Making Valentine’s Day special when you have young children and a tight budget can be challenging! Here are a few inexpensive at-home date ideas!
1) Movie Night — with a twist!
Pick a theme and build your date around it! For instance, you could pick the color red as your theme. Make a red dessert (Red Velvet cake, chocolate-covered strawberries, etc.), watch a “red” movie (maybe something with love or heart in the title?!!), burn red candles, and slip into something red (wink, wink)!
The sky is the limit here — there are tons of other themes you could try – Italian, Wild West, Snow Day, Luau, 80’s (I’m bringing back the bangs and tight-rolled jeans), etc. With just a little planning, it could be quite memorable!
2) Game night!!
This one is super easy — but I often forget about it. Invest in a few games perfect for two: Jenga, Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Sequence are some of our go-to games. Just be careful lest things get a little too competitive and someone ends up mad (umm, yes, that has happened around here)!
I also bought a Wii last Christmas for our family (I found an amazing special and had some Swagbucks, so it was pretty inexpensive!). We’ve had a lot of fun with it! After the kids are asleep, we like to box, play tennis, make fun of the fishing game, and show off our hula-hooping skills 😉 !
3) Variation 1: Coffee and Conversation
One of my very favorite dates happened shortly after we were married. John took me to a coffee shop (something we didn’t do very often, because it was pretty expensive for us at the time) and had a list of questions we talked through. I’m not sure what was so memorable about it except that I really felt listened to and loved because he took the time to think of those questions and seek me out.
This type of date can easily be created at home! Brew some coffee (or tea or hot chocolate), sit down, and focus on each other. If you’re having trouble conversing about anything besides the kids or what needs to be done, I’ve found a book of questions to be helpful or this website with conversation starters for couples.
Variation 2: Journal Writing
Along the same line as coffee and conversation, consider writing down and discussing questions. Before we married, we had a book of questions we went through. Each of us wrote our answers in a journal, and then we shared our answers during a date night. We haven’t yet done it, but I want to get new journals and answer the same questions again. I think it will be interesting to see how our responses differ (now that we’re 11 years down the road)!
No matter what you choose to do, the most important part of date night is actually having one!! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but the connections forged during those times strengthen your marriage and keep the conversation flowing. I hope you have a scheduled weekly date! It’s a great step towards keeping your marriage growing and healthy!