Couples share their real-life date night ideas to inspire your in-house hangout.


Sometimes leaving the house for date night isn't ideal (or logistically possible thanks to the pandemic) once you have kids. Staying home can be just as fun as hitting the town—and even more relaxing—you just have to get creative!

1. Play a Video Game Together

“We play this collaborative cooking video game called Overcooked, which is ironic because we never cook in real life.”

—Rebecca F., Durham, North Carolina

2. Have an At-Home Cocktail Night

“My husband found some websites with easy recipes, and every Wednesday we make a new cocktail. It’s a nice midweek pick-me-up!”

—Marisa Bassett, Washington, D.C.

Pro-tip: To boost the romance factor, blend a couple of margaritas and light a scented candle like Glade Exotic Tropical Blossoms 3-Wick Candle to make it feel like you are spending the evening on a remote island, rather than in your living room.

Happy Couple Cooking Home Date Feed Each Other
Credit: George Rudy/Shutterstock

3. Talk Amongst Yourselves

“When I think of something light or entertaining I want to discuss with my husband, I jot it down on my to-do-list app. Then after bedtime, when we finally have a few minutes together, I look at the list so we don’t revert to talking about the kids and the house.”

—Claire Zulkey, Chicago

4. Go Out To Eat (At Home)

“A couple of times a month, we get the kids into bed early and then make our own dinner and have some wine. We choose something that we both genuinely want to eat. Even tenderloin is way cheaper than a restaurant and a sitter.”

—Cynthia Smith, Austin

5. Compete—Er, Collaborate

“A few months ago I noticed Kevin had started doing New York Times crossword puzzles on his phone, just casually while we watched TV. Soon we started doing them together. He gets about 75 percent done, and then we fill in what we can as a team. We aren’t talking about stress, and we aren’t forcing “alone time.” We are just having fun cursing at the puzzle writer. It’s one of the things I look forward to the most each day.”

—Heather C., Los Angeles

Parents Magazine