Whether you can’t get out thanks to COVID or you simply don’t want to shell out cash for a sitter, you can still have a fun, romantic night at home. All it takes is a little creativity! So, put the kids to bed early and enjoy one of these 12 at-home date night ideas with your honey:

Escape with a dinner and a movie theme night.

Put the lust in wanderlust with a sexy dinner and movie pairing that lets you “travel” without ever leaving the house. Feast on Mediterranean dishes like stuffed grape leaves, lamb kebobs and Greek salad, then screen the Santorini-set Mamma Mia or Greek isle romance Before Midnight. Chow down on baked ziti and tiramisu while you say “Ciao!” to classic dramas like The Godfather or The Italian Job. Or fire up some dumplings as a prelude to Crazy Rich Asians…you get the idea—take it from here!

Recreate a favorite meal at home.

The kids can keep their mac ‘n cheese with peas. Tonight, you and your partner are going to whip up the home version of a memorable meal…together! Maybe it’s that mushroom risotto from your favorite date-night bistro or a grilled salmon that reminds you of your wedding night. Cooking together is a feast for the senses and a tasty way to reconnect!

Set up a spa.

Draw a bubbly scented bath for two and surround it with candles for a soothing soak. Afterwards, don your fluffiest robes and bust out the massage oil for some spa-worthy rubdowns. (You can always watch a how-to video in advance!)

Taste a flight of wine (or bourbon…or chocolate!).

Sampling a group of wines from the same region or varietal is a fun way to improve your wine knowledge and the perfect accompaniment to a cheese platter or antipasto plate. Yum! Take it to the next level by blindfolding each other and trying to guess what you’re drinking. Pregnant or breastfeeding?  Skip the vino and create a tasting of gourmet chocolates, olive oils or pastries instead.

Make it a game night.

Put the kids—and the Candyland—to bed and bust out the more adult games you never get to play, from Backgammon to Trivial Pursuit. Need some suggestions for games couples rave about? Try Codenames, Fog of Love, Never Have I Ever, and Freedom of Speech.  (And remember, the “strip” version of any game is always an option.)

May I have this dance?

You know what’s even more romantic than slow dancing together? Slow dancing at home in front of a roaring fire or outside on the deck, under the stars. Take your time creating a playlist of favorite slow songs—the ones with all the special memories attached—then twirl and dip to your heart’s content. Talk about dancing like nobody’s watching!

Work out together.

It’s always more fun—and motivating—when you exercise with a buddy, so why not turn it into a date night? Get your blood pumping with a YouTube fitness video or yoga class. After your sweat session, share a shower, then enjoy a well-deserved meal.

Turn your bedroom into a boudoir

Why is that a hotel room always seems sexier than your own bedroom? Maybe it’s the soft lighting, the slick décor, the total lack of clutter…or all of the above. Start by ridding your bedroom of any kids’ paraphernalia, because nobody needs those reminders on date night. Spend a few minutes giving your bedroom the Marie Kondo treatment—even if that means hiding the laundry and magazines in the closet for the night. Then, make the bed with fresh linens, adding a furry or velvet throw. Light scented candles and dim the lamps. Crank some tunes and consider the scene set for romance.

Have a slumber party.

Mix up your usual routine by camping out in the living room as though you’re teens at a birthday party. Grab cozy bedding or sleeping bags, make popcorn, turn out the lights and cue up some non-animated movies for a change, maybe even R-rated ones! If you run out of things to do, you can always play Truth or Dare.

Eat dinner in bed.

Who has time for breakfast in bed when you’re a parent? Instead, prep a tray of tasty small plates and drinks to enjoy decadently under the covers with a movie or conversation. Spread a picnic blanket out to catch the cracker crumbs and you’re good!

Create a comedy club.

Laughing together is a bonding experience, so get a little help from the latest Netflix comedy special (think Ali Wong, Kevin Hart, or John Mulaney). And don’t forget the two-drink minimum! Try a new recipe for cocktails or mocktails and garnish with fruit, herbs, and cocktail umbrellas for the full effect.

Have a fancy feast.

Even if you have nowhere to go, you can still get all dressed up! Don cocktail attire or those costumes you wore to that 1920’s party. Then bust out the good china and the ice bucket—you know, all those wedding gifts you never use. It’s candlelit dinner time! (And it’s perfectly okay if that dinner is actually takeout.)

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