Cheap or Free At-Home Date Night Ideas During Quarantine | Sara Welburn Photography
All of this COVID-19 craziness and the resulting self-quarantining is insane. INSANE Y'ALL! But you already know that. Work is cancelled through the week, Kyle is still studying like crazy from home , and neither of us can GO anywhere (not responsibly at least).
With everything going on, the need for Kyle and I to spend intentional time together is just as important now as it was before coronavirus turned the world upside down. In fact, it feels more important than ever. Worldwide pandemics have a crazy way of putting things into perspective don't they? But the temptation to just tune everything out and turn on Netflix is SO STRONG. When we finally get a few minutes together at the end of the day, that's the default option. You can't think of anything else to do so you just turn it on. And then just veg. For hours. That's what everyone else around the world is doing, right? That's the only thing there really is to do when we're all stuck inside, right? WRONG!
Just because you're stuck at home doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your intentional time together as a couple. Your date nights are more important then ever! Heck, you could have a date night every night this week and there's no one to stop you ;)
Kyle and I have a LOT of experience coming up with free or cheap date night ideas (thank you med school budget). Double points if those points didn't require us to leave the house (thank you chronic migraine disorder). So this is totally in our wheelhouse. We decided to share some of our favorite ideas that we've tried personally and ones we've always wanted to do with YOU in the hopes that this crazy, scary, unprecedented worldwide event can be a blessing in your lives.
There's nothing like a worldwide pandemic to remind you of what's really important. Instead of being stressed or frustrated that we're stuck in our house, we're choosing to look at it as an opportunity for us to tune the world out and just focus on each other. And you can too!
So hop off of Netflix and start planning your fun, intentional, at-home date nights!
1. Do yoga together!
Kyle is not a huge yoga person (like at all) but we have lots of fun trying new things together. We hooked our computer up to the big tv, spread out a few towels on the ground, and attempted to do some yoga with the thousands of beginner yoga tutorials on YouTube! I've gotta be honest - we were horrible. Like really horrible. I think we fell over like 10 times? But we laughed SO MUCH (at ourselves) and did something totally out of the ordinary for us. We were up being active, trying something new together, and it was a blast! It was a great way to break up the monotony of life.
We liked Yoga with Adriene but you can find lots of great yoga videos with a quick google search! Trust me, everyone and their dog has written a blog post about the "top ten beginner yoga videos" so it won't be too hard to find one.
Sounds slightly violent but I promise it isn't. You know those little green army men from Toy Story? The ones who help Buzz keep order in the house and spy on everything? The ones that I think every little boy (or girl) grew up playing with and are now hiding in a box somewhere? Those ones! Well pull them out of the attic because we're playing war!!
Kyle and I split the army men up into two groups (our armies) and set them up however we want on opposite sides of the kitchen table facing each other. Once our armies are in place, we get out a bunch of rubber bands and take turns trying to hit each other's soldiers off the table! You have to stand on your side of the table when you shoot, and an army man is only "defeated" if he falls off the table completely. The first person to knock all of their opponents soldiers off the table wins!!
This is actually a TON of fun! You might think this sounds super easy, but it's actually a lot more difficult than I was expecting. Turns out I have horrible hand-eye coordination when it comes to shooting rubber bands. Who knew!
If you don't have little green army men, you can use so many other things instead. You can use Lego men, action figures, little spice bottles from the kitchen, empty prescription bottles, glue sticks, pieces from a board game, or any combination of those things. Heck, you could even make your own army men out of office supplies you have around the house! Paper clips, binder clips, paper, ribbon, glue. Whatever you have!!
3. Board Games
Kyle and I are HUGE board game people. It's like our only real hobby. 😂 But even if you don't have a massive collection of board games, I'm willing to bet that you have at least one or two hiding in a closet somewhere. Pull it out, dust it off, and start playing.
If it's one you haven't played in a long time, you might surprise yourself with how much fun it is! If you play it regularly, CHANGE THE RULES! Do something totally crazy! Play certain parts blindfolded. Make someone read upside down. Throw the dice in the air and whoever catches them first gets to go again! Whatever game you're playing, find a way to spice it up and totally re-write a rule. Or two. Or three. Who's gonna stop you, the board game police?! Or you can always order a new one online. Check out some of our favorites!
4. Discover a New Card Game
I don't care how many card games you know, I PROMISE there are more out there you've never heard of. A quick Google search turns up literally hundreds of card games you can play with a simple deck of cards. So get online and find one! Whether you choose a game that focuses on pure luck or intense strategy, it's fun to try something new with your partner. And card games are super easy to elevate. Play them in your closet by candlelight. Every time someone wins a hand, they get to eat something chocolaty. Turn it into strip Uno. There are so many ways to make it extra fun!
5. Gourmet Popcorn and Clean Comedy
I'm slightly addicted to popcorn. Not as badly as I am to chocolate, but it's pretty darn close. Especially that Herb's and Spices popcorn from Trader Joe's. Y'ALL! It's divine. I'm legit eating some write now as I type this up. I may or may not have bought 4 bags when the quarantine started.
Anyways, for date night a month or two ago, Kyle and I were inspired by the above mentioned popcorn and decided to have a popcorn making contest! We each had to make a sweet popcorn and a savory popcorn, and then we'd compare to see whose was better. (We probably weren't the most unbiased judges but oh well.) Kyle tried to mimic the Herbs and Spices popcorn from Trader Joe's, but I went all out and melted nutella and coconut together in a pot and then drizzled it over my popcorn. Needless to say - I won!
Once you've got that popcorn ready, check out some super clean, family friendly comedy online at Dry Bar Comedy. Remember that VidAngel company? The one that had that huge lawsuit with Disney? Well they produce their own content in Provo, Utah where they have comedians from all over the world come and perform clean, family friendly shows live in Provo. VidAngel then records the live show and puts it up on their website where you can watch each show for only a dollar or two! And right now, they're letting people watch FREE because of the quarantine!! Kyle and I went to their live shows in Provo all the time before we moved and they were always a BLAST! I can 10 out of 10 recommend!
*If you want to try it out, just go to https://www.vidangel.com/ and keep scrolling til you see their original content section!
6. Adult Paint by Numbers
I have pretty much zero exposure to the art world. The only creative thing I really have much experience with is photography (duh), but I never really got into drawing or painting as a kid, although I've always wanted to try! I love learning new things and I think it'd be so cool to have at least SOME experience with painting. You know, learn the basics. So this week Ky and I are gonna try out some of those cool adult paint by numbers that are all over Amazon right now! Doing something artsy is also proven to relieve stress. Just sit and talk and BREATHE and create something. Be in control of a situation when it feels like you have no control over anything else.
7. Get to Know You Night
Life is stressful. Especially right now with all the unknowns. But life is always stressful. Sometimes you need a night just being a kid and reconnecting. Build a fort, fill it with pillows and stuffed animals and blankets, grab a snack, and then hunker down and just TALK . Cuddle and talk. Kyle and I use this list of 100 Conversational Questions to Ask Your Spouse during dinner sometimes when we're both too exhausted to come up with fun, engaging conversation topics. It's really enriched our time together and helped us learn or re-learn things about each other! And no matter how long you've been married, I can guarantee you won't already know your spouse's answer every single question on this list!
8. Science Experiments
Y'all I teach at a children's museum. When we do these science experiments, all you adults are having just as much fun as your kids! Sometimes more! Take an evening to re-discover the joy of learning! Have a baking soda and vinegar foam fight, re-live your childhood by making slime, or race baking soda-powered boats in your bathtub! There are literally thousands of quick, easy science experiments you can do at home. Heck, Kyle and I do these things all the time! Take your mind off of everything going on in the world right now and just be PRESENT.
9. Sensory Night
No, this isn't meant to be dirty 🙄 However, it's your date night, you can elevate it anyway you want! Occupational Therapists use sensory therapy all. the. time. It's an effective method for reducing anxiety, calming nerves, and providing comfort. I think we can all use a little bit of that right now, don't you?! So pull out a tray or a big bowl and let's get started :)
One of my favorite sensory items is water beads! You have to prep them a little ahead of time (it's super simple, just follow the instructions on the box), but once they've absorbed all the water and grown to full size, you can seriously sit there for HOURS just running them through your hands. Once, Kyle and I literally sat on our bathroom floor with a big bowl of these things and just chilled. For an hour. We just talked and breathed and kept running our hands through the beads in the bowl. It's super addicting. I can't explain why, you just have to trust me and try it!
Another fum sensory activity to help you both de-stress is to play with shaving cream! Yup, that's right, shaving cream. You probably have an extra can or two laying around somewhere in your house already anyways, and if you don't it's super cheap at Walmart. Just spread it around on a tray or large plate (or even just start on your table) and go to town! Draw in it. Squish it around in between your finger's. Write dirty (or sweet) message to each other. See who can build the tallest tower out of shaving cream before it falls over. Just BREATHE and BE A KID for a minute. I promise you'll feel way less stressed afterwards.
10. Bake Blindfolded!
Those of you who know me know that I only spend time in the kitchen when absolutely necessary. But every now and then it's fun to dive in and get a little messy and have something tasty at the end to reward yourself! Especially brownies. And it's even more fun when I get to blindfold Kyle and give him instructions on how to make the brownies! 😂 We've only done this a few times, and we never have the blindfolded person do anything concerning the oven, but it always ends in laughs and a tasty treat :) The way we do it is that the blindfolded person is the one actually baking and the other person gives the instructions but isn't allowed to touch anything. After a few simple tasks (like cracking an egg 😂) we switch! Then at the end we clean up together and get to make brownie sundaes, our favorite dessert. All in all it's a fun way to mix things up in the kitchen and turn baking into something I actually want to do!
This post is already getting super long so I'm gonna stop it right there, but y'all there are SO MANY fun date nights that you can do from home that are super cheap or completely free. Don't feel like you have to give up your special time with your partner. Make the effort. Be intentional. Don't allow the craziness of the world get in the way of the most important relationship in your life. We believe that relationships continue after this life and that they're one of the only things you can take with you after you die. That makes them one of THE more important things in existence. So give your relationship the time and effort it deserves. Don't let excuses, big or small, keep your from developing and enjoying your biggest blessing: each other.
Have any other date night ideas you can do from home that aren't on our list? Tell me in the comments! We do date nights from home aaaallll the time and are always looking for more ideas!