There's a number of reasons why parents might not be able to leave the house to get out on a date, but there is no reason at all not to still have the fun that a date night can bring, just because you're housebound.
Photo: Michal Marcol, Freedigitalphotos.net
Perhaps you've not yet found a baby sitter that you can trust, or maybe your baby is feeding on demand and you need to stay close by. Or perhaps you've got a small baby and you're just not ready to leave them on their own yet. It could even be as simple as wanting to save a little money and looking for a frugal way to have a date at home. Whatever the reason, here are ten fun dates you can have at home.
1. Movie Night One of the most obvious date nights you can have at home is the movie marathon. Bring the cinema experience to your living room and hire out a movie you've been dying to watch, dim the lights and bring out the snacks. Grab some popcorn, some candy and your favourite beverage and relax in the comfort of your own lounge. And if you need the loo part way through, don't worry just press pause.
2. Carpet Picnic Have you been longing for a romantic picnic with your sweetheart? Then pine away no longer, just opt for an indoor carpet picnic. You can make this one ultra romantic by dotting tealight candles around your lounge, or if you've got time on your hands, create a bedouin tent atmosphere in your home from sheets and other props and have a themed picnic. Prepare all your favourite picnic foods, grab your hamper and a bottle of wine and head on down to your lounge for a dinner with a difference.
3. Game Night Are you a bit sick of Pop up Pirate and Hungry Hippos, if so then it's time for a night of adult board games. Grab your favourite games such as Scrabble, Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit and challenge your other half to see who's still in possession of their brain post baby.
4. Masterchef This is a great idea if you've got a couple of date nights at home planned. With this idea you take it in turns to knock up a great feast, trying out menus and meals that you've perhaps not cooked before. You can rate each others meals and see who the best cook is.
5. Learn a New Skill There are lots of things you could try and learn without even leaving the home, and an abundance of off the shelf kits you can buy to help you do this. Think of cheese making kits, make your own beer or spirits boxes, massage books or even a foreign language course. If you've got differing tastes, maybe take it in turns to choose a new skill to learn. The main thing is that you are doing something together and it doesn't involve Bob the Builder, Peppa Pig or Ben 10.
Make cheese with this kit from Mad Millie where you can have your own home made ricotta or mozarella in under an hour
6. Wine Tasting
Photo: Stoon, Freedigitalphotos.net
Pick some new wines that you've been wanting to try and spend your evening sampling the wines and enjoying the different flavours. If you want to take a more expert approach to your evening of wine tasting, head over to Decanter who have prepared a free wine tasting kit and tasting sheet so that you can taste wine like the pro's do.
7. Game On If board games aren't your thing, perhaps an evening on the Wii, Playstation or X-Box could be more up your street. Hire out some interactive and light hearted games such as sporting games or driving games for lots of good spirited competitions and giggles. Wii Sports is a great one for combining a number of activities that will get you up and active such as ten pin bowling, golf and tennis. It's amazing how competitive you can get in your own living room.
Photo: David Murphy, Wikimedia Commons
8. Take a Virtual Trip Plan an entire evening of cultural activities in your own home; just choose a theme. You could go to Paris in your PJ's and eat crepes, drink French champagne and watch a French movie. Those who are really committed to this idea, can even try out their language skills; bonne chance (good luck). Or perhaps you'd rather head to Spain, have an evening of tapas and Sangria followed by churros and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. There's so many options to choose from and you get to try out foods you wouldn't normally eat.
9. Make a Plan Ok, first up this might not sound like a fun date night, but busy parents rarely get the chance to sit back, turn off all the distractions and plan. It can actually be quite cathartic and soul lifting to take some time out and chat to your partner about future dreams, aspirations and hopes for the years to come. Just planning and researching for your next big trip can be a fun evening. So switch off the TV, turn off the phone and get your pen and paper out and start planning fun things for the future.
10. Look at the stars When was the last time you lay under the stars with the love in your life? Chances are that it's been too long. This one is a simple one and all you need is a blanket, a patch of backyard and the night sky. A thermos of hot chocolate is your optional extra. There's something so breath taking about watching the night sky; something about the stars that give you absolute clarity. There's also something very romantic about snuggling up to your partner and sharing it with them. Breathe in the night time air, and you'll sleep soundly too (fingers crossed the kids do as well).