Sunny Wallis

Sunny Wallis

May 29, 2023. 2 mins read

Home Life

DIY Date Nights For Busy And Tired Parents

If you're a parent, you know that date nights are as rare as a unicorn sighting. Between the endless to-do list, the never-ending household chores, and the tiny humans running around, it's hard to find time for romance. And let's not forget the biggest obstacle of all - finding a babysitter who won't charge you your first-born child!


But fear not, fellow parents! Instead of waiting for the stars to align and magically grant you a date night, why not take matters into your own hands? Sure, you may not be a gourmet chef, but who says love can't bloom over a burnt pizza and a bottle of cheap wine? We've got 12 at-home date night ideas that are sure to ignite the spark in your relationship - or at the very least, keep you from falling asleep.

  1. Wine tasting

    First up, wine tasting! Buy some new bottles of wine, get drunk, and pretend you're fancy .

    Alternatively you could buy a few new bottles, record your findings in a book so over time you can add to the list and create a couples wine list of your favourite drinks. 

  2. Movie Night

    It’s a classic, and sounds a little boring but you could theme the movies and each contribute your own choice. Make it exciting. Play a (sexy) drinking game along with the movie or write up your open reviews at the end if getting down and dirty at the end sounds too tiring!

  3. Themed nights

    Each week pick a theme. The theme can then be peppered throughout the whole evening, down to every little detail. The music, what you wear, what you cook, what you watch, what you play. This provides plenty of activities and plenty of talking points to create an engaging and interesting date!

  4. Cooking together

    If you’re not a particularly confident chef, or are bored of always being the chef, then cook something together. Try a new recipe, or take turns presenting your favourite dish. And if you can’t go to your favourite restaurant, then bring your favourite restaurant to you with Providoor, where the city's top chefs prepare your meal, deliver it nice and chilled and ready for you to 'finish off' at home - just heat, assemble, plate up and take all the credit.

  5. Picnic

    Everyone loves a picnic, especially when the food is done well. Set the scene, build a den, add some lights, and make it cosy. This isn’t a teddy bear’s picnic, the only toys allowed are the fun ones! Australia’s Best Recipes has some great romantic picnic ideas.

  6. Relationship building

    Sometimes it’s just about finding time to connect, or reconnect! Conversation easily falls onto children, work and finance, and rarely about the relationship and how you’d like to grow. There are lots of games, quizzes and activities that can help encourage conversation and connection. 

  7. Games

    Another classic idea, but you will always find new board games to play, and even playing some of the family favourites will bring back happy memories and stories to share. A bit of healthy competition is always good for a relationship too! That said, the best game for two on date night is strip poker but if not here are other ones to choose from for two players!

  8. Painting

    Release your inner artist. Have a go at some live painting. Every week you could choose a new topic for inspiration. Keep your best ones and display them… in your spare room.

  9. Cocktail making

    This has got to be a crowd favourite! What’s not to love about cocktail making? It’s fun, messy, tasty and flirty! It can become a little pricey, but once you’ve got the ingredients, your bar will be stocked up and your friends will love it. We’ve found some great kits at Cocktail Porter.

  10. DIY spa night

    Couples massage anyone? A DIY spa night could go one of two ways. You need to do it properly. Set the mood, set the room and set the music. Download a Couples Spa Night plan from Etsy. Or even better, get the professionals in and bring the spa to you!

  11. Bucket List planning

    Are you stuck in a bit of a rut? Want to look ahead to the future and share your ambitions? Complete a couples bucket list together. It’s a great way to share dreams and envisage your future together.

  12. Homemade pizza night

    Everyone loves pizza. It’s fun to make and delicious to eat. Get creative and turn it into a competition. Australia’s Best Recipes have also got some great recipes for the perfect dough to prevent a pizza disaster.

Choosing your at-home date night idea

Here’s the hard bit (pardon the pun). You both need to agree on which activity to choose. A great way to settle the debate, and keep things interesting is to put ALL 12 suggestions onto pieces of paper and store them in a jar. Then, once a month (or if you’re lucky enough, every week) pull out a piece of paper and let fate decide your destiny! It’s like Russian Roulette but instead of a bullet you get a fun-filled activity! Be sure to choose in advance though and prepare well! You can’t have a spa night without cucumber slices, and you can’t make mojitos without mint and lime!

Keeping things interesting and finding time together when you have a small family can be difficult. At home date nights are a great way to get the ball rolling and create exciting new habits. Think about your shared hobbies, or even better, take an interest in your partner's hobbies and learn more about their interests. The possibilities are endless and the memories will be priceless. Happy jar shaking!

Sunny Wallis

Sunny Wallis

Wordsmith. Runner & Hockey player. Mum of two under two.

Tired, all the time. A childcare and education marketing specialist who loves documenting and transcribing the highs and lows of family life. You'll find her in the sunshine, in a sports bra chasing kids on scooters. A pizza fanatic with a small addiction to mojitos. Hates green vegetables but now has to pretend they're her favourite food 5 days a week.

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