Monday, June 25, 2012

Date Night

Ben and I (and Ethan) have been a part of a young couples (Can we even really still call ourselves that?  Um...I'm going to say yes...) Bible Study the past couple of months.  Yesterday, we were talking about ideas for cheap date nights and it reminded me of a post I drafted a while ago and never published. 
I'll be the first to admit Ben and I don't "date" like we should.  It was easy to date before we were married.  Even after we were married for a while too.  Then after 18 months of marriage, we welcomed our first child.  A blessing (and a miracle) and things changed for us.  After the trials that the next few years brought, we appreciate our little guy more than ever and really hate to spend too much time away from him in what little free time as a family we have.  I started brainstorming ideas that we could do at home after Ethan goes to sleep and we occaisionally will plan an actual date, leaving Ethan at Nana's.  But with our future adoption expenses, we also needed these ideas to be free or frugal.

That's one of the reasons I made this list! After looking through about a bazillion date ideas from various sources, I came up with this list that would be something possible for us. Your list could look completely different. For us, going kayaking would be a free date because we already own a tandum kayak. For other's there may be a rental fee.  My husband LOVES the outdoors and spending time doing his hobby's definetly fills his love tank, so there are lots of those on my list.

FREE (except maybe the cost of gas to get there)
  • Go for a walk together.
  • Volunteer at a shelter, crisis pregnancy center, church event, clean a park, soup kitchen, etc.
  • Take a hike.
  • Go Kayaking.
  • Take the 5 love languages quiz.
  • Browse a bookstore together.
  • Sign up for the free month sample of Netflix and have a TV marathon.
  • Find somewhere close that does a large fireworks display for the 4th of July or New Year's and find someplace to get a good view.
  • Take some bread to the lake and feed the ducks.
  • Test drive your dream car.
  • Exchange love letters.
  • Go on a picnic.
  • Carve your initials in a tree near your home.  Probably not the best idea to do on property that is not your own :)
  • Do an internet search to find free concerts and events in your area.
FRUGAL ($20 or less)
  • Coffee date.
  • Be a tourist in your own town and visit local landmarks. 
  • Go to the drive in and bring your own snacks.
  • Mini-golf.
  • Do an online search of local festivals held near your area.  I know there are a few near us, like the Cornbread Festival, the Chicken Festival, NIBROC festical and a little further away is the Woolyworm festival.
  • Get some ice-cream (or a DQ Blizzard!) and talk about your favorite summer memories.
  • Each take $10 and go treasure hunting at yard sales in your area.
  • Go to a nice restaurant and get water and split a dessert or a large appetizer.
  • Each take a set amount of money (say $3) and visit the local dollar store, buy that many things that remind you of your spouse.  Be creative!  Check out in different lanes, hide the purchases until you find a place to exchange gifts (like maybe one of the frugal food ideas or a picnic).
  • Go to a matinee movie (skip the drink and expensive popcorn).
  • See if the alumni association of your college or university has Alumni day at local minor league sports events.

Stay at home dates...
  • Board game night! We love Wits and Wagers, Battleship, Scrabble, and a few card games.
  • Make fondue at home after the kiddo goes to bed.
  • Coffee under the stars.
  • Two person book club.
  • Write your bucket lists together.
  • Look through home magazines (or just browse pinterest) and talk about your dream home.
  • Build a campfire and make smores in the backyard.
  • Take turns picking your favorite Christmas movies while wrapping (or making) gifts.
  • Wii date.
  • Watch home videos or look at scrapbooks together.
  • At home photo session. Set your camera on the timer setting and get photos of the two of you together.
  • Learn something new together.
  • Write a children’s book for you kids (or future kids). Use an online book printing company to print ( is one of my favorites.)
  • Spa night.
  • Watch the sunset.
  • Watch the sunrise.
  • Paint a canvas to decorate your home.
  • Dinner and a movie theme dates (The Dating Divas have some awesome ideas!).
  • Make a 5 year plan and include short term goals as a family and individually.

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