Easy Date Night Ideas at Home for Parents
Fun Intimate at-Home Date Night Ideas (that doesn't involve Netflix)
For the past year and a half, many cohabiting couples suddenly found themselves stuck at home, spending lots of time together without being able to venture out for a date night. Fortunately, you may be savouring your return to “normal” and starting to enjoy the outdoor world again!
But for many couples with kids, the pandemic also came with the increased stress of having to balance childcare with work, intimacy and… well, life. If you’re part of this group — we see you (we’re totally exhausted too!).
It is than no wonder that one of the most cited changes that the pandemic has brought to parents’ romantic life is the loss of date nights! Without babysitters and usual escape spots, it feels like it would take a lot of energy to create a date night at home. Netflix was surely quite the tempting alternative! Alas, we’ve done the legwork for you. Easy date night ideas — just choose one with your partner, set the date and go! By the way, if you don’t have kids, you can still totally enjoy these ideas.
Three Small Easy Steps
Emphasis on “small” here. Let’s be real: there’s a time to plan a date that is the equivalent of a fireworks show but now is not it. This moment is about going back to the basics — enjoying each other’s company and spending time together, with intent. So each step, while fundamental, is meant to be small, manageable and focused. Minimal effort for maximum satisfaction. Let’s go!
What do you desire most, right now?
We all want lots of things at the moment — a kid free vacation in the Caribbean, sleeping in followed by a lazy brunch, did we mention sleep? Peel away the circumstantial fantasies, what is at the core of what you desire with your partner, right now?
🔎 Is it touch or feeling sensual together? Is it a heart to heart talk? Is it feeling erotic together? Is it to break routine and experience something, anything, novel? Taking a few minutes to identify what you’re craving at the moment will help you both enjoy a date that truly feeds the soul.
Choose A Date
You now know what you’re craving the most. Now let’s make sure the date meets you there.
✍️ With your partner, complete this sentence together: “For our date night, I am wanting _______.”
- Emotional connection
- Something erotic
- Something novel
👐 Wanting touch
- A massage night (scroll down for easy tips to try!)
- Try this Three minute game
💞 Wanting emotional connection
- Write your pandemic story together
- Learn each other’s love language
🥵 Wanting something erotic
- Listen to audio erotica together
- Read something erotic to each other
- Bonus: Share a fantasy with each other (scroll down to learn how)
✨ Wanting something novel
- Take a lesson in debunking a powerful sex myth that could change the way you check in with each other about what feels pleasurable
- Listen to a podcast together
- Bonus: Bring a new toy in bed (scroll down for some tips and tricks)
Then take a look at the ideas that we’ve included for each category. Some come with more detailed instructions to save you time. Your job? Set aside 10 minutes with your partner this evening to plan step one and two together!
Fill your tank
This might feel counterintuitive but before your date night, help each other fill your own tanks first. Just like how you connected to what you’re craving with your partner, have a look and see what you need for yourself at the moment.
Is it a bit of time alone? A hot, uninterrupted shower? Is it a power nap?
Choose one thing that takes about 15 minutes to do and help each other make that happen on the day before or on the day of your date. It might seem small but it will lay the groundwork for you to feel good going into date night, knowing that you both prioritized each other AND yourselves.
➡️ To summarize, step one: choose a date knowing you’re treating each other to what you desire most at the moment (put it down on your calendar or phone), step two: fill your tank and step three have fun on your date!
Examples of Date Night-In
Have a massage at home
Who doesn’t dream of an hour-long worry-free massage in a spa? Although sometimes having kids (or a busy life) doesn’t quite allow for that, here are a few simple ways you can create massage time with your partner that can feel really good! Even a 15 minutes massage can help you and your partner (re)connect, build intimacy and have a relaxing moment. Plus, touch can be very healing for our mind, body and soul. And… It just feels really good at the end of a busy day! We have a few easy tricks for you to try for a great massage session at home.
Setting the mood 🕯️
For some couples, making the transition from “work mode” to “relax mode” has become extra challenging with working from home. A simple way to help with that transition is to introduce something that signals “change” to your brain. This can be something as simple as adding one new thing to your environment associated with relaxation to set the mood.
We’ve included some suggestions below that use the senses to send that signal — choose one or two that resonate the most with you and away you go!
- Sight: Dim the lights or light some candles; you could even put a blindfold on your partner if you want to try something different
- Sound: Put on some music; it is usually better to use a type of music that is relaxing or sensual rather than a party playlist
- Touch: Check the temperature and warm up the room beforehand to help the muscles to relax
- Smell: Use the sense of smell; add a relaxing scent to the room with fragrant candles, an oil diffuser or even with some fragrant massage oil.
Taste: start or finish your massage session with a relaxing cup of tea. For example: chamomile, lavender or passion flower teas are known to have relaxing properties
Using the right tools 🧰
Using the right tools can make a big difference in the overall massage session. It will also help you to get the most out of this activity — even if it’s a short, 15 minutes massage! Using a massage oil or candle will help your hands to glide effortlessly on your partner’s skin. And if you are using a scented oil it will add a pleasant smell to the experience. If you are not sure what type of oil to choose, we find that a sunflower based oil works great on most skin types. It will be moisturizing and won’t leave a greasy feeling at the end of your massage.
If you want to add a hotter, more sