Bonus: You don’t even need to leave the house.
~ September 2021 ~ Whether it’s a rainy day or you’re a couple on a budget, going out on date night isn’t always possible. Rather than scrolling Netflix for hours arguing over what to watch, we recommend thinking outside of the box—but from within the four walls of your home.
Indoor dates can turn any home into a chic hotel bar, art gallery, or casino. Spending time alone as a couple is so important to reconnect and reignite the flames of desire, passion, and most importantly, play. World-renowed relationship expert Esther Perel believes that just like sex, “playing as adults is about pleasure, connection, creativity, fantasy—all the juicy parts of life we savor.”
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t try new things and have new experiences together. Below, here are our picks for the best indoor date ideas.
Cook a Restaurant-Quality Meal
Why go out for dinner when you stay in and make a five-course meal yourself for way less than what you would pay in a restaurant? Look up recipes from your favorite chefs or crack open that cookbook gathering dust on your kitchen counter and make an evening out of it. Have your partner chop veggies and prepare the main course while you work the stove. Whatever you make, make it together. You’ll feel so much more accomplished when you sit down and share a meal you prepared together than if you simply wait for a waiter to bring it to you at a restaurant.
Go Indoor Camping
Grab a couple of flat sheets or blankets from the linen closet and turn your living room into your own private campsite. If you’re lucky enough to have an indoor fireplace, light it up and roast some marshmallows over the open flame. You can share ghost stories, share camping memories from your childhood, or get cozy in your makeshift tent.
Getting a bunch of couples together for a game night can be a scheduling nightmare, but luckily there are plenty of two-person games you can play as a couple. Card games like War, Rummy, and Uno are a fun way to get competitive with your significant other. You can also go with a classic, like Truth or Dare or Never Have I Ever, to get adventurous and learn something new about each other.
If you can’t go to Vegas, bring Vegas to you with a game of two-player poker. It’s just like regular poker, except the two people playing take turns being the dealer. To spice things up even further, make it a game of strip poker—loser takes off an item of clothing for every round.
Play “Would You Rather?”
Even if you and your partner have been together for years, there’s no way you could possibly know everything about them. As silly as it sounds, playing “Would You Rather?” as a couple can help bring you closer together by asking questions like “Would you rather ask for help or figure it out on your own?” or “Would you rather be able to fly or read minds?”
Read a Book Together
Start your own book club by reading a book aloud together. Pick a book you both want to read, or maybe take turns reading each other’s all-time favorite book. It might feel ridiculous at first to read out loud, but before long you’ll get into the story and you won’t be able to put the book down.
Make Your Own Photo Booth
Decorate a wall in your apartment or home, grab some funny props, and set up your phone on a tripod with a ring light. Snap some cute candids and save them on your phone to look back on for years to come.
Set Up a Beer or Wine Tasting
Beer or wine tastings at a brewery or winery can cost a pretty penny. Save some money and drink responsibly by hosting your own tasting at home! Pick up a few local cans or bottles, pour up a few glasses, and cheers to a fun and safe tasting tour.
Plan a Vacation
Whether you’re the type of couple to take a trip once every few months or once a year, it’s never too early to start planning your next vacation. Make a list of top excursions and activities you want to experience and start budgeting for how much things like travel, hotel, and food might cost you.
Do a Puzzle
Completing a puzzle together can be a rewarding and satisfying way for couples to spend an evening. There are plenty of puzzles out there for the Disney-loving, animal-obsessed, or travel-addicted couple to enjoy. There’s even personalized puzzles you can order if you want to frame it and display it prominently in your home once you’re done.
Take Personality Tests
Are you an ENTJ or an INFP? Is your partner’s love language acts of service, while yours is words of affirmation? Taking personality tests is a great way to get to know your partner on a deeper level and help you understand how to communicate better, what they value the most in a relationship, and generally what makes them tick.
Even if you live in a crowded city, you can still see at least a few stars at night. Apps like Star Tracker and Star View Lite can help you find and identify constellations and planets in space, even if your view of the stars is partially obscured by light pollution.
Play With Adult Coloring Books
Remember how fun coloring books were as a kid? In recent years, adult coloring books have become more popular as a way to relax, relieve stress, and get in touch with your creative side. For couples, coloring together can be a fun hobby to share to help both of you decompress and tap into your inner artist.
Get a Virtual Tarot Card Reading
Take a peek into your past or future and gain new perspectives on work, relationships, love, and life’s other great mysteries with a virtual tarot card reading. Many tarot card readers have taken their talents online and have conducted many successful readings virtually. Whether you believe in the magic and mysticism of tarot cards or not, you’ll definitely leave the session with a story to tell.
Couples that sweat together, stay together. Pick a workout and get sweaty from the comfort of your home. Working out together not only makes you stronger as an individual, but it can also strengthen your bond as a couple. Plus, you can cool off with a shower together afterward. Very hot.
Create a Couple’s Bucket List
Do you have dreams of moving to a new city? Or swimming with sharks in Hawaii? Take the time to let your mind wander and dream up all the things you want to do together, and start making plans for checking a few items off the list.
Start a Home Improvement Project
Plant a garden, hang a gallery wall, or redo your kitchen backsplash. Any little update, whether more permanent like upgrading flooring, or temporary like adding a wall decal to a room, can help turn your house into a home.
Stream a Concert
There are so many live concerts available to stream online, both new and old. Stream your favorite and make a night out of it. Get popcorn, beers, and any other concert-themed snacks and cozy up on the couch as you watch an electrifying live performance from your favorite band. Turn the volume up loud to make it feel more real.
Recreate Your Favorite Date at Home
This works best if you switch off and both of you recreate your favorite date nights for one another. Order takeout from the place where you went on your first date, or purchase stuffed animals to recreate a date at the zoo or aquarium. If you want to go the extra mile, try to find and wear the outfit that you wore to your favorite date!
Indulge in an At-Home Spa
Inhale, exhale, and unwind together with a little self-care. Slice up some cucumbers, put on a robe, and apply your favorite face mask. You can even take turns giving each other massages.
Host a Bake Off
Turn the heat up in the kitchen with a bake-off. Each partner prepares a fancy dessert to share with the other. At the end of the night, you both win because two sweet treats are better than one, obviously.
If your home could use a little feng shui, try redecorating on your next date night. Move the couch to the other side of the room, rearrange your furniture, or even get rid of things you don’t use anymore or want to replace.
Learn a TikTok Dance
Couples in love are extremely popular on TikTok, so if you’ve ever wanted to go viral, now is your chance. Learn a TikTok dance or participate in a challenge that shows off your relationship’s smooth moves.
Learn a New Language Together
Learning a language on your own is hard, but it’s easier when you have someone else to practice with. Start small with a few short lessons every day, and eventually work up to having an entire conversation over dinner in another language.
Play Mixologist for a Night
Recreate your favorite artisanal cocktail at home. All you need is a cocktail shaker, a shot glass, and your favorite spirits and mixers.
Put Together a Photo Album
If you’ve been putting off compiling your wedding photo album, a date night is a perfect excuse to print out all those photos and put them in an album for your family to look back on later. Write down all the crazy stories from your wedding night while they’re still fresh in your memory so you can remember them for years to come.
Clean Out Your Closets
We get it—cleaning out your closet doesn’t sound like a fun date night. But you can make it more fun by turning it into a fashion show where you and your partner put on the most ridiculous outfits in your closet for the other’s enjoyment. Make a keep, toss, or giveaway pile, and show your partner your best runway catwalk.
Play a Video Game
If your partner spends hours on their gaming device, have them teach you their favorite video game so you can play together. It’ll help you understand why they spend all their time playing games online, and you might even find you enjoy it and start playing with them regularly.
Play College Drinking Games
Beer pong, anyone? Spend an evening playing drinking games from your youth. The winner gets bragging rights until the next drinking competition date night.
Turn your hallway into a bowling alley. Set up pins made from empty cans, or something similar, and send a small ball down the hallway, trying to knock down all the pins. It might feel ridiculous at first, but trust us, it can get pretty competitive.
Electricity-Free Date Night
No electricity? No problem. Have dinner by candlelight, turn off your phones, and spend your evening telling each other stories and listening to the sounds of nature come alive at night. Keep all devices and electricity off until you wake up the next morning.
Studies show that partner meditation may help us feel closer and more open with our partners. Use an app like Headspace to experiment with visualization meditation, which is the method of picturing positive images or affirmations to help calm the mind while the body is in a relaxed state.
Take a Virtual Class Together
Whether you’ve always wanted to learn how to make pasta from scratch or how to play Magic the Gathering, there are thousands of online classes you can take to learn just about anything. Airbnb and Skillshare have plenty of classes to choose from, featuring world-class instructors and easy-to-follow lessons.
A version of this article originally appeared here on brides.com