Netflix And Chill Is So Over: Try These Stay-At-Home Date Ideas Instead

At-home dates can are an easy, cheap, and romantic way to reconnect. Why not give these ideas a try?

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During the warm summer months, my husband and I enjoy an at-home date once a week. After our child goes to bed, we sit outside, watching the stars, chit-chatting, and having a few drinks. We never actually plan it out, but the ritual has become an important part of how we stay connected amid busy jobs and parenthood. However, once the cold moves in, things get a bit trickier. We can’t just head outside with a bottle of wine, so at-home dates require a bit more planning. Recently, I purchased a couple board games, envisioning at-home date nights, but when I brought them home my husband laughed. Despite his reluctance (or anyone else’s), at-home date nights are a great option, especially this time of year. These dates save you the hassle of going out in the cold and cut the cost of dinner, a movie, and a sitter if you have kids. Of course, suggesting an at-home date night to your significant other might seem silly or cheesy. However, if you’re willing to go out on a limb, chances are you will have a lot of fun. So turn off the TV, put down your devices, and prepare for a date to remember, all without leaving the house. Believe me, I know because my husband ended up enjoying our game night even more than I did. Here are five at-home date ideas to get you started.

Indulge in a little fantasy.

Not that kind! This fantasy exercise is much more PG! Where would you go if you could travel anywhere? What does your dream house look like? Spend an evening planning a luxurious vacation that you can work toward or shopping some nearby neighborhoods (or a destination halfway around the globe) for the house of your dreams. If you’re feeling especially creative, you could even grab a stack of old magazines and create a collage of fantasy destinations, dwelling places, and activities for two. Along the way you’ll talk about your hopes, desires, and wishes, opening you both up for some very intimate and meaningful conversation.

Cook a meal together.

There’s something about being in the kitchen with quiet music on in the background that just gives way to intimacy and good conversation. If your partner hates to cook, don’t write this date idea off just yet. Put them in charge of setting the table, lighting candles, or deciding on the music. Just spending time together working toward a goal—a romantic dinner for two—will remind you of why you fell in love.

Take a trip down memory lane.

Get out the old photo albums (or the computer if you must) and look at pictures from earlier in your relationship. Ask each other about favorite memories, or what your initial perceptions of each other were. What was he really thinking on the morning of your wedding? Looking at old photos will undoubtedly give way to sharing stories that will bring you even closer together.

Get physical.

Why save massages for special occasions or vacation? Transform a room in your home into a spa by turning the heat up and lighting some candles. Then, give each other massages. You’ll build a physical connection without having to commit to anything more, especially if you start with clothed massages like shoulder or foot rubs.

Do some Q&A.

The New York Times article “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love” has caused a stir for all the right reasons. Let the questionnaire spark conversation in your home. The questions range from silly—“When was the last time you sang to yourself?”—to deep—“For what in your life do you feel most grateful?” This winter, don’t let your relationship fall into a rut. Keep the love alive with these at-home date night ideas and the occasional game night as well!

Kelly Burch
Kelly Burch is a freelance journalist who has written for The Washington Post, Cosmo, and more. She specializes in health and mental health content as well as stories about families. When she's not writing she is getting lost in the woods of New Hampshire, where she lives. Connect on Facebook or find out more at her website.