Date Night: 8 Ways to Find Romance At Home

We all love (and fondly remember) those romantic candlelit dinners and nights out on the town, but these days, date nights are few and far between, leaving you longing for some serious one-on-one time (and I don’t mean with your toddler)! If you can’t snag a sitter, no worries! I’ve got a few creative (and romantic) tricks up my sleeve to give you and your hubby the date night you deserve…at home!

Classic Candlelight

You can’t go wrong with this classic. Dust off your finest silverware and linens (no plastic forks or placemats here!), turn down the lights and switch on your flameless candles to set the mood. Conversation is the key here. As hard as it is, refrain from bringing up hot topics like kids, work, schedules, etc. Stick to stuff you’d talk about when you were first dating. (Can’t remember? Try travel, goals, fave movies/books/shows, the crazy outfit your neighbor was wearing…whatever!).  Notice I didn’t mention the menu. Fancy steaks and fine wine are fabulous, but your candlelit dinner can be just as romance-inspiring with mac and cheese or Chinese take-out.

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Bring on the Board Games

They may conjure up images of cheesy family nights or trendy coffee shops, but board games still made our list! Spice up Monopoly or go deep with a question game. No grown-up games in the house? Candy Land and Mouse Trap can work just as well. Or for an awesome selection of adult games, from simple to sexy, check out Nookii.com. Game on!

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Italian Night (Parisian Night, Islands Night, etc.)

It’s the classic candlelit dinner, Italian-style (or any country of your choosing). Transform your home into a Spanish vineyard, Italian pizzeria or a beach cabana. Create your menu around that theme and pick a movie to go along with it. Examples: Italy: Homemade pizza, Chianti & gelato followed by classic Italian movie. France: Baguettes, cheeses, fruit and dessert crepes, followed by a French movie (I love Amelie).  Mexico or the Caribbean: Fish tacos and pina colodas (don’t forget the cheesy paper umbrellas).

Parisian Picnic

Parisian Picnic

Spa Night

You don’t have to book a couples massage to enjoy the spa together. Pamper (and get pampered) at your in-house oasis. Replace tub toys with bath salts, candles and flowers. Add fresh berries or pineapple to a glass of chilled champagne, soak, and enjoy! Now is the time to dust off those massage oils. Don’t have any? Make your own (recipes here). Top your night off with some chocolate dipped strawberries and lavender-scented sheets.

 

Sports Night

Your man will love this one. DVR a game (preferably of a sport you both enjoy), throw together a meal of nachos (complete with Velveeta cheese), hot dogs and cold beer, and get comfy on the couch. Root for your team together or make things interesting with a few bets.  It’s cheap, it’s simple, and it’ll have you both cheering for more at-home date nights.

 

Fort Campout

As a mom, you’ve probably made your share of pillow forts for the kiddos. Put your expertise to work and help you hubby construct an adults-only fort in your living room. Spruce up your cozy castle with twinkle lights or candles, turn on some mood music and grab your coziest pj’s. Set up a picnic and make S’mores for dessert (recipe here). Talk, scheme, giggle…make it a slumber party for you and your man! No kids allowed!

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Scavenger Hunt

These aren’t just for summer camps and birthday parties! Keep your partner guessing with a scavenger hunt, a la date night. Hide clues around the house, each one containing a piece of the date. Can be anything from popcorn-and-movie date to one of the date nights listed here!

 

DIY Date Night

Date nights don’t need to be all high heels and romance. Show your handy side and tackle a household project that’s been on the back burner for weeks (or years).  Much needed paint touch-up in the living room? Always wanted to distress that coffee table or bookcase? Roll up your sleeves, get the paint brushes out, turn on some tunes and have some fun. Hey, one more thing to cross off your to-do list!

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What are some of your favorite at-home date night ideas?

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Little Gymnasts: Open Play at Northwest Aerials

This place doesn’t have shiny, moving play sets. It’s not pretty and compact. And it’s not one of the spanking new indoor play areas that have (thankfully) begun to pop up in and around Seattle. But it is one of the oldest and largest gymnastic schools in the U.S., featuring internationally standard equipment and state of the art training accessories. It also has a preschool associated with it, so kids can get their share of balance beams and trampolines along with their ABC’s.

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Northwest Aerials, located in Kirkland, offers some awesome gymnastics classes for kids ages 3 (and under!), all the way through 11. And it’s not just tumbling: the extensive schedule includes ballet, tap, jazz and hip hop classes as well as the popular kids yoga classes, summer camps and private lessons. And it’s definitely not just for girls. We saw plenty of little dudes there today (and no, they weren’t wearing leotards).

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We came for open play, and had a great time jumping, swinging, running, leaping…basically getting worn out. Which, in most parents’ eyes, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Open Play: Fridays, 9:30am-10:30am, ages crawling thru 5, $8/child

For more awesome, wear-em-out, indoor play areas, check out my article on ParentMap!

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A good list of kid-friendly coffee shops never gets old. Bring on the lattes.

Seattle Travel Mom

Seattleites are happily spoiled when it comes to coffee, and we know how to enjoy a cup or two.  From the big boys like Starbucks to the much-loved independent coffee shops and neighborhood cafes that line our streets, there truly is something for everyone.  And thank goodness for the kid-friendly coffee shops!  Whether it be to chat with another adult over a latte while your kids play, find solace from the rain, or enjoy a coffee/cocoa date with your little connoisseur,  these spots are much-needed and appreciated!  Here are some favorites:

Twirl Café  (Queen Anne)

One of the most kid-friendly coffee shops around, Twirl is a mecca for moms, kids and coffee.  A winner of many parent awards, the café offers delicious sandwiches, soups and salads, plus a full kids menu that includes lots of organic ingredients.   We tried the sunflower-butter and jelly sandwich with orange slices-  my…

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For the Love of Valentines! (9 Cupid-Inspired Avtivities)

Ahhh, Valentine’s Day. To parents, February 14th could mean anything from a makeshift candlelight dinner squeezed into a busy schedule to an after-Valentine’s Day, 75% off box-o-chocolate special. Maybe you’ve planned ahead and called 6 months in advance to reserve a table at a romantic restaurant (good for you!) or maybe you won’t do anything at all (gasp!).

But to kiddos, Valentine’s Day means glitter and glue, heart-shaped everything, and the excuse to wear pink and red for days on end. Sugar cookies and pink frosting are household staples for the first half of February, and loooove is in the air. Whether your cupids-in-training are creative valentines, sweet valentines or active valentines, we’ve got a little something sweet for everyone.

Check out my Red Tricycle article for some kid-friendly, cupid-inspired Valentine’s activities and events!

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