Activities

6 Stay-at-Home Date Night Ideas

By Sarah Parsons

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Whether you've got a little one or not, going out for date night can be tricky. Maybe you don't have a babysitter, maybe you had a long week at work, or maybe you're on a tight budget this month. Whatever the case may be, date night goes to the wayside...again. 

But let's not accept defeat so easily! Investing in your marriage is so important. Without intimacy, your relational flame will dwindle. You may even feel like it's blown out altogether. But there are ways to keep your spark alive! Some good, old-fashioned quality time may be just what the Love Doctor ordered. So, here are six stay-at-home date night ideas that will help put the pep back into your marital step!

Creative Date Nights at Home

1. Drinks by the Fire.

I don't know about you, but firepits make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The flicker of the flames, the sound of crackling wood, the smell of campfire on my sweater. Mmmmmm. Add a glass of wine and my honey, and the scene is set for the perfect evening! (Coffee, tea, or hot cocoa also make perfect campfire sips.) 

Enjoy the peace and quiet just being close to each other. Relax, you deserve it. 

2. Board Games

Come on, give board games a chance; they are an awesome way to connect. A little healthy competition is great between couples. Personally, we tend to take the competition to an extreme. And when I say "we," I mean "me."

But we still have a great time. 

One of our favorite games to play together is Gin Rummy. It's a card game, so it takes up minimal space and is super easy to clean up! A win win! If you've never played Gin, you can check out the rules here.

3. Take Personality Tests and Compare the Results.

This is a fun one! It may sound a little weird, but give it a try. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised to discover new things about your spouse. 

Ryan and I both took this free test based on Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ personality type theory. It was really neat to compare our personalities and see where we work well together and where we might clash a bit. 

4. Make Milkshakes or Sundaes Together.

Myyyyyyy milkshakes bring all the kids to the yard, but they're asleep! So the shakes are all ours... *mom dance for the win.*

You really can't go wrong with ice cream! Unless you're lactose intolerant... then this could really ruin your night.

But for the rest of you this takes the cake! Take a trip to the grocery store and load up on all your favorite ice cream, toppings, and cookies, then come home and GO NUTS! This is a NO SHAME date night. Throw caution to the wind and eat away all the stress of the week. 

If you're up for a challenge, try out a milkshake recipe. We love Oreo's in our house, so this is our go-to recipe.

5. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane.

This one's my favorite and we do it often. I absolutely love looking through our old pictures together and hearing Ryan tell me how he remembers the moments. Even though I've heard the stories a hundred times, for some reason, hearing him tell them again and again never gets old. 

Talk about a way to rekindle some love!

6. Take-Out by Candlelight

There's only one thing better than a romantic, candle-lit dinner at home, and that's a romantic, candle-lit dinner at home you didn't have to make! So have fun dressing up your table. Grab any candles you've got lying around the house, pull out your wedding china (or even some cute paper plates for easier clean-up), and order your favorite take-out.

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We’ve found “favorites” to be a fun conversation topic. We’ve been married for almost 5 years now, but sometimes it’s fun to get back to the basics with questions like, “What’s your favorite color?” “What’s your favorite song? “What’s your favorite Bible verse?” Ryan started asking me these and more today while we were on our way to lunch. It feels so nice to have your spouse interested in your likes and dislikes. 

I hope something here has sparked your interest! Date night should be a priority and hopefully, this makes it seem a little more possible. God loves marriage and wants to see yours thrive—don’t let this busy life go too fast. Cherish the time you have with your spouse once your kids are down for the night. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in tomorrow’s to-do list, the bills that need to be paid, or the groceries that need to be purchased. Just be present. 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
— Matthew 6:25-26, 34

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Sarah Parsons found an online outlet for her gift of exhortation when she started her mommy blog. She writes from her home in California for the sole purpose of encouraging and inspiring women. Married to Ryan and mother of Harley Wren, Sarah shares adventures and advice to make family more fun. 

Website: theparsonspack.com, Instagram: @mrs.parsons


Mystery Thursdays

By Molly Kennedy

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Summer is coming and with school about to let out, it’s time to get creative with many open days that lay ahead.

Jen Hatmaker has some great articles about surviving summer with her five kids which have resonated with me. I have adopted one fantastic idea called “Mystery Thursdays.” Jen has this to say about the activity: “Thursday is not a sacred cow, it is just the day of the week I’m about to snap. The kids know we’re going somewhere fun, somewhere cool, but it’s a surprise. We’ve gone to every lake, river, park, exhibit, concert, and attraction in a 150-mile radius.”

I adopted this practice in the summer of 2015 when my girls were 12 and 9. Four years later and it continues to be so much fun! We have done the following (if you are looking for adventure ideas):

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  • Celestial Seasonings Tour

  • Denver Trolley and Little Man Ice Cream

  • Denver Cat Company

  • Bowling at Lucky Strike in downtown Denver

  • South Park in Fairplay and then Beau Jo’s for lunch

  • Touring the University of Colorado in Boulder with my parents who graduated from there

  • A concert by a local orchestra

  • Riverwalk in Golden and the Golden Library

  • Coffee and journaling at Barnes and Noble

  • Swimming

  • Restaurants

  • Hikes

  • Picnics in parks

  • Movies

The only rules are...it’s a mystery, so they can’t find out beforehand! They can ask yes or no questions once we are in the car and en route. Sometimes friends come with us so the girls have fun guessing who we are meeting as well.

Now that they are teenagers, our schedule has become more complicated, but we still try to do mystery adventures when we can. We also switch things up. Last summer, the girls planned a Mystery Thursday and then put it on my GPS so I would know where to drive.  It was a restaurant, and they still allowed me the honor of buying lunch.

Sometimes our schedule works better for a Mystery Friday or a Mystery Tuesday Night. Last fall, I put Kennedy Mystery Vacation on our mutual online calendar, and it blocked out a few days for us to escape at Thanksgiving.

The next mystery adventure that is sitting on our calendars is dropping the first week of June--heading to the Toby Mac concert at Fiddler’s Green!

More than the activities themselves, I think the fun is in the mystery and in doing something together that is out of the norm. It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be done at a certain time of day. (I’ve got you, working mamas! I am one of you!)

Psalm 118:23-25 says,

This is God’s work. We rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it! This is the very day God acted—let’s celebrate and be festive! Salvation now, God. Salvation now! Oh yes, God—a free and full life!

Going into summer and praying for FUN for you this year; fun in the mundane, fun in the extraordinary, and fun in the mystery.