Featured, Relationships

8 Romantic Valentine’s Day Dates That Don’t Require A Babysitter

How to spice up your relationship and rekindle the romance when you have kids.

When was the last time you spent some quality alone time with your significant other? Remember those long and lazy date nights you had before you became parents? We could easily spend all day planning our outfits & primping for the evening. The two of you would enjoy banal conversation over a leisurely meal and plenty of wine; maybe you would even get dessert. Afterward, you would come home to a quiet, empty house and enjoy some unrushed intimacy.

Of course, this is also how most of us ended up as parents in the first place. Still, I am a big believer in the importance of dating your spouse. Making time for each other to reset and reconnect is vital to a successful marriage. Unfortunately, for many, babysitters are expensive or hard to come by. This often puts a damper on how many date nights a couple can have if they have children. Once you have little ones so many aspects of your life change and how you approach your relationship is no different.

After a long day of chasing your kiddos, running errands, and working chances are you’re too tired to even think of date night ideas. Luckily, I’ve composed a list of some of my favorite sitter free date nights. Tuck your kids into bed a little early, doll yourself up, and make with the romance!

(You may want to make sure your bedroom is distraction-free, so when the party moves there nothing chills that passion!)

Themed Date Night

Choose a theme and center everything you do around that. For example, if you choose an Italian theme, you could eat pasta and gelato, then watch a movie like The Godfather or Under The Tuscan Sun. Some other fun theme ideas: Mexican, French, Christmas, Kid’s theme, 1990’s (or any decade), etc., etc.

Board Game Date Night

Turn up the heat with a little friendly competition over your favorite board games. You can spice up your G-rated game favorites by adding a rule saying that the loser has to strip. For something more risque check out these X-rated couples games.

Luxury Spa Date Night

Light some candles, dim the lights and give each other massages. Don’t forget to pick up some massage oil or lotion and maybe even a little wine.

Memory Lane Date Night

Pick up a journal or photo book and break out your old photos and ephemera. Put it all together and scrapbook your love story, adding personal anecdotes and memories throughout. It will be a great way to walk down memory lane and rekindle the flame that brought you together.

Wine Tasting Date Night

Grab some wines that are outside your usual comfort zone for this date. Pick up some chocolate, charcuterie, and cheese to make the perfect pairings. Maybe you’ll even find a new favorite type of wine to add to your rotation.

Snow Fight Date Night

This one obviously depends on where you are and the local weather. If there is snow on the ground (February around here almost guarantees it) head out into your yard and unleash your inner children. Build a snowman, have a snowball fight, make snow angels, and construct a snow fort or igloo. There is something special about playing in the snow by moonlight, and it will be far more romantic than you anticipate. After you finish playing warm up inside by cuddling under a big blanket while sharing warm up some cocoa

Indoor Picnic Date

Gather up all of your favorite picnic staples, put together a romantic playlist, and light some candles. Lay blankets and pillows out on your living room floor and start feeding each other those delightful little foods. Take the time to truly reconnect by having a meaningful conversation. Get super personal with this New York Times quiz The 36 Questions That Lead To Love. You may be surprised what you learn about each other.


“Chopped” Challenge Date

If you aren’t familiar with this Food Network hit, I suggest checking it out (mostly because I’m addicted to cooking shows). This will bring cooking together to an entirely new level. Decide what course you want to prepare, then provide your each other with 3 ingredients you must use. From there you set a time limit and each of you must prepare a dish. This is a fun and friendly competition and you will have fun “judging” each other’s dishes based on presentation and taste over some laughs and cocktails.


Some date night tips:

In can be difficult to get out of your head when setting date nights at home. This is, after all, the place where we cook, clean, parent, and sometimes work. To create the perfect romantic setting make sure you plan ahead.

  • Make sure no household chores are nagging you in the back of your mind. If you really wanted to have the laundry done and folded or the floors freshly mopped, get it done ahead of time. Since you’re staying home it is so easy to dampen your date night by pressing pause for these menial tasks. Keep yourself fully engaged in your partner by planning accordingly.
  • Unplug and disconnect during your planned time together. TIME Magazine published this article last year and it has completely changed my approach when it comes to my relationship. Maintaining a romantic connection requires living in the moment, not being half present while idly prowling Facebook. Turn your phones, tablets, and computers off. When you are finished with your evening together the digital world will still be there!
  • If the kiddos wake up be sure to send them right back to their own beds. Do not throw in the towel because of a late night wake up. I know this can be hard, fellow mommas but it is important. Our marriages our the single most important relationship we have in life. We make many sacrifices for our children but we should not be sacrificing our spouse. Dating your spouse and prioritizing time them will show your children the type of relationship they should strive for. Explain to your little ones that mommy and daddy need some special time together because you love each other and send their nosy butts back to bed.
  • Truly enjoy each other. Put aside all of the annoying things your spouse may have done this week. This is not the time to discuss your issues or argue over why he left his clothes on the floor for the nine thousandth time. This is a time to remember the best parts of your marriage and celebrate them.

What are some of your favorite at home date nights & ways to rekindle the romance when you have kids? Tell me about them in the comments!


34 thoughts on “8 Romantic Valentine’s Day Dates That Don’t Require A Babysitter

  1. These are so great. Hubby and I will be home this year with a 17 month old who never sleeps. I like how they are still romantic without leaving home.

    1. Our daughter is the same age. Lord, does she ever give us a run for our money! It is nice to have a little bit of adult time, though and remember that we are more than just mommy and daddy.

  2. This is a cute list. It is so nice to see couples still dating earth other. After 14 years I still love to date my husband. These ideas are wonderful and I will be trying some of them. Even after Valentine’s Day

  3. These are such great ideas! Going to have to try them out soon. We’re nearing our daughter’s second birthday, and we seriously need to rekindle the spark!

    1. My daughter is around that age, too. This can be such a great age, but it is tough and exhausting to make time for much other than “toddler chasing” in the schedule. I hope you guys get a chance at some quality alone time soon. 🙂

  4. Luckily our daughter is now old enough to babysit her brothers so we can go out. When she wasn’t we would just put them to bed and watch a tv series that was just for us.

    1. My husband and I love playing games. We pull them out once a month for some friendly competition. We’re big on UNO around here. lol

  5. Love the themed date night ideas! And so true about getting chores done ahead of time. If there are dishes in the sink, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy until they were done. Lots of good tips!

    1. Thank you! I feel like those little household distractions are the biggest deterrent to a date night in. With a little preplanning though we can make our homes more romantic.

    1. I agree. My husband and I went through some old photo albums on our wedding anniversary and it was nice to take that trip down memory lane.

  6. I really love these tips and suggestions. Connecting with our spouse can be such an important but often forgotten task. Thanks for sharing, will definitely be trying these out soon!

    1. It really is often forgotten despite how important it is. It was the one thing my grandmother was adamant about when offering marriage advice though. She said, “you need to date and stay connected because one day your kids leave and you don’t want to be sitting next to a stranger.” That has really stuck with us.

    1. I agree with you there. Even before we had a kid I didn’t want to venture out on Valentine’s Day. I remember what a nightmare it was when we were younger – overcrowded restaurants, never any parking, madness everywhere – I’ll pass.

  7. I love the themed date night idea! We don’t have kids yet; but this is something I will be trying with my husband this upcoming Valentines Day! — Also, thank you for the tips in the end. They are to the point and very important.

    1. We have tried a few! We love a lazy board game night at home! We’ve also had great fun with a few living room picnics and themed nights. We don’t go out nearly as much as we used to so it’s great to have some quality time to reconnect at home.

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