Sometimes the greatest gifts are the ones that don’t cost a thing. My husband and I both prefer quality time together over expensive gifts or material items, but I’d be lying if I said we don’t like to open a present every now and then, too. A few years ago I thought up a gift that would be fun for him to open, but was still free. In honor of our last “Baby Year,” just before our youngest child was born, I gave him the gift of 12 pre-planned dates, one for each month of the coming year.
These aren’t flashy, fancy dates. These aren’t expensive, dress-your-best dates. These are FREE, comfortable, at-home, put the kids to bed and spend some time together dates.
During the baby years, or any season of life where money is limited and time together is precious, we won’t be backpacking through Europe or vacationing in Fiji, but we can certainly make time for each other.
Want to surprise your significant other with the gift of quality time? These twelve dates are so simple, so easy, so low-maintenance. And while it’s still important to leave the house together and have some “real” dates every now and then, these twelve at-home dates are a great place to start for connecting with your partner and sharing some quality time together.
(You can write or print each date on a little card so there is something to wrap up and open!)
January – Video Interview
Take turns interviewing each other on video. Consider asking questions about your partner’s childhood, memories, current favorites, and future dreams and goals. Be candid, and have fun!
February – Cards, candy, and candles
Light some candles, round up some candy, and play card games by candlelight. Candlelight to help set the tone as special, candy to keep the mood lighthearted, and card games for some friendly competition!
March — Fire and hot chocolate
Build a fire and sip some hot chocolate with your honey as you snuggle next to the fire. Make plans for spring and summer when warmer days arrive. If you don’t have a firepit or fireplace, take your hot chocolate to-go on a cold weather walk around your neighborhood.
April – Spa Night
Fill up a bubble bath, and once you’ve both soaked and scrubbed, get some moisturizing lotion and exchange massages. Candles and soft music go a long way toward relaxation, too.
May — Sweetheart journal
Start an empty journal for both of you to share. Find an empty notebook and take turns writing a description of the other on the first page of the journal. Imagine that you will read this notebook when you are old to remember what you were like back in the good old days. You can also ask each other questions, write each other notes or poems or song lyrics, share what you appreciate about the other, or make up writing prompts.
June —Wishing bridge
Take a handful of pennies to a nearby bridge, and take turns tossing pennies into the water as you make wishes. If you don’t have an appropriate bridge/water combo nearby, set up some chairs and a pail of water outside. Flick your pennies towards the pail and see if you can make them in as you share your wishes.
July – Sunset and Scrabble
Lay a blanket out in your yard where you can have a good view of the sun setting, and play Scrabble as you watch the sunset. (You can substitute another favorite board game, if you like!)
August — Pedicures
Make each other’s feet beach-ready! Soak, scrub, smooth, moisturize, and give your partner their desired nail treatment, whether that be paint and polish or just a good trim and file.
September — Recreate past photos
Look through past photos of you and your spouse, and snap new pictures of the two of you recreating similar poses, facial expressions, props, and hairstyles.
October — This or That
Choose your own adventure on this date by asking each other “this or that” questions to decide the location, food, activity, music, and clothing for this date. For example, one of you could start by asking, “back porch or bedroom?” and letting the other choose which location to have your date. Will you choose 80s Monster Ballads or Hipster Cocktail Radio for your music? Board games or a puzzle? Pizza or Chinese? Add to the fun by asking each other “Would you rather?” questions as the date progresses.
November — Dessert Night
Find a new recipe for a dessert neither of you has made before, and attempt to make it together. Work on your teamwork skills, and reap the rewards of your culinary success!
December — Bucket Lists
Make three “bucket lists” together: His, Hers, and Ours. Write down and share with each other your own personal goals for the future, and find out what dreams and goals you both can accomplish together.
I hope these date ideas will help you find time to be with your honey without stressing about finding a babysitter, making reservations, spending money, or even leaving the house.
Do you have another good idea for a free at-home date? Share in the comments!