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Challenge: Romance After Kids

Bringing back date night: 10 at-home date nights you’ll want to try

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By 4 o'clock on Friday, I have nothing left to give. Nothing. I am half the woman I was on Wednesday and a shell of the woman I was Monday morning. Late Friday night, I look across the couch and notice the boy I married a million moons ago. “Hey there. It’s me… your wife,” I yell to him, “Date night someday soon?” With my husband working long hours, my crazy schedule, plus the two tiny humans we are raising, those sweet date nights are harder to plan. But date nights are an investment into your marriage, and it’s time to bring them back.


Believe me, I get it. Even trying to plan a date night can be difficult: coordinate schedules, bribe a babysitter, mortgage your home to pay for that babysitter, try not to fall asleep at a movie that starts after 9:30 PM. So what if you could have a date night without leaving your house? Crazy, right? But with a little bit of advanced planning, you and your significant other can have a rekindling session without leaving the comfort of your home. So put those kids to bed early or pop in a movie and send them into another room because we need to make at home date night a weekly gig.

1. Theme Night: As a couple, pick your favorite theme for this date night. Try Italian, Greek, Mexican, Asian or even a decade like the 60s or 70s, and make everything fit the theme. For Italian Night, watch the movie "Life Is Beautiful," dine on a delish takeout pasta dish, splurge on Italian wine, and don’t forget dessert: gelato for two.

2. A Tasting Party: From bourbon and wine to ciders or beers, sip and savor some new favorites. The best part, you’re already home and don’t have to drive anywhere.

3. Breakfast in Bed: Date Night doesn’t have to happen just at night. Set your alarm early and make your honey a fantastic breakfast in bed. Save the frozen waffles for the kids and use those fancy kitchen utensils you got for your wedding shower a million years ago. Then join your partner for a delicious breakfast in bed.

4. Plan a Vacay: Just planning a future vacation will immediately lift your spirits. Headed somewhere tropical? Make fun cocktails and turn up some island inspired music while you look for resorts and flights for your next getaway.

5. Create Your Couple Bucket List: Open a bottle of wine and start talking and writing down all of the things you want to do as a couple. From the wild and outrageous to the romantic and sentimental, create your couple bucket list. Now it’s time to start crossing off some off those items, and that means, more date nights!

6. Partner Picks: He loves horror movies, but you love rom-coms. Tonight one person gets to pick everything-movie, dinner, snacks, "dessert" — read those quotes however you want. The other person gets to sit back and enjoy. The best part of this date night is you know there will be a follow up soon.

7. Cheese and Chocolate: Skip dinner and go right to dessert. Get all of the good stuff and only share it with your sweetie.

8. DIY Date: Teamwork makes the dream work and if you and your partner can plan a date night where you add in a little DIY project, then you know you’re a great team. Start with something small for your first DIY date night, but be sure to reward yourself for a job well done or enjoy some laughs if the project is a Pinterest fail.

9. Card Game or Board Games: Some friendly competition is a great way to get those sparks flying. Plus bragging rights are pretty great too.

10. Anniversary Night: Pull out those wedding glasses, pop the champagne, watch your wedding video or break out the wedding album. While you sigh over your small waist and lack of laugh lines, relish in that sweet day together.

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