Valentine’s day is this week! Have you planned out what you are going to do for your loved one? Well, may I suggest if you want a killer gift to give to your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend, then you should give them a year of dates all pre-planned!
A Year of Dates Gift
I suggest planning twenty-four dates, twelve date nights at home, and twelve date nights out, one of each for every month of the year. Planning out dates eliminates the ever annoying question of “What do you want to do?” and encourages more quality time with the one you love!
Personally, I like going on dates that are more than just dinner and a movie. While I love movies and especially eating out, I don’t think they promote as much of a bonding experience or memory as doing something new and different! Plus, unique dates are fun!
So, I suggest designating at least a few of your date nights (whether at home or out) to trying something new to both of you. Maybe that’s a cooking class, doing stand-up, rock climbing, eating sushi, or taking a dance lesson. Perhaps it’s as simple as going to Open Houses and envisioning your future home together, or going to a local attraction.
Whatever they are, be sure to include some in your gift along with your favorite go-to date ideas. Below you’ll find some great date night idea suggestions. If you need more, be sure to check out all the great ideas on my Marriage: Date Night Ideas board on Pinterest.
Here are some general date night out ideas:
- Go bowling, go-karting, golfing, to batting cages, or laser-tagging.
- Play a sport together – cycling, Frisbee, catch, running, racquetball, basketball, rock climbing etc. Use the Year of Sports-Themed Date night kit to make it easier and more creative!
- Go to a sporting event, concert, or play.
- Check out the local book store and make up a scavenger hunt.
- Volunteer at a nursing home, soup kitchen, or other local charity together.
- Go camping or hiking or to a shooting range.
- Dinner and a movie. Learn how to save money when dining out!
Seasonal Date Night Out Ideas:
- Gardening, garage sales, swimming, or a picnic.
- Ride a hot air balloon.
- State or county fairs or baseball games.
- Watch and light fireworks; have a bonfire; go fishing; grill out with friends or eat ice cream.
- Visit an apple orchard; go on a hayride or to a haunted house.
- Go Christmas caroling; visit a Nativity; go ice skating; build a snowman; go skiing or sledding.
At Home Date Nights
Try to make your date nights at home different and special. When you plan ahead of time, and designate a specific night for your date night at home, it makes it stand out from your regular, normal evenings together. Formally invite your spouse out for that night, even though you won’t be leaving your home. Anticipation will increase the romance as you look forward to a special night together. I’ve been surprised at how much fun you can have at home (after the kids are asleep) if you just put a little effort into it. Below you will find some suggestions for date night-ins.
Some general date night in ideas:
- Slumber Party – Pillows, blankets, fort, popcorn (complete with adorable printable popcorn boxes), movie, treats.
- Comedy Night – Mad Libs, comedian’s Youtube clips, joke books.
- Game night – video, computer, board, or card.
- Paint a picture together.
- Write (and illustrate) a simple story (this book can help you easily do that!) or read books out loud to each other.
- Have a dance party, or sing/rock out to your favorite songs.
- Do a jigsaw or Crossword Puzzles together.
- Cook or bake together or have a cooking challenge (like on TV).
- Have an indoor picnic.
- Make paper airplanes.
- Plan a future trip (even if FAR in the future). You can use this Staycation Kit too!
- Manipulate and edit photos in Photoshop or online.
- Take artistic pictures of things around your home.
- Take a course together! There are free and inexpensive online ones you can take on Craftsy, or take this amazing Couples Massage Course!
Romantic date night in ideas:
- Watch a romantic movie.
- Put on your favorite loves songs, serenade each other, and slow dance.
- Reminisce about meeting, dating, or your wedding by looking at old photos/videos.
- Have a runway show and photo shoot.
- Get super dolled up for each other, and pretend like it’s your first date.
- Spa Treatments! Pamper yourselves and each other.
- Have a candlelight dinner.
- Or use The Dating Divas Ultimate Intimacy Pack with 12 Sexy Bedroom Games ($19.97)
Seasonal date night in ideas:
- Decorate eggs, make an Easter bunny cake, or start a garden together.
- Tell spooky stories, watch scary movies, and turn off all the lights.
- Carve pumpkins, make hot apple cider or hot chocolate.
- Bake Christmas cookies, write Christmas cards, or make paper snowflakes
If none of these ideas strike your fancy, or you aren’t seeing quite what you are looking for, check out my post with 72 unique at home date night ideas!
Otherwise do a Google search, check out my Marriage: Date Night Ideas board on Pinterest, or just buy The Ultimate Date Night ebook from The Dating Divas for just $37 or pick up 175 Best Date Ideas: The Ultimate Bucket List of Dates for Couples by Alida Quittschreiber of The Realistic Mama for $9.99 (and not have to spend hours searching and planning!).
The important thing is to just find twenty-four dates that you and your significant other would like to do together for the next year and to plan them out! Be creative and have fun!
And if you are interested, those fantastic Dating Divas even have something to help you organize and plan GROUP date nights (each month!) which sounds pretty awesome too.
What I did for my Year of Dates gift for my husband:
A Year of Dates – Month One Date Nights (Art Themed)
A Year of Dates – Month Two Date Nights (Paris Themed)
A Year of Dates – Month Three Date Nights
A Year of Dates – Month Four Date Nights (Bookstore Challenge)
A Year of Dates – Month Five Date Nights (Comedy Night In)
A Year of Dates – Month Six Date Nights (You’re My Superman!)
A Year of Dates – Month Seven Date Nights
A Year of Dates – Month Eight Date Nights (Bowling)
A Year of Dates – Month Nine Date Nights
A Year of Dates – Month Ten Date Nights (Game Night)
A Year of Dates – Month Eleven Date Nights (Spin the Bottle)
How to present your Year of Dates Gift:
- Color coordinated pieces of paper or Popsicle sticks in a Mason jar (i.e. pink=at home; red=out).
- Manila envelopes for each month (with ideas and any necessary items for the dates inside). You can get super adorable printable month date night covers for your envelopes here. They are way prettier than the ones I created myself.
- A small notebook.
- Make a personalized Romantic Love Coupons book from LoveCoups.com (see my review)
- Cards ringed together in the corner.
- A credit card case – Insert paper card stock with the date idea, description, and a little picture on it, like this:
- Create a Year of Dates Binder. You can buy a cute Printable one over at The Dating Divas for pretty inexpensive. You can choose between just the cover and dividers printables for only $2.97, or the have them include 12 date night ideas for you (in case you don’t really want to plan them yourself!) all ready to go in the binder for only $9.97. Both option are very affordable. They also have a Year of Sport-Themed Dates, and a Year of Dates Around the World themed one!
Dating your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend is one of the BEST gifts you can give, because it’s like giving them the gift of your love. I hope your year of dates gift will keep your flame burning bright!