Stuck in the same old rut of dinner and a movie? Can’t find a sitter? Want to just stay in and get cozy? Try one of these date night at home ideas! Don’t miss our bonus recipe for Strawberry Bruschetta below!
This post contains Amazon links. As an affiliate we may earn a commission from purchases.
DATE NIGHT AT HOME
Going OUT for date night is tough to beat, but when you can’t go out for whatever reason (can’t find a babysitter for the kids, money is tight, bad weather, or you simply just don’t want to leave the house) a date night at home is always a fun alternative. In fact, some of my more memorable date nights have been at home dates. Here we are sharing some fun date night ideas to get the inspiration flowing. Who says a little romance can’t happen right at home?
Here is a compilation of date night at home ideas with dinner included!
Homemade Pizza Night
Homemade pizza is one of my all-time favorite things. It is cheap, easy and, in my opinion, tastes way better than anything you can get delivered. Turn on some Italian music then get in the kitchen TOGETHER to make some gourmet pizzas. When your pizzas come out of the oven, turn out the lights, turn on the fire and enjoy your Italian cuisine picnic-style in the comfort of your own living room!
Iron Chef Chocolate Edition
I came up with this date night idea when I was watching Iron Chef (I am addicted to that show). Make a meal where CHOCOLATE is featured in every course. Who says chocolate can’t be served as a main course? My very favorite way to serve ravioli has chocolate sprinkled over the top (click HERE for the recipe)! You can either make a meal together or divide up the courses between each of you and surprise the other with your sweet & savory creations. I am 99% sure that I, personally, will be doing this for Valentines Day this year! For dessert you could try German Chocolate Pie, Homemade Almond Joys, Chocolate Malt Cake, or Chocolate Truffle Balls.
Dine in the Dark
Have you ever heard of the restaurant “Opaque” in San Francisco? Haven’t been there but it sounds amazing! Here is what it says on their website:
“In this era of information overload, visual stimulation has reached an all time pinnacle. But imagine, just for an hour or two that you cannot see, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, more stimulating dining experience – this is “Dining in the Dark”. –Opaque Restaurant, San Francisco
How easy would this be to create this date night experience at home? Close the blinds, cover the windows, and enjoy your dinner in COMPLETE darkness! Charcuterie boards are great for this because there are so many different textures and flavors that can all be combined in a million different ways. Plus it can be eaten with your fingers!
You can also try this with a main course such as Cranberry Chicken, Parmesan Potato Halves or Bowtie and Asparagus Pasta for a side dish and for dessert, Our Version of Nothing Bundt Cakes’ Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake!
Take Out Stay In
Grab some Chinese Take-out boxes and chopsticks (they are both way cheap on Amazon). Prepare a few Chinese dishes at home (click HERE for a whole bunch of Chinese recipes including Fried Rice, Lo Mein, General Tso’s Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Egg Rolls, and Potstickers).
Watch your favorite RomCom and eat purely out of your to-go boxes. For an added surprise, make custom love notes and slip them in your fortune cookies! (You can do this by wrapping a lightly damp paper towel around your fortune cookie and zapping it in the microwave for 5-10 seconds. It will become pliable for a few seconds so pull out the fortune and stick your own in. Press the cookie back together and allow to harden.) It will be a date night to remember!
Hotel Room Service
Surprise your spouse with a hotel experience in the comfort of your own home. Make up your bed with crisp, white sheets and put a couple mints on the pillows. Have a dinner menu laying on the pillows for “room service”. Have dinner on serving trays in your room and eat on the bed while watching a movie. Maybe your hotel even has a spa. Did someone say massage? Don’t forget the lotion and scented candles.
Backyard or Indoor Picnic
Pack a picnic basket with some sandwiches or wraps (like Turkey Pesto Croissant Sandwiches, Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce, or Italian Sanwiches with Olive Tapenade), snacks, and sodas. Lay a blanket down in the living room or family room and open up your basket. Take your date night a step further and make indoor s’mores over your stovetop or with tea candles.
