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As much as I love getting out of the house for a little one-on-one time without the kids, sometimes we’ve had a long week and staying home sounds so much better. One of my favorite things about date night at home is getting to enjoy a dinner together alone. No kids requesting something we have to get up from the table for and no people to watch and distract us like at the restaurants. There’s just something cozy about spending time together at home.
Now that we’ve finished our deck (minus the banisters) and have some furniture outside, our backyard is a cozy place to spend our night. We eat dinner together, talk, enjoy the cool night air, make plans for our next yard projects and talk about the future together. It’s a date night that can be as simple or as fancy as we want it to be, and we can enjoy it on the cheap or spend a bit more money but also save on the babysitter. Dinner by moonlight is one of my favorite date nights for spring, summer or early fall.
Dinner by Moonlight Date Night Ideas
What to Eat
Whatever the kids ate - The nice thing about at home date nights is that you don’t have to have anything fancy to eat. You can heat up the dinner that the kids ate and enjoy it yourselves after they’ve gone to bed.
Dinner you made together - My very favorite cookbook is this Date Night In cookbook that I discovered a few months ago. The author has another cookbook, Let’s Stay In coming out next month and it’s at the top of my wishlist for my birthday and Christmas. I love that the Date Night In cookbook includes a full meal plan for each date and a variety of menus for each season and a few special occasions. You could discover a new hobby together and make your regular at home date night routine just a little bit extra.
Takeout - We have a few restaurants near us that we love to order takeout from. Some nights we opt for a burger and onion rings, Chinese, or our favorite pizza. Other nights we splurge a bit and order Olive Garden or something with a similar style.
Setting the Scene
Clean up - Our deck seems to always be cluttered with the kid’s toys and the rocks, sticks or leaves that they’ve been collecting. Before we start our date, I try to put all of that away so I’m not bothered by the clutter while we’re enjoying our time together. If we’re eating inside, i do the same thing with toys and the dinner dishes from the night.
Mood lighting - Once our banisters are finished, I plan on stringing these twinkle lights on them before our moonlit date nights at home. You could also light candles or run an extension cord out and plug in a couple of lamps.
Nicer dishes - I mentioned that we pull out our champagne flutes to make our date night at home meals feel a little extra special. We also have a set of dishes that doesn’t get used every single day but isn’t quite as fancy as china. Of course, if we don’t feel like doing much clean up after date night, we’ve also been known to pull out the paper goods that can just be tossed in the trash after we’re done.
What to Talk About
Plan something you can look forward to - This is what we usually end up doing. Right now we talk a lot about projects that we’re planning to do in our yard. Talk about what you’re going to do for your next date night. Plan a getaway together, even if it’s just for a night. We also love to plan for fun family activities that we have coming up, like trips with the kids or little adventures and outings.
Reminisce on moments in your relationship - What have been each of your favorite dates that you’ve been on together? When did you know you loved each other? What have you been through together that’s strengthened your marriage the most? I love this book filled with connecting conversation starters for couples.
Date Night Conversation Starters - I'm a big fan of these conversation starter cards from The Dating Divas. With over 200 questions in five different categories, you're bound to find something to talk about. We take a pack with us on every date and some of the questions have had me laughing until I cried.
End with an Activity
Stargaze - We love to do this from the roof outside of our window. We call it our rooftop rendezvous ;) There are great apps that you can download to your phone that will help you locate and identify constellations and stars in your area on the night that you’re out looking at the stars.
Recreate your first kiss - Depending on where your kiss took place, you might not be able to recreate it completely, but trying the best that you can could be exciting.
Snuggle and listen to music - Some nights all I want to do is cuddle with my husband and enjoy being together. Check out this date idea for a fun way to incorporate your music playlists into this activity as well.
Watch a movie - This at home drive in movie date that was posted earlier this summer is one of our favorites. Sometimes all you need to refresh your date night routine is a change of scenery.
We’ve had a lot of fun finding creative things to do for date night at home over the last few years but sometimes we like to keep it simple. Having dinner by moonlight is a great way to be intentional and add a little something special to our every day routine.
What are you doing for your next date night at home?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography