40 At-Home Date Ideas to Spice Up Your Love Life without Having to Put on Real Clothes
Maybe you and your partner are homebodies through and through. Maybe you’re wary of the omicron variant and are finding a lot more solace at home these days. Either way, you want to strengthen your relationship without having to leave the house. But what’s the solution when you’ve already binge-watched every show (hello, Virgin River) and can’t possibly do another puzzle? Presenting 40 at-home date ideas that will strengthen your relationship and provide some much-needed fun to boot.
1. Cook a meal together
Teamwork in the kitchen is a great way to turn up the heat. Best of all, this activity forces both you and your significant other to put down the smart phones and engage in conversation instead—because scrolling and cooking don’t mix, but chit chat is encouraged. Here are 60 easy dinner recipes for two to get you started.
2. Plan a scavenger hunt
You can either plan and hunt together or you can each make a separate list for the other and see who can finish theirs first. Add things like “what’s the longest book in the house” or “find a souvenir from our early days of dating.” If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can try making up your own riddles or hints for what needs to be found.
3. Give one another massages
Really go all out setting the mood with massage oil, candles or dim lighting and some peaceful music to help you relax. And while you could definitely make your massages more on the sensual side, you could also just focus on treating your partner and helping them work out any sore muscles at the end of a hard week. It’s totally up to you.
4. Take a virtual yoga class
Instead of unwinding at the end of a day by losing yourself in your Instagram feed, why not enjoy a yoga session with your partner? Yoga is known to relax both body and mind—and if you do a partner’s class with your sweetie, it’s also a great way to get close (while still having some time to chill in your own headspace).
5. Do a virtual wine and cheese tasting
Of course, you can always grab a bottle of wine and a wheel of Brie for a DIY tasting date, but professional input—either via a video conferencing platform or with written notes in a subscription box—will really enhance the experience and make the night extra special. Plus, research shows that couples who share a learning experience benefit from higher relationship satisfaction as a result.
6. Have a spa night
If ever there was a time that some extra pampering was in order, it is now. Splurge on some face masks and other at-home spa products that promise to deliver a luxurious experience in the comfort of your living room. Then pick a date when neither of you will be distracted—that way you and your S.O. can truly enjoy the TLC and the company of one another. (And feel free to rinse off with an aromatherapy shower—for two, perhaps?)
7. Play a game of cards
When it comes to spicing things up, a little healthy competition might be just the ticket. Card games that rely on strategy (think, Poker or Rummy) are a great way to stimulate the brain while providing entertainment that isn’t as passive as, say, binge watching a Netflix series with your better half.
8. Do a virtual museum tour
In addition to the shared learning experience they facilitate (a major boon to any relationship, see above), virtual museum tours also offer an opportunity to explore one another’s individual interests and possibly discover new ones together. Bottom line: This date will allow you and your S.O. to learn more about the world at large and each other.
9. Play video games
There are instances in which video games can interfere with romance, but date night isn’t one of them. Plan a date night that revolves around gaming and neither you nor your partner will be disappointed by the competition and fast-paced fun. We’re fans of The Sims but there are plenty of other team-building picks out there. (Psst: If video games have a complicated role in your relationship, then go ahead and give this one a miss.)
10. Learn a language
We don’t mean to go on about this but learning something new together with your S.O. is likely to improve your emotional and intellectual bond significantly (and when you’re playing the long game, that’s nothing to shake a stick at). There are a multitude of virtual platforms for language learning (Duolingo and Babbel are two popular choices) that will make the experience fun and worthwhile (because “c’est à ton tour de faire la vaisselle” is so much sexier than “it’s your turn to do the dishes”, no?)
11. Have a paint-off
Color a canvas to the soothing sounds of Bob Ross’s voice or put on a favorite playlist and freestyle a la Jackson Pollock—either way, engaging in a painting project with your partner is sure to get both your creative juices flowing. (Or at the very least, you can both laugh at each other’s lack of artistic talent, because that’s a form of connecting, too.)
12. Take a virtual ballroom dancing class
The music is great, the moves are sexy and—unless one of you is already a master of ballroom dance—the playing field is even. Cut a rug with your significant other for an activity that strikes the right chord: Passion, physical closeness...and maybe a little laughter, too.
13. Try a virtual exercise class
The couple that exercises together, stays together. If you’re cringing right now, we understand, but hear us out: An aerobic virtual exercise class is guaranteed to get your blood pumping. The end result? A major endorphin rush that makes both you and your partner feel extra happy and relaxed...together.
14. Get gardening
A recent research study has confirmed what those with a green thumb have known all along: Tending to a garden gives you an emotional boost, particularly one that yields produce (but odds are that you and your S.O. won’t be sad to see some pretty flowers bloom either). In other words, gardening promotes a sense of well-being—multiply that by two and you’ve got a damn good backyard date.
If you and your partner are pining for the good old days, you can always turn those memories into fodder for an at-home date night. Print out some of your most Insta-worthy photos and get your partner in on a crafting project that pays homage to all the fun you’ve had to date.
16. Plan a vacation
Vacation planning has a lot of date night potential: Whether it’s 1000 thread count sheets in a fabulous hotel, pristine tropical waters or snowy peaks—vacations are the stuff of dreams. Take a one-night escape from the stress of the present by planning a travel adventure with your partner...we promise you’ll both go to bed smiling.
17. Bake bread
If you hopped on the quarantine bread baking wagon, but fell off when the world re-opened, then hop right back for a fun date night. We suggest whipping up a loaf of homemade sourdough bread together—just be ready for a challenge. For starters, (pun intended) the process isn’t foolproof, but this trial-and-error adventure will bring you and your partner closer.
18. Have a karaoke night
One of the benefits of doing karaoke at home is that even an introvert can belt it out without a pang of self-consciousness. Warm up your vocals with a hot cup of tea (or an alcoholic tipple) for two and take turns serenading each other, no matter how crudely. Here are 60 easy karaoke songs to get the party started.
19. Watch a concert
You and your beloved may not be ready to be surrounded by hordes of people just yet, and that’s fine. Tons of artists and festivals are streaming performances, so find out when your fave band hits the stage and enjoy the show from your living room. It’s more intimate and comfortable anyway.
20. Redecorate your home
Need a change of scenery? Join forces with your S.O. to make that happen without even changing locations. Whether it’s the kitchen or the bathroom, give your space a refresh and make it fun by bringing your partner on board for a creative exchange of ideas.
21. Get rid of old junk
OK, digging through your wardrobe doesn’t sound like a lot of fun but hear us out: getting rid of stuff you no longer need feels so good. And doing it with your partner means that you’ll stay on task, plus have some fun reminiscing while you’re at it. Then once you’ve designated everything into the donate or toss pile, you can revel in the joy that is a cleaner, more organized space. Just ask Marie Kondo.
22. Have breakfast in bed together
You have options here: make breakfast together, delegate one half of the couple to do the cooking or simply order in from your favorite local diner. Whichever route you go, the romantic reward should be a morning feast for two, enjoyed under the covers—you know, lazy and in love.
23. Have a tie-dye party for two
If you and yours have some white tees hanging around that have seen better days, a tie-dye party is a fun way to spend some time together while getting a cool piece of clothing out of it, too. Try this project on for size and you will both be feeling nothing but peace and love.
24. Watch a comedy show
The benefits of sharing a genuine laugh with your partner need little explanation—the trick is to find a comedian or show that cracks you both up. This might be a trial-and-error process, but once you’ve found the right show, you’ll enjoy an evening that lets you both let loose a little.
25. Have a themed takeout and movie night
It doesn’t sound revolutionary, but what if you get takeout from somewhere very special (like that fancy Italian restaurant you went to on your anniversary last year) and pair it with a fitting film (like Il Postino)? Treat yourselves to an indulgent meal from a fine dining restaurant and pick a flick that goes with the theme, and the standard dinner-and-a-movie date night just got an impressive at-home makeover.
Meditation is a beautiful, sometimes necessary thing, that can really bring two people closer. And let’s be honest, we could all use some more peace and quiet in our lives. If you’re not sure where to start, learn about these different types of meditation and follow some beginner meditation tips.
