Inexpensive Date Ideas

Get real!

10 {realistic} Date Nights @

My husband and I love dates.  Now that our children are teenagers we are able to spend time alone a little more often.  Alone!  That’s a word we didn’t hear for years. Fresh ideas are always welcome. Here are a few that are not overly gooey, romantic or unrealistic – just some plain ol’ fun thoughts.  


1. Play a board game or video game together (a round of Wii tennis?  Boxing?).  My  husband usually enjoys beating me in Scrabble. Follow up with an appetizer-like dinner then popcorn and an at-home movie.

2. Go on a photo date where you find beautiful landscapes or interesting objects to photograph. You can frame a nice shot of the two of you as a memory of your date, or even create a photo book.  No need for fancy equipment – just bring your phone.

3. Coffee shop!  Ice cream shop works, too (especially for me!).  Grab a little something and enjoy the atmosphere chatting or reading a newspaper.  If you have one nearby, why not walk or bike?

4. Go to a park and take turns pushing each other in the swings.  Walk the fitness trail if they have one.  Feed the ducks. Play Frisbee. Play fetch with your dog.  Play fetch with someone else’s dog.

5. Bring good books and enjoy a sunset somewhere.  

6. Spend time at your local library and pick out a book (or two or three!) for each other.

7. Massage.  Need I say more?  Even soaking each other’s feet in a warm basin and rubbing on lotion works!

8. Go to a book store (so many of my ideal dates involve books!).  Grab a dessert while you’re there if it’s a fancy bookstore. (Wait!  So many of my ideal dates involve dessert!)

9. Write a song or poem together – even a goofy one.  If you’re musical, add a tune.

10. Reminisce over old photo albums or your wedding album. Have your children act as waiter and waitress and serve a nice dinner you prepared in advance, then tell them the story of how you fell in love.  Or send the kids off to a friend’s or grandparent’s, or wait for them to go to bed, and serve yourselves!


 Have any fun ideas to add?  I’d love to hear them!  What makes a date realistic for you?  


Dinner Dates at Home

Once a month or so, my husband and I have a dinner date at home.  Both of us look forward to this romantic evening alone (Hmmm.  Alone with a houseful of children, that is).

How do we do it?

Water drop: dancing in candle light

First I make the children an early dinner of their choice.  This usually involves some sort of gross fun processed frozen food item like corn dogs and french fries.  Bless their hearts they are at least cheap!

Do you see a face on my corn dog?

Then we send these little blessings upstairs with a dessert of their choice, popcorn, drinks, and a movie.  Basically we put them in a food-induced coma.  That said, they stay up there content till we come up for bed hours later.  Thankfully, they are obedient and know that Date Night is as much a treat for them as it is for us.  It will only continue given full cooperation by all parties involved!

As for my excellent husband and I, we dim the lights, light candles, put on music, and cook together.  Both of us enjoy preparing delicious, elegant meals so sometimes we work together on the entire meal and sometimes I prepare it all.

Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon

I usually do all the planning regardless of who cooks.  My husband is sometimes pleasantly surprised by the menu or, on occasion, he has a request.  Either way, he is happy to leave the planning to me.

early spring table settings

Instead of using the kitchen/dining room table, I set up a table in our family room with linens, crystal, plates, and lots of candles.  This new location just makes the evening special, not ordinary.

We haven’t had an unsuccessful Dinner Date Night yet!  Each occasion has been a blessing to us as we enjoy each other’s company, reminisce about days of dating, realize what God has done in our lives, and talk about our future.

Do you have any Dinner Date Night ideas?  Please share them!

From Angela, excellent wife to Ed for 16 years, and mom of 4 homeschooled children:

In response to a question about younger children

I started doing this back when my kids WERE the ages that yours are, we just did it differently. I backed up their day, shortening or eliminating nap time. Then I fed them an earlyish fun/junk dinner, and then put them to bed …earlier than usual. So the kids ate a little early, and Ed and I ate a little late. It was perfect. I encourage you to do it. It’s so much fun! Sometimes I pulled out the china and crystal, sometimes we just used paper plates and enjoyed the peace and quiet. Whatever works for you. Oh, and though I did create a few meals, we would often order something really good, but really nice from a favorite restaurant. That way there is very little work, and plenty of time for relaxing.  🙂