One of the five goals that I set to go along with my word of the year was to be more intentional about date night this year. Last year we tried to take turns planning date night every other week and failed miserably, but this year I was determined to succeed. Another rut we'd fallen into was not planning something ahead and resorting to takeout and a Redbox at home or dessert and a few episodes of our current Netflix favorite. While I'm trying to plan a lot of date nights out of the house this year, with our busy schedules, sometimes it's tiring and I'd rather stay home, but I still wanted to make those at home date nights special so I came up with a list of ideas that we can use to inspire us on those nights when we don't want to go out or after the baby comes when it's not easy or convenient to go out as often.
Make Your Own Pizza Night
One of my favorite dinners that we had before a dance in high school was when we all made our own individual pizzas. We used Rhodes roll dough for the crust (two or three rolls combined are perfect) and provided a variety of favorite toppings for people to create their own perfect pizza. Joe and I have done this for date night once as well but using store bought, premade pizza crusts and it was a lot of fun. You could even have a competition for the tastiest pizza, best looking pizza or most creative topping combination!
Mario Kart Races
When we moved into our house, Joe's old gaming systems moved from his parent's house to come and live with us. We don't play a lot, but the few times that we've sat down to play a game together, it's been a lot of fun. Joe teaches me how to play the game and get more points because I never play video games and am not very good at them, and then I'll beat him in a few races and get bragging rights for myself. You could play any game, but Mario Kart is always a fun time! Keep track of who wins the most races and put the loser on dish duty for the next week.
Host a Dinner Party with Friends
We've had dinner parties with friends a few different times and they are always a lot of fun! You could order takeout (Olive Garden or Chinese are great choices) or have a theme and assign everyone a portion of the meal to bring (Mexican, Italian, fondue, or barbecues are all yummy). After dinner, play The Not-So-Newlywed Game or Battle of the Sexes. Compete guys verses girls and put the losing team in charge of clean up. I love having a reason to pull out my nicer dishes and host a fun night with friends!
Barbecue, Star Gazing, S'mores, Card Games in the Tent, and Breakfast
Because we will have a newborn this summer, we most likely won't do any camping of any kind but I really love to do this summer time activity once a year. For an at home camp-out, I'm planning to cook hot dogs and s'mores on our grill (dutch oven dinner could be fun too), lay out under the stars and cuddle together, play card games in our tent and then make a pancake breakfast together the next morning. With a brand new baby, we most likely won't sleep outside but if you can, a backyard camping trip is a lot of fun and convenient if you have to get up and go to work the next morning like Joe does on Saturdays.