Marriage can be challenging, especially after having kids or while living the military lifestyle.

While some couples are fortunate enough to have friends and family nearby to take the kids for the occasional date night, others are not so lucky. Military families face this dilemma all the time. They move away from family and have trouble finding a sitter on short notice. Or maybe they have just been assigned to a new duty station and don’t have friends or a trusted sitter yet. 

Military life has enough obstacles without adding a lack of date nights into the mix. After our first baby, my husband and I realized very quickly that our weekly outings to the movie theater or to dinner were not going to be an option anymore. That’s when we started to get creative. 

I’ve put together a list of our favorite date night IN ideas. These are fun and affordable ways for you and your significant other to connect and spend time together.

First, here are a few tips for making the most out of the night:

A. Wait until the kids are in bed. This will allow you to really spend some quality one on one time together.

B. Once you’ve picked the activity, set the mood. It will feel more authentic and special if you set the mood accordingly. 

C. Don’t forget the snacks! I like to get snacks that go with the theme of our date. 

7 Date Night In Ideas

1. Home Theater

This is a simple twist on a classic date night. Rent a new movie or stream one of your favorites (preferably one without singing trolls). Grab the candy and popcorn and snuggle in for a movie night. There’s just one rule with this one … don’t fall asleep!

2. Home Cooking Class

Youtube a cooking lesson and make a delicious dessert together. It’s a fun and romantic way to bond using food and teamwork! Or make it into a game of Chopped. Just select 4 to 5 ingredients and see what you each come up with (you can use the kids as judges)!

3. Home Arcade

Get competitive with a home arcade complete with laundry basket ski ball and the classic shooting game using lined up toys and a Nerf gun. Be creative and come up with some fun games to keep you occupied for hours!

4. Stargazing

Lay on a blanket outside and gaze at the starry night sky. For some added fun, download a free stargazing app to help you find constellations (you can even use some of these apps to start gaze inside).

5. Paint and Sip

Rather than paying $50+ at a studio, create your own at home! Buy some canvas and paint and then YouTube an instructional painting video. There is even a Bob Ross series on Netflix. Paint while sipping on your favorite wine or beverage and let your creativity flow. 

6. Dance Club

Put on your favorite date night dress, turn on your favorite dance music, and move the furniture out of the way! Dim the lights and dance the night away with your significant other. You can even shake up your own cocktail to make it feel like a night out on the town. 

7. Subscribe!

This one was a real game changer for us. There are subscription boxes that provide you with EVERYTHING you need for a fun and unique date night in experience. Mailed directly to your door, they include something to set the mood (candles, etc.), a hands on activity for you and your date, and a snack to match the theme! There are quite a few reputable companies but our personal favorite is the Night In Boxes.

What are you waiting for?

Quality time with your spouse or significant other is so important. Not only is it needed for your relationship, it’s important for your sanity. As a stay-at-home mom, it is so nice to have nights where I’m not just “mom.” Dressing up and reconnecting with my husband makes me feel like “Jordan” again. 

If you are in need of a date night, whether you’re pregnant, you’re having trouble finding a sitter or the time to go out, or if you just need to change things up, try these ideas!

Once you do, post pictures of your date on social media with the hashtag #milmbdatenightin so we can see how it went!

What are some fun date night alternatives you and your SO enjoy doing to reconnect?