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After you’ve been together a while, especially if you have kids, it’s easy to go to Sam’s club and feel like you had a date night.

Don’t fall into that trap. No. Nope. Huh uh.

Yes, go to Sam’s club, but no; that is not your date. Your husband is worth spending real time with. 

I mean, think about it; how did you fall in love with him?… By spending time with him, right? And getting to know him?

So, how are you going to stay in love, and fall in love all over again, without doing the things that made you fall in love the first time? 

I challenge you to think outside the box! Get out of the Sam’s Club or go to a movie rut. Movies are cool and all, but sitting in a dark room staring at a screen isn’t my idea of intentional time. 

By “intentional time”, I mean doing something that requires you to look at each other and act like you like each other.

Hold hands.

Act like you’re dating.

Here are some of my favorite think-outside-the-box date ideas: 

Romantic

Midnight picnic in a gazebo.

Joey and I did this when we were dating. 

We got Wendy’s at 11:00 on a summer night and ate it in a little gazebo. 

It felt like we were the only people in the world, while the rest of the world slept. 

That’s the feeling you’re going for.

Feed the ducks.

I haven’t done this since I was a kid, but it feels like it could be romantic. I don’t know why. 

Just don’t feed mean geese and get charged at like I did when I was four. I had to climb up on a picnic table. I now realize that geese can fly… Don’t ask me what four-year-old Hannah would have done if that goose took to the air and knocked me off that picnic table. #Traumatized

Riverboating.

We’ve done this several times on the Cincinnati River. It’s so much fun!

Cincinnati river bridge
bridge over Cincinnati river

Expensive dinner.

Chandeliers and white table cloths optional. They sure are pretty though.

Pro tip: Check Groupon before you go. You can get some great deals on here!

Pro pro tip: Call ahead and make sure they accept Groupons. They aren’t obligated to.

Jeff Ruby's restaurant in Cincinnati

Book store and ice cream.

I don’t know what it is that I love about book stores. It’s like they’re filled with ideas and the unknown and inspiration. 

Grab a coffee.

Don’t stare at your phone. Hold hands.

Talk (not about the kids). Act like you like each other.

Act like you’re dating.

Watch the sunset.

Good news, the sun goes down everywhere! This can be on a beach or in your backyard.

Walk through a castle.

There’s a castle close-ish to us that we’ve been meaning to tour for awhile. They have dumb hours so we haven’t yet. But it’s on the list.

Go for a walk through an arboretum.

We’ve actually had pictures done at an arboretum near us twice. They can be really beautiful, especially in the summer when flowers and butterflies are everywhere.  

Rent a telescope and look at the stars.

What it is about constellations that are romantic?

Make a bonfire and roast s’mores.

Bonus points for a big cozy blanket and cuddling. Pro tip: put a Reese’s cup on that s’more. We’ve even roasted Starburst! Get creative and have fun with this.

Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory then walk around.

The Oreo and Lemon Meringue are the best ones (literally a fact).

It’s on my bucketlist to try every flavor of Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory… Except banana. And low carb.

Recreate your first date.

This wouldn’t be real exciting in our case since our first date was at the Dairy Queen.

Walk around a small town with a lot of shops. 

Small shops are intoxicating. Especially small town coffee shops! Sometimes you can find some really cool, rare finds, too. This is extra fun at Christmastime.

Adventurous

Rock climbing.

… It’s okay if you have to use the slanty wall. 

White water rafting.

Not for me, personally. Just wear a life jacket, okay?

Shooting.

If he takes you for a picnic, you have to go shooting. It can be kinda fun. 

Archery range.

My husband loves doing archery! It can be a good stress reliever, too. 

Horseback riding.

I don’t get to do it as often as I’d like, but I do love horseback riding.

Top Golf.

Maybe it isn’t called that near you, but Top Golf is just a driving range that tracks your points. It’s a lot of fun! Fair warning, I was sore the next day.

man golfing

Biking.

Just don’t be those people that take up the whole lane. Please. In my opinion, if you can’t go the speed of my car, you need to scoot. Bike paths are where it’s at!

Hiking.

Again, not really my speed. But hey, if it floats your boat.

Ziplining.

Okay, this is seriously fun! Kind of terrifying at the same time, but super fun in hindsight. 

Zorbing.

Next time we go to Gatlinburg, I fully intend on charging Joey in a giant hamster ball at full speed. Pics to come!

Skyzone/Trampoline park.

Been meaning to do this, too! Our Skyzone has selected hours where you can jump for something like $10 for an hour.

Snowboarding.

Joey did this a lot before we got together. Personally I’ve never been, but I feel like at some point he’s going to get me on a board and push me down a mountain.

Go to a ball game.

We’ve been to several local baseball games. Personally, I like football better. But it can be a fun way to spend a summer night.

Train ride.

This is another one that was a blast! We did a 1940’s themed train ride when I was pregnant with Ella.

I had gifted him a year of pre-planned date nights the Christmas before, and this was on there. 

Fair warning, it paid to be early. Ours had 4 seats where it was a private table (not shared with somebody else) and I got one of them.

table in dinner train

Creative

Cooking class.

I will do a cooking class one of these days! Our local Dorothy Lane Market actually offers cooking classes.

Cake decorating class.

Bakeries, Hobby Lobby, and Michael’s offer these!

Painting class.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Joey and I have done a few of these and have loved them! Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, they make it so easy. They literally walk you through every brushstroke. It’s easier than you’d think!

couple at painting class

Pottery (creating or painting).

We’ve painted pottery, but it’s on my list to actually craft it!

Glass blowing.

Another one I’ve been meaning to do!

Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

I’m not even going to lie and say this one isn’t for the wife reading this. I have yet to find a woman who doesn’t adore Hobby Lobby or Michael’s.

Look for stuff for a new hobby to do together!

Penny date.

This one is really easy! Pull out of your driveway, flip a penny, and turn right for heads and left for tails. Make a date wherever you end up!

Concerts (even if it’s free and local)

We saw Skillet in concert a few years ago and it was absolutely awesome! But we’ve also seen local artists that were great, too. Pro tip: if they made you stop, you owe them a tip.

At home

These are great and all, but what if you’re parents and you can’t go out for a date? I get that, too. We’ve been there. Here are some of our favorite go-tos when going out isn’t an option.

Paint night.

Set up some canvases with a step-by-step tutorial, your favorite snacks, and you’re good to go!

Netflix & take out.

I know, this one is classic. But changing up what food you get or watching a new movie can make it more fun!

Cook or bake something new together.

I love cooking, and Joey is usually in there with me, because we make it a point to do things together and become interested in what interests each other. Find a new recipe and make a memory! We’ve made some awful pretzels on date nights, but now we laugh about them. It’s about the experience, not how good the food is that comes out of it.

Board games.

Our favorites are Battleship, Monopoly, and Life.

Q&A.

I’ve found lots of fun ones on Pinterest!

Write a bucket list or dream list.

I’m big on dreams and bucket lists and goals because they give you a purpose and direction for how you want your life to go. If you don’t have one, you need one!

Do a blueprint of your dream house.

Or write out a list of what it will have, or even look them up on Zillow. Tap into the dreamer in you. The sky is the limit!

Do a puzzle.

I’ll admit, I don’t have much patience for puzzles. I can do them, but after about 300 pieces, all the pieces are the size of dimes and they all look the same. But it gives you plenty of opportunity for quality time!

Do a themed night.

Think Greek, Italian, Mexican, Austrian, or French. Or make favorite dishes from your childhood. There’s so many fun options!

Comedy videos on Youtube.

Normally stand up comedy isn’t my thing, but there are a few that have made us almost cry laughing. Michael McIntyre is one of them.

Picnic or camp out in the living room.

A few weeks ago, Joey just looked at me and said, “Want to sleep out here?” It sounds silly, but sometimes you have to do random things to keep the romance and spice alive. Three kids can take a marriage from fun and spontaneous to purely functional. It’s up to us to keep it fun.

Picnics in the living room, by a fireplace, or by the Christmas tree can be just as fun!

What’s your favorite outside-the-box date ideas? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments!

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