27. Tackle a Home Improvement Project
You never really noticed how your headboard clashes with your cushions...until you spent every day at home, that is. Now’s the perfect time to tweak your home decor and who better to do it with than your beloved? Put on some music, pour yourself a glass of wine and get started. Build those bookshelves, refinish that dresser so it matches its new room—whatever project you have on your agenda, a joint effort will make it both rewarding and romantic.
28. Watch a Sports Game Together
Whether you and your S.O. share a mutual interest in a particular sport, or one of you is entirely new to the game, watching a sports game together is an exciting and dynamic activity that’s sure to keep you both engaged and entertained. Plus, shouting at the same T.V. screen together is a solid bonding exercise (we think).
29. Visit a Virtual Escape Room
This activity actually consists of trying to puzzle one’s way out of confinement—virtual escape rooms are a ton of fun, especially when you’re playing with a trusty teammate. Indeed, there are a multitude of escape rooms to choose from, but you really can’t go wrong: They all boast the benefit that comes from surviving an exhilarating, make-believe crisis as a couple.
30. Play ‘Would You Rather?’
This open-ended verbal game is a date night shoo-in—namely because it can go in any direction (sexy, silly, irreverent). In the unlikely event that you haven’t played before, this icebreaker consists of a two-pronged proposition, with a ‘would you rather?’ clause. Bottom line: This cheeky game is guaranteed to keep both you and your partner fully engaged, and probably laughing, too.
31. Recreate Your First Date
It might sound a little cheesy, and it will be unless you go all-in, but chances are you’ll both be feeling sentimental if you turn back time for your at-home date. We’ll leave the specifics up to you—but the gist of it is that you recreate a restaurant meal, rewatch a movie and throw in any other details that strike a nostalgic chord. (Bonus points if you remember what you wore.)
32. Craft Together
If you have not yet boarded the crafting train, you’ve been missing out. Crafting in general boasts a whole bunch of psychological and emotional benefits, so an arty-party for two can only be a good thing. Indeed, there are a bevy of adult crafts that invite teamwork and yield delightfully pretty finished products—but the major selling point is that this date night idea is likely to help both you and your better half relax.
33. Go on a picnic…
Yep, right in your backyard. Make a fancy charcuterie board, bring a book or board game and just spend the day in your own little world. Make the date extra romantic by scheduling your picnic right at sunset.
34. Host a virtual double date
If you two or your closest couple friends relocated over the course of the pandemic, pencil in some quality catch-up time. Break out a bottle of wine and update each other on all that’s happened since the last time you all were together. Nothing like chuckling at those silly relationship woes with people who understand.
35. Write each other love letters
Sometimes telling your spouse how much they mean to you can be difficult, so why not put all those feelings into prose à la Pablo Neruda? You can keep it simple and thank them for all the small things they do around the house or go deeper and talk about how they’ve changed your life over the course of your time together.
Calm all that pandemic-induced anxiety and cut the excess noise with a quiet night of stargazing. Snuggle under a blanket and cue up a playlist full of romantic songs for you and your boo. (Maybe even read the aforementioned letters underneath the stars).
37. Create a bucket list
It’s always good to be on the same page, and a bucket list is one way to ensure that your goals align. Of course, you can load it with all the cool vacations you want to go on, but consider putting other goals on there too: Do you want to get your PhD? Is it a dream to buy Christmas presents for a family in need one year? Have you always wanted to make a short film? Those are all things you can add to your list.
38. Draw portraits of one another
Because who doesn’t want an artistic interpretation of themselves? You can make these as literal or abstract as you want and let the hilarity ensue.
39. Host a roast
Now is the perfect time to lovingly make fun of your partner because they can’t seem to load the dishwasher correctly. Point out each other’s little quirks and idiosyncrasies in a lighthearted manner.
40. Host a trivia night
Break out all your favorites—Jeopardy!, Charades, Heads Up—for a fun night of trivia for two. And if you feel comfortable enough, you can always invite some close friends over.