Dating doesn't stop after the wedding. A healthy marriage requires spending quality time together to further build trust, respect, and love between you and your spouse. Sometimes, that is difficult to do when all you can think of is dinner, a movie, mini golf, or other popular entertainment venues. Smaller budgets, lack of childcare, and requiring a wholesome date night idea make finding meaningful and wholesome date night ideas a struggle. Below are Christian-friendly cheap date night ideas you can do at home without much (if any) cost, and doesn't even require hiring a babysitter.
No-cost Creative Date Night Ideas You Can Do at Home, Even Without a Babysitter
Whichever activity you choose for your date night, do it together, side by side, without any electronics around to cause a distraction. Ditching your TV, phone, computer, tablet, and any other electronic device enables you to disconnect from the world, connect with each other, value your time together, and value each other more.
Love deep and daydream. Go make some memories. Look each other in the eye. Let's turn off the TV. We've got the real thing. We were made to live this life.
Don't You Think It's Time lyrics by Sidewalk Prophets
Play a Game for Date Night
Often families have games or a deck of cards already in their stash of items at home.
- Play a game of Uno, Skipbo, or any other specialty card game you may have.
- Play classic card games like rummy, poker, cribbage, German Whist, slap jack, war, speed, blackjack … or learn a new card game you can play together.
- Work on a puzzle together, allowing your conversation to flow.
- Play board games like Monopoly, Backgammon, Bananagrams, Checkers, Chess, and Jenga. My husband and I also love some of our kids' educational games.
- Use a conversation starter card deck to kick off a discussion that isn't centered around what the kids did today.
- Play the “feels” game, where you each share one emotion you felt that day and some of the story behind it.
- Play a game together outside, like giant Jenga, giant chess, cornhole, washer toss, horseshoes, lawn darts, ladder toss, badminton, croquet, bocce, or any other lawn game you may already have.
- Get creative with a guessing game, guessing what something is using any sense other than sight.
- Embrace your inner child, snag the kids' water, laser tag, or nerf guns, and play.
Spend Quality Time Together
Doing something where you can spend time together without sitting across a table from one another helps to take the pressure off of talking and allows more open communication to flow without feeling pressured into eye contact.
- Recreate your first date, modifying it to be at home.
- Enjoy good weather outside together while looking at the stars, enjoying a fire, or just sitting and talking.
- Discuss future dreams, aspirations, or ideas
- Read a book or scripture out loud together, and discuss its meanings.
- Listen to music from your teens together, and laugh about past memories.
- Sit together to talk while sipping on tea or coffee
- Make a romantic dinner to share together, with or without candlelight (set the kids up at a kids' table or picnic either in a different room or far enough away outside that they're not too loud)
- “Travel” together by cooking a meal together that is common in a foreign country (we also incorporate this idea in our homeschooling to teach our kids geography)
- Take a virtual museum tour online.
- Enjoy a picnic in your backyard, porch, or balcony.
- Take inspiration from the Food Channel and have your own cook-off using random ingredients and a theme.
- Create fancy homemade ice cream sundaes together (great for after the kids go to bed).
- Take a walk around the neighborhood, hiking trail, or park.
- Make silly late-night snacks together after the kids are in bed.
- Snuggle and talk before bedtime, or just take some quiet time together during the day.
- Listen to a podcast together, and discuss your thoughts.
- Go for an evening drive (we have the most meaningful conversations after our young kids fall asleep)
- Watch silly video clips and laugh together
- If your date is at night, sit together outside, stargazing
- If you're holding your date in the daytime, snuggle on a blanket in the grass and watch the clouds, pointing out any creative shapes you see
- Sitting together next to a fire pit in the evenings, talking or being silly.
- Watch the sun rise or set together.
- Flip through old photos and reminisce about past events.
- Take an online dance lesson, or pull up tutorials online to practice in the living room or backyard.
- Take an art class online or look online for some artistic inspiration, and create something fun together.
- Engage in random acts of kindness together in your community
- Pretend the electricity is out, and get creative with more ideas of how to spend time together without modern conveniences
- Create an at-home spa to pamper each other with pedicures, facials, manicures, foot soaks, massages, bath efizzies, or other self-care fun.
Work on a Special Project Together
I have to laugh at the cliche in the back of my mind, “teamwork makes the dream work,” but in marriage, your spouse is your life teammate. Taking on a project together is a great way to build memories, camaraderie, trust, respect, and admiration between you two.
- Create a meaningful business together based on a mutual hobby
- Plan, build, and maintain a garden together. You could even use your garden plans to create a special date night section in your yard, filled with flower blooms throughout th year.
- Can or dehydrate your garden produce yields together, making pre-made meals, jams, jellies, and deserts for future nights.
- Create some fun photographs to hang in your home or place in a scrapbook to document the fun you're having together.
- Design and build new furniture or in-home storage solutions together
- Refurbish old furniture together
- Create or redesign an outdoor living space you can enjoy together
- Brainstorm new ideas of how you can support your community as a family
- Volunteer for a community project together
- Be silly, and build a blanket fort together
- Learn a new skill together
- Set a weight loss or fitness goal to tackle together
- Learn and practice self-defense
- Redesign a room in your home together
- Write and share appreciation letters with each other.
- Do a craft together, like scrapbooking, ceramics, drawing, origami,
- If you're musically inclined, learn to play a new song together
- Make a time capsule to open in 5-10 years
- Create a “Love You Box,” adding letters and mementos representing your relationship and what you love about each other to look through in the future when you're stressed.
- Turn a spring cleaning session into a date (with or without fancy clothes).
Engage in Quality Discussions
Talking is one of the most effective methods for bonding on a deeper level. However, passing communications often become consumed with what we want or don't want or criticisms. Often friendly conversation ends up purely focused on the kids because, after the years pass, you run out of things to talk about.
- Discuss future retirement goals
- Talk about what you admire in each other.
- Use journal prompts to try to guess what each other's answers are. Example: “What three moments were the most special in your life?”
- Go through question cards to create a meaningful discussion
- Talk about things you want to do or places you want to see together
- Strategize business ideas together (if you're entrepreneurial)
- Open the Bible to a random page, and talk about the deeper meanings of one of the verses
- Discuss a Bible quote you thought about earlier in the day or week
- Talk about what you're currently most grateful for
- Create your own husband-led bible study
- Pray together
- Discover and discuss your Love Languages
- Dream together about future vacations or activities you want to do
- Create a bucket list of things you want to do or see together
- Challenge yourself to find 10+ things you greatly appreciate about your spouse (and vice versa).
Date Nights Benefit Your Marriage
Regular date nights may help deepen your understanding of and connection with your spouse. Even mundane daily habits and changing how you engage can be beneficial. In my marriage of 10+ years, I've found that even cooking dinner together with our mindsets focused on gratitude and appreciating each other while the kids play in the living room creates massive improvements in how we interact as husband and wife. But going the extra mile to do something intentionally special takes your appreciation for each other to another level.
Communication is essential, especially because through life experiences, you both continue growing and changing over time.
Feel Heard, Accepted, and Appreciated
Too often, married couples feel like they're drifting a part or married to a stranger. Why? Lack of communication, connection, stress, and feeling misunderstood.
Taking the time to play, reconnect, and focus on each other creates a higher-quality relationship, removing the tendency to take each other for granted or make silent assumptions.
Take your date nights to the next level by avoiding the trap of just dinner and a movie. Actively choosing activities to balance your interests and encourage laughter creates a more profound connection that allows your spouse to feel heard, accepted, and appreciated.
Date nights strengthen your commitment to each other, especially when you're not prioritizing forced intimacy or treating date night as just a means of intimacy. Engaging in projects, spending quality time together, playing together, laughing, and being aware of how your spouse feels creates a stronger bond, bringing more fulfillment to your relationship.
Spending Intentional Time Together Decreases Divorce Rates
Several studies have shown that husbands and wives who enjoy high levels of couple time together are less likely to divorce. When you're actively involved with each other and not just acting like roommates, you create a deeper connection and are more likely to acknowledge each other's value.
Date nights also serve as essential resources for parents struggling with stress and challenges relating to new roles not only as husband or wife but also as a parent. Having extra communication and time allows you to grow, find yourselves, and have an easier time moving forward as a team.
Final Date Night Thoughts
Studies have shown that dedicated date nights foster more stability within marriages.
- Encourage communication
- Feel heard, accepted, appreciated, and supported
- Encourages your spouse to also feel heard, accepted, respected, appreciated, and supported
- Strengthens your commitment to each other
- Relieves stress
- Provides you and your partner with a deeper sense of support, especially during stressful life seasons
- Gives you more to talk about than life stressors, finances, annoyances, or other monotonous conversations
- Takes the pressure off of your day-to-day adult and parenting responsibilities
- Allows you to be who you are and grow together
What Do You Do for Your Date Nights?
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Nicole is a wife, homeschooling mom, child of God, Navy veteran, information research analyst, and entrepreneur currently serving as a writer, healthy lifestyle coach, and flexible business strategist. Since earning a BA in Business from Virginia Wesleyan University, focusing on business strategy, she has also taken many courses and seminars in Psychology, Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Chemistry, Biology, and Theology. She loves gardening, needlepoint, hiking, animals, and teaching natural wellness and healthy lifestyle topics.