Having regular date nights is important to protecting and improving your marriage. Especially when a couple has young children and has to pay for a babysitter, date nights can become too expensive to maintain. Earlier in our marriage, The Husband and I made the mistake of not setting aside time for just the two of us. We now have scheduled date nights, but one of the challenges is fitting those into our budget.
We brainstorm a lot about how to have fun for less and we often use Groupons to cut down our costs. But here are some fun date night ideas that don’t cost any money:
Make a Drive-In. This one can save you even the cost of a babysitter! If you have a portable DVD player or a built-in DVD player in a vehicle, park the vehicle in your driveway, and climb in the backseat. Bring with you a blanket, some drinks, and a big bag or bowl of popcorn and any other snacks you enjoy. Climb into the backseat with your spouse, cuddle up under the blanket and pop a movie into the DVD player. If you have young children, be sure to bring a baby monitor with you in case one of the kids wakes up.
Real Life Drama. This date will have to take place during the day instead of the evening, but will provide free entertainment and be a change from the ordinary. Go to your local courthouse and sit in on some of the proceedings. There are some court cases that are closed to the public, but most are open to the public. Not only will you get good seats to a real life “Law & Order” unfolding in front of your eyes, but likely, you will feel much better about the blessings in your own life by the end of it! It will also give you and your spouse many conversation starters in the days to come!
Love Others. A great way to increase your love for each other is to work together to serve others. Consider spending one of your date nights serving meals at a homeless shelter, coaching the Special Olympics, or serving another need in your community. You will be glad that you did and may see your spouse in a different light afterwards.
Invite Yourselves Over. Call up some friends or a family member and invite yourselves over for coffee, dessert, or to play board games. Likely, you will be welcomed and enjoy an evening of fun and laughter!
Imagine Another Life. For one night, act as though you have all the money in the world. Visit high-endShowhomes and choose which one you would buy (remember, in this exercise, you can have it all!). Next, go to a furniture store, one that you normally could not afford to even consider entering, and choose the furniture you would put in that dream house you just chose. Window shopping in this way can be fun and it is really important to keep dreaming no matter where your reality is. Just be sure to make it a fun time, not getting caught up in what you can’t have, and instead just focusing on possibilities and dreaming together once again!
An Old-Fashioned Picnic. Pack a picnic basket or bag of goodies. Bring a blanket to the nearest park and enjoy a meal outdoors while you people watch or bird watch or just watch each other. Afterwards, go for a stroll hand-in-hand and discuss the blessings in your life.
Crash a Party. Sneak into a wedding, a bar mitzvah, a business seminar, a fundraiser, a birthday party, or other event. If you don’t feel right about doing something like this, then just enjoy the entertainment of the wedding ceremony, keynote speaker, or dance and don’t partake in the food.
Just get out and do something different. By getting out of your comfort zone, you and your spouse will have more to talk about and will feel more connected. There’s nothing wrong with going out for dinner and a movie once in awhile on a date night, but it can quickly become expensive and monotonous if these are the only date night activities, so try a suggestion or two from this list and let me know how it goes!