couple on couch celebrating an at-home date night

The first Christmas we were married, I came up with an elaborate “12 gifts of Christmas” scheme that ended with 12 planned dates for the next year. They were fun and out-of-the-ordinary dates, like a reverse progressive dinner around the city (start with desserts and end with drinks) and re-creating our first date.

The next Christmas, I was eight months pregnant. As much as I loved the idea of getting out for an extravagant date once a month, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. But c’mon — having a baby can’t be the complete end of romance, right?! So, instead of fun dates out, I created a year of stay-at-home dates. (Plus, let’s face it, when the average babysitter in Boston is pursuing her master’s in biomedical engineering, it’s hardly affordable to get her over too often.)

So, get the kiddos to bed, and let’s get creative! Here is some inspiration for a few stay-at-home date nights with your sweet partner:

Black tie affair

All dressed up and nowhere to go? I don’t think so! Get dressed up in your favorite gown or LBD and have that dapper man of yours put on his nicest suit. Turn that dimmer down low, light a couple of candles, turn your fave slow jams on, and voila! A beautiful night in!

Italian night

Grab a bottle of Chianti, flip on “Roman Holiday,” and enjoy over a giant bowl of fusilli!

Night of bubbly

Bottle of champagne, bubble bath, bubble wrap, kiddo’s bottle of bubbles… get creative!

Create your story

Have you two ever taken the time to write down your love story? How did you meet? What did you do for your first date? First kiss? When did you know you wanted to marry each other? For a perfectly romantic at-home date, get your love story on paper. You will cherish it — and so will your little ones some day!

Living room camping

Get out the tent (or a sheet and some thumbtacks), cook up some s’mores over your gas stove, and tell ghost stories.

Cook off

Who’s the better cook in your house? Nothing like a little competition to turn up the heat in the kitchen.

Sock hop

Kick those mom shoes off and throw on some good ol’ Motown.

Karaoke night

Or, as it’s known in our house, “sing that one duet from ‘Moulin Rouge’ and drink too much wine night.” Seriously so fun.

Spa night

One of my favorite at-home dates with my husband was spent pampering each other — bubble bath, facial, and massage. It was tons of fun and relaxing for both of us!

Gourmet night

Flip through that fancy cookbook your fabulous friend gave you for your wedding — you know the one; it’s collecting dust somewhere because you decided you could never make anything from it. Pick something that sounds delicious, then get after it! Even if it’s an epic fail, I’m sure you’ll have a great time attempting a culinary masterpiece!


  1. roller skating in the house is a good one. i find that it’s tons of fun to get at yr hubby with yr skates in his face.

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