Dave and My Favorite At-Home Date Night

posted by Andrea | 07/11/2017
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As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Dave and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on June 30.

We honestly didn’t do much out-of-the-ordinary to ‘celebrate’ (I’m not complaining, just being honest) but it was still a really enjoyable day for both of us.

Over the years, I have received many emails and comments asking how we celebrate special days like anniversaries, birthdays, holidays with just the two of us — as well as how we keep costs down and if we have any tips to simplify the process.

Well… I’m not sure if this tip is “simplified” or just really boring, but Dave and I DO have a favorite way to celebrate special occasions…

At-Home Date Nights!

I know this might sound completely lame to anyone who is more extroverted, but it is the perfect date night for Dave and for me as neither of us enjoy going out all that much.

Our favorite way to spend a special evening is to omit nap-time during the day so we can put the kids to be really early (sometimes by 6:45). Then we order food “to-go” — usually from places like Olive Garden, On The Border, Applebee’s, a local Chinese place we love, etc. and eat a later dinner while our kids are soundly sleeping.

NOTE: sometimes we also cook a fancier meal for just the 2 of us at home as well.

We eat our HOT food in peace and quiet, we have actual adult conversations, we have minimal cleanup because there aren’t 5000 crumbs and sticky spots to clean up, and we eat as quickly or as slowly as we please.

Of course, we could enjoy all of these things by actually going OUT somewhere too — but the added benefits of staying home for a date night are:

  • we don’t need to get dressed up
  • we don’t need to find a babysitter (or pay a babysitter)
  • we don’t need to drive through busy traffic
  • we don’t need to wait awkwardly with loud-talking strangers for a seat to open up
  • we don’t need to pay for drinks as we have plenty at home
  • we don’t need to hem and haw over menu options because we can pre-order online
  • we don’t need to leave a tip
  • we don’t need to have fake conversations with the waitress who continues to stop by and ask how our food tastes or if we want dessert

It’s glorious!

After eating dinner, we finish cleaning up the house and yard, as well as tie up any loose ends of projects we were working on during the day. Then we shower, get ready for bed, turn on a Netflix show, and enjoy some type of dessert that I’ve made ahead of time (usually brownie sundaes or cheesecake).

Again, I realize this might sound so ridiculously lame to some of you — but Dave and I both agree that 95% of the time, we would much rather have an at-home date night versus going out somewhere.

It just feels simpler, easier, more frugal, less stressful, more enjoyable, and less work. 

I know at-home date nights might not be enjoyable for every couple; but if you’re the type who prefers a night at home versus going out, I’d love to know…

What are your favorite ways to celebrate special occasions at home?

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24 comments

  1. Amie

    07/13/2017

    My husband and I used to love going out to the movies.
    Now because time is precious – I’d rather not go to the movies – it is too passive.
    Taking walks or a bike ride, eating a meal home or out…just spending quality time together is the best date I can think of. I look forward to watching the news and having a snack when the kids are in bed…it is the little things we do together that seem like the best!
    (Married 23 years)

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  2. JoDi

    07/13/2017

    We are very much at-home date night people too although we will go out for a movie and dinner a few times a year, and we go to various festivals or other events and have dinner out when we do that. But if we just want a special dinner after a long week at work or weekend working on the house, we prefer to order takeout from our favorite steak house nearby and eat at home where it’s quiet and we can be in our comfy clothes watching a movie or something we recorded on the DVR!

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  3. Amie

    07/13/2017

    My husband and I have been doing this since our daughter was born more than 14 years ago! We have weekly Friday night stay at home date nights. When she was younger, it was out of necessity to try to reconnect without hiring a babysitter. Now it has become more tradition and allows us to relax in our home environment while enjoying a nice dinner, easy dinner, take out or fire in our own backyard! We love the simplicity and relaxing atmosphere!

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  4. ELIZABETH DILTS

    07/12/2017

    That sounds AWESOME! I would love to get my kids to bed that early! Unless we have woken up early, not napped and played HARD, our kids are late nighters….out by 9 oclock seems early! Eek, but thats our lives so we have to roll with it!

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    Andrea Reply:

    haha — well, our kids wake up early, James is the only one who sometimes will take a short nap, and they play hard. So we get our evenings free 🙂

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  5. Bel

    07/11/2017

    Your at home date nights sound perfect…. and are exactly what my husband and I prefer to do too!

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  6. Megan

    07/11/2017

    Love this date night. We also love to play strategy games so that would be included in our favorite date nights

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  7. Marsha B Stevens

    07/11/2017

    That sounds wonderful and enjoyable for both of you. Way to go.

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  8. Tracy

    07/11/2017

    When my kids were little we loved home date nights! Babysitters were expensive and we always ended up having to come home early for one reason or another. Putting the kids to bed early and maybe getting them a movie while we ate adult food (sometimes our favorite take out)? So much more relaxing!

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  9. Luba @ Healthy with Luba

    07/11/2017

    Andrea, we love being at home too. Sometimes we’ll order something and eat it at home. We’ve also been known to order some food and eat in in our car so that we can be by ourselves.

    More often than not, we have a simple meal and just enjoy each other’s company. Other times we’ll go for a walk in a pretty park or even go for a hike.

    Being in a loud place with so many other people isn’t appealing to us at all. At home we can take our time and already be home when it’s time to go to bed. 🙂

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  10. JJ

    07/11/2017

    Yes, yes, yes!!! Our favorite in-home date nights are watching youtube Christian comedy. Michael Jr. and Tim Hawkins are favorites!

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  11. Sarah

    07/11/2017

    We do a mix of going out and at-home date nights. We’re currently trying to be more intentional about having an at-home date night at least once a week – even if it doesn’t include dinner. We play board games, watch TED Talks, and occasionally watch a movie.

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  12. Angela

    07/11/2017

    For the first few years of marriage, we spent a weekend at a bed & breakfast for our anniversary, which was great fun and we made lots of memories. But as we had more kids, and those kids’ schedules got busier, it became difficult for us to line up a weekend with grandparents so that we could get away. If we have date nights now, it’s when the kids are spending a night with grandparents (they’re too old to put to bed early), and we usually use that time to work on a home project together (which we enjoy) and we’ll occasionally eat out or I’ll make us a nice steak dinner. We like to watch movies or stand-up comedy together, and occasionally we’ll play a game of cards. Rarely will we go to a movie theater – I hate to spend the money, and would rather snuggle comfortably on our couch!

    Now that we’ve been married for almost 17 years though, and the oldest two kids are 15 and 12 (built-in babysitters), we’ve recently discovered a social side that we never knew we had! We’ve enjoyed getting together with other couples (parents of our kids’ friends who have become our friends) to go to concerts, out to eat, or over to our home for a bonfire while the kids play. It’s been fun to see our relationship evolving as our seasons of life change a little. We definitely are still mainly homebodies though! : )

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is great — glad you are enjoying getting out more now! Maybe that will be Dave and me in 10 years!

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  13. Michelle

    07/11/2017

    Sounds perfect to me too!

    My husband and I have been married for 34 years and have never, until recently, done anything “special”. We never even had a honeymoon. For our 30th and our 34th we went on an overnight trip and stayed at a hotel. Both times were to Amish Country which we love.

    Sometimes simple and frugal can be made special too.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Well, we’ve done ‘special’ things — just nothing extravagant or expensive. Usually just going out for breakfast, or taking a hike with the kids, or having a special meal after the kids are sleeping. Still special, just more low-key 🙂

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  14. Margo

    07/11/2017

    Ha Ha. We never celebrate because one or both of us forgets. I was out of town this year and only remembered 2 days later. My husband just remembered yesterday, our anniversary is May 3.

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  15. Jennifer

    07/11/2017

    My husband and I did this for the first time last year for our 17th anniversary. We actually bought steaks and cooked together. Because we rarely do, we even got dressed up! Silly but fun! We did let our 13 and 8 year old sneak down while we were cooking for a piece of dessert. They thought it was great. We both agreed it was our best anniversary yet. Relaxing and fun!

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    Andrea Reply:

    yay — happy 17th anniversary. Glad you tried an at-home date!

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  16. Jamie Wright

    07/11/2017

    We do the same thing. Order something “To Go” and then eat after the kids are in their rooms. Our kids are a bit older so they are never asleep but we have them go in their room to read or play quietly until bed time. We always look forward to watching aDateline or 48 Hours. It probably sounds boring to others but we like it. 🙂

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  17. Rachael

    07/11/2017

    Not lame, sounds perfect to me!

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  18. Jennifer

    07/11/2017

    We do the exact same thing…. We usually either pick something up at the store, or we make a meal. We have six children ages 9 to 1 year and another baby on due in three months, so going out is really hard to do. Our neighbor can babysit but we would rather just enjoy the time at home. We usually watch a movie or just talk. We do dessert too! It’s fun and so relaxing after a long day of work, my husband with his job and me home with the kids.

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    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, I’d think at-home dates would be the way to go with almost 7 kiddos 🙂 Congrats on the soon-to-be-new baby! You’re just a little behind me 🙂

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  19. Annette Silveira

    07/11/2017

    I’m with you. Just the time alone to chat, maybe enjoy a movie on TV, have a special dessert sounds like the perfect way to reconnect.

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