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Here in Ontario, we’ve been in and out of lockdown for over a year. With regular date nights being nonexistent, it’s been extremely important for Chris and I to make time for just us. We both miss going out, but we’ve been making the best of the situation and finding ways to have date nights at home.
Here’s how we plan a romantic date night at home (and still get up with the kids the next morning)!
We started off 2020 with high hopes of heading to the Dominican Republic on our honeymoon (we got married 4 years ago – better late than never!), but those plans quickly fizzled out when travel bans began popping up. It’s been a full year since then, and we’ve been getting creative in finding at-home date nights that work for us.
Here are a few of our favourite tips for a weeknight date night at home.
Indulge in food & drink you wouldn’t normally keep at home.
For many people, part of going out includes getting food and drinks they don’t normally buy or have around. When Chris and I went out, we always ordered an extra decadent dessert or a new fancy drink. Somehow, doing this always added to the “special” feel of date night.
TikTok has been largely responsible for us taking this “special” feeling into our own hands and making it work for at home date nights. We like to pick viral recipes and try to recreate them ourselves. Some of our favourites include cotton candy champagne and tomato feta pasta – recipes that turned out to be surprisingly easy to execute, but included items we don’t normally buy.
Check out this list of viral recipes to try on your next date night at home.
Invest in your space.
Chris and I spent the last few years saving for our first big vacation together and luckily, when it was cancelled, we received a full refund. My logical brain wanted to just save/invest the money until vacation was an option again. That is, until we decided to bite the bullet and put that money into creating our own version of a vacation at home.
The best thing that we did last year was make the executive decision to invest in our backyard. We talked about doing this for years, but lockdown was just the push we needed. We couldn’t go to the spa, so we decided to bring the spa to us and create our own home oasis – we took our vacation money and purchased our dream hot tub (which I’ll be sharing more about soon) and patio set!!
I have 0 regrets about this decision. It’s been a mini vacation every day and especially useless for romantic date nights.
Use home comfort to your advantage.
Home has always been my favourite place in the world. It’s where I feel the most comfortable and therefore… the happiest. Sure, movie theatre seats are cool, but you know what’s better? Being at home in your pajamas.
Just this past weekend, we started a camp fire with our kids. When they went off to bed, Chris and I went back out, made s’mores, and enjoyed some quiet time beside the fire in our PJs. It’s surprisingly relaxing not having to get ready to drive somewhere.
Create a little bit of mystery or surprise.
With the lack of new things to do over the last year, it’s been fun to get creative and surprise each other with new things to do on date nights. Every now and then, one of us will pick a date night theme or activity and surprise the other. I find that doing this adds a level of excitement to an otherwise routine day.
Pinterest is full of ideas, and there are plenty that are marketed as being family activities but translate perfectly for date nights. So far, we have loved doing late night fire dinners, sundae bars, trivia nights, and fort movie nights (like this!).
Find substitutions that will help your create balance.
This one is the most important to me. Parenting is hard, and restrictions in our changing world have made it harder. With no option to “get away” from the chaos of every day life, we have learned to prepare for the fact that even after a super fun date night, we still have to wake up and be adults like any other day.
Instead of indulging in our regular beverages and struggling the next morning (it’s always a headache for me!), Chris and I have been trying out non-alcoholic alternatives. We love Upstreet Brewing Co’s Libra craft beer – a non alcoholic North Cape Pale Ale. Not only does it taste amazing, there’s no next-day struggle. You can purchase Libra online here, or find out where else to buy here.
We’ve also tried making fun mocktails out of mixes from Amazon, which the kids were also able to enjoy.
If anything, this year has taught us that there’s always a way to make it work. Believe it or not, I’m actually really starting to favour staying home!