you want to watch together by “browsing” movie lists or IMDb.
You could peruse Pinterest for recipe ideas or scroll through a travel site to dream about vacations you’d like to take.
Whatever you browse, enjoy finding new-to-you treasures, learning more about what interests your spouse, and dreaming about more things to enjoy together in the future.
What do your at-home dates look like?
Don’t miss these other great ideas:
MomAdvice Free Virtual Book Club
How to Make Homeless Care Packages
19 Ideas for Date Nights at Home
Best TV Comedies to Watch with your Spouse
DIY Chunky Knit Blanket