If the weather is good, move the picnic to the backyard. Throw down a big blanket and some pillows, build a fort for two, or put up a tent for more privacy. Take out some board games or card games for a fun game night. If you have a projector or laptop, a backyard movie marathon would also be fun.
For this date night idea, pull out your nicest formal dress from your last cruise or even from your high school or college prom, light dozens of tea candles, and have a romantic, candlelight dinner. I highly recommend any of the courses from the picture above. You can also try Filet Mignon with Melted Blue Cheese Sauce, Loaded Mashed Potatoes, and Crescent Rolls with Key Lime Pie for dessert! Or you could try our Pecan Crusted Salmon, Raspberry Spinach Salad, Homemade Rolls and Coconut Cream Cake for dessert.
Themed Movie Night
My personal favorite home date idea is a theme night. Watch YouTube videos or a documentary to learn about a foreign country, maybe one you would like to travel to together someday. You can also pick a movie filmed in a foreign country. Then, make a dinner to go along with it. Don’t forget dessert, and maybe some popcorn, for later. Here are a few different themes and movie ideas to get you started:
For a French theme watch French Kiss, Chocolat, Sabrina, Beauty and the Beast or even Ratatouille and make French Onion Soup, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Ratatoullie or even Strawberry Cream Cheese French Toast! Take your date night to the next level dress up for the occasion. France is known for it’s fashion so get dressed up for the full experience!
Buonanotte! Who doesn’t love a good Italian night? Make your favorite Italian dishes and put on some music to match the mood. Go authentic by getting certified, imported D.O.P. ingredients from Italy (like Parmigiano Reggiano or San Marzano Tomatoes). Enjoy your dinner while watching films such as Romeo and Juliet, The Italian Job, or Angels and Demons. If you want to try something new and go on a culinary journey, watch “Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy”.
For a Mexican themed night, the possibilities are endless. You can make your dinner fancy or street-style. Enjoy your dinner with movies such as The Three Amigos (a personal favorite), Zorro, Nacho Libre, or Disney’s Coco.
Hawaiian nights are fun to switch things up on those dark, long winter nights. I love closing my eyes and pretending I am on an island far away from the cold. Bring the warm island vibes to you by making some of these flavorful island-inspired dishes. For your luau for two, you can snuggle up and watch Blue Hawaii, 50 First Dates, Blue Crush, or Finding ‘Ohana.
I don’t know about you, but I love learning about the Disney parks and imagineering. Disney+ has so many great documentaries on all their parks. From behind-the-scenes shows about how rides are created to documentaries on the people behind the magic, there’s something for everyone. Try out some of our favorite Disney park copycats while escaping to the parks from the comfort of your living room.
There is something about dipping food in cheese and chocolate that is just.. sexy. I love Our Version of the Melting Pot’s Spinach Artichoke Cheese Fondue and of course some good ol Milk Chocolate Fondue (try dipping with our Peanut Butter Bon Bons). Light some candles, turn on some good music, and enjoy your romantic date night!
Come up with 20 questions for each of you to answer. Each of you answer the questions for yourself, fold up the paper and share your answers over a romantic dinner. Another fun activity is for you both to create a quiz and see how much you really know about each other. Try some Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce for dinner with some Strawberry Bruschetta (below), Homemade Crescent Rolls, Pesto Potatoes and Better than (You Know What) Cake with a scoop of ice cream for dessert.
How to Make Strawberry Bruschetta
We hope you’ve found some home date night ideas that will work for you. We are including a recipe here for our delicious Strawberry Bruschetta. It looks fancy and the flavor is incredible, plus it’s really easy to make.
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
- Place balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan, bring to a light simmer and reduce until it reaches about half the original volume and becomes slightly syrupy (about 5-10 minutes). Watch it closely, you don’t want it to reduce too much and become TOO thick. You just want it to be thick enough to coat a spoon when dipped in.
- Combine strawberries, sugar, and basil in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
- Slice the baguette into about 20-24 slices (about 1/2″ thick) and place on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with olive oil and place in oven for about 5 minutes or until the slices become golden brown, allow to cool 3-4 minutes.
- Spread a little goat cheese on each baguette slice then add a spoonful of strawberry mixture. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze over each piece and serve!