Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#5Faves: At Home Date Night Activities (Summertime Edition)

We have been married 8 years and have 3 small children. We are a one-income family which limits our financial means for going out and our time as together as a family is limited due to my husband's work travel so we prefer to spend time as a family.

But what's a couple to do when we'd like some alone time? Some time to not be exclusively mom & dad? Some time to remember what fun, vibrant, non sleeping-on-the-couch people we used to be?

Mr. Amen and I don't like leaving the kids in the care of non-family babysitters (we have in the past and they were fine, we just prefer family to watch them). Our babysitter of choice is my mom (and dad), but she has her own life and I don't want to take advantage of her generosity in asking her to care for our kids too at home date nights it is.

Creative at home date nights? Puh-leeeezzzzz! You've probably read about these before. AmIright? And you are kind of tired of the same ideas over and over?

Yup, me too.

So here's my top 5 ideas for an at home date night with your main squeeze:

Wow, starting off strong? No, really. Coloring.

If your kids have art supplies, you have art supplies. I bet even the most unartistic adult can do something decent with crayons, markers, water color paints or sidewalk chalk. I happen to enjoy coloring and do it to relax. My husband bought me a couple of adult coloring books (this one and this one) for Mother's Day this year and my dad let me borrow his professional colored pencils. So.Much.Fun.

But what if you don't have fancy adult coloring books? Well, grab your kids' coloring books and, together, color some pictures for them to surprise them in the morning. Get a big roll of art paper and start coloring your own wrapping paper to use for birthdays or Christmas (also a great project for the kids).

If it isn't going to rain overnight, go out and use some sidewalk chalk to decorate the driveway, back patio or sidewalk. Draw some shapes for the kids to color the next day. Trace each other's body on the driveway next to each other (holding hands...duh!) then plan your future "unlimited funds" date by drawing on your spouse what they would wear on that date (keep it clean, folks, let's not scare the neighbors!). You might just get some fun ideas for out-of-the-house dates someday.

I know my DH would like to go scuba diving (not a chance in H-E-double-hockey-sticks!), and I'd love to go on a walking tour of France; so he'd draw me in flippers, goggles and a wet suit (what a sight!) and I'd draw him with a backpack, a walking stick, a baguette & bottle of wine!

Getting your creative juices flowing together can be a great way to share your dreams and hopes for the future.

Thought you said "at home" date nights? Yes, at home. Have you never camped at home? My kids like to set up their tent in the family room, drag in all the pillows and sleeping bags and pretend they are camping.

Grown-ups can camp at home too! Grill some banana boats or make some s'mores over the BBQ grill or fire pit (if you have one) or over your gas stove. Or just make these or these, crack open a wine cooler (or beer) and sit on the porch and watch the traffic nature go by. What sort of activities would you enjoy after the kids go to bed if you were camping? Cards, games, music? Go sit outside (covered in bug spray) and make it happen.

Now I'm not an outdoorsy kind of gal, so my favorite camping activity would be high-tailing it to a hotel to sit in bed and watch a movie...but zip your sleeping bags together on the living room floor and cuddle up for a Great Outdoors viewing party - that's right up my woodsy alley.

Pool Party
Do you have a kiddie pool for the kids? Fill 'er up (during the day so the water can warm up a bit), slip into your swimsuits and sit in the pool together. Make some homemade slurpees, grab a bag of snacks or popsicles and go sit in the pool. This may not sound all that exciting, but it is a nice way to relax at the end of a long day. No kids splashing you, no diapers needing changed or kids needing help with their wet swimsuits.

It would be fun to play cards, listen to music or a baseball game, or read each other an article or blog post you've found interesting.

Ice Cream Station
A cherished summer tradition at our house is going out for ice cream or frozen custard as a family. And I know that tradition is fun, but it's also expensive and messy. Wait for the kids to go to bed then make your favorite ice cream shop treat at home! You'll have to plan ahead a bit to make sure you have the ingredients for your & your sweetie's choices, but this is such a nice treat.

Imagine eating an entire ice cream sundae without your kids begging for a taste, without stopping to wipe the sticky off another tiny person's mouth and hands (and elbows and knees) with a wet wipe, without someone crying because they licked their cone and it fell to the ground.

Seriously. Think about that for a second. Wipe that tear from your cheek...this could be reality.

You could make each other's sundae or put one of you in charge of the ice cream concoction and the other in charge of the beverages. Eat them by Citro.nella candlelight out on the porch or patio.

For a fun variation - use your old shot glasses from college to make several tiny ice cream sundaes - that way you get to enjoy a variety of flavors. And you finally get some use out of those shot glasses you've been meaning to donate.

Foot washing
I know not every husband is into pedicures, but mine sure is. He just snuck out for a pedicure last weekend, in fact.

This is kind of like a spa night, but less intimidating.

We get a big tub of hot water with epsom salts and a drop or two of essential oil (like lavendar). Have your cuddle bunny soak his feet for a few minutes. Then break out your foot scrub. If you have some already, slather it on and massage away at his feet. If you don't have any - make your own For My Honey scrub. Sugar scrubs are easy to make and you probably have the stuff around the house anyhow.  After a nice foot massage, back in the basin for a rinse. Then with a nice, fluffy, towel, gently dry off your darling's feet, apply some lotion (if he'll let you) and switch spots!

Here are some other ideas for DIY at home foot soaks & scrubs.

This activity goes nicely with soft music, and a cold beverage to contrast the warm foot-soaking water. It's a very tactile way of getting connected with your lovey. Plus, because you are looking at their feet instead of their face, it can help get the person talking without all the visual pressure of so much eye contact.

Jenna is our lovely & vivacious host for #5Faves, so head over to her blog and check out everyone's #5Faves!

NOTE: These are NOT affiliate links. I receive no compensation or kickbacks for promoting these products, recipes or ideas. All opinions are my own. I just thought you might like to hear about them.


  1. Ooh, so many good ideas! We just had a date night last night with sushi and a movie... so boring! I mean, it was still fun, but I needed some new ideas. Thank you.