If hitting the town for date night does not fit into your budget, align with your schedule, or work with your child-rearing responsibilities, the following ideas will help you create an unforgettable date night at home. All you need is some creativity, great food, and an open heart to transform your home into a movie theatre, dance hall, or trip abroad.
You won’t need to fight any crowds or long lines or put up with any loud talkers or screaming children with a movie night at home. Whether you choose a comedy, romance, or drama to watch, you’ll have the best seat in the house. Plus, concessions are much more affordable when you make them yourself. Variety is the theme of this movie night and features plenty of sweet, savory, and hearty snacks.
Lisa Appleton, writer at Kitchn.com, recommends a cheese board as an appetizer. “In addition to a few types of cheese, I always include crackers or bread, fresh and/or dried fruit, and jelly. If the rest of your appetizers aren’t protein-heavy, it’s also a great place to set out some cured meats,” Appleton advises.
Appleton also says you cannot go wrong with bacon-wrapped potato bites, mixed nuts, flatbread, or your favorite sandwiches. If you prefer a hands-off approach to your dinner, ordering pizza is always a tasty option. When it comes to popcorn, Appleton suggests thinking outside the butter box. “Make your own popcorn bar with spices, herbs, cheese, and more. I like to include crushed-up cookies and candies on the popcorn bar as well, so you have the balance of salty and sweet in every bite,” Appleton adds.
Once you set the menu and are ready to hit play, be sure to grab a comfortable spot on the couch and a soft blanket for snuggling up. Turn of the lights and turn the volume up so your feel like you are at the movies.
Dinner and dancing
Who says you have to go to a club to get your groove on? You can transform your living room into your own private dance hall. Push furniture out of the way and crank up your favorite tunes. Mix up the tempo to test out your favorite dance moves or hold each other close as you dance cheek to cheek to a lovely ballad. Once you’ve danced up an appetite, it’s time for substance and perhaps a glass of wine or two. Since dancing is a cardiovascular activity, you need as much energy as possible. That means decadent carbohydrates and a burst of veggie goodness courtesy of Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen’s recipe for creamy broccolini pasta with chile breadcrumbs.
City of love and lights
Paris, France, boasts many monikers including the City of Love and the City of Lights. Renowned for its beauty, the city provides the perfect inspiration for a romantic night in. You’ll need to set the mood with candlelight, soft music playing in the background, and a table set for two. Since you’re bringing Paris to your neck of the woods, you’ll need a French-inspired dish like white wine Coq Au Vin from Erika Dugan and Kate Merker at Country Living. If you prefer a less time-consuming entrée, try their recipe for Herbes de Provence shrimp with basil and pea couscous.
Use these at-home date night ideas to inspire a wonderful evening between you and your loved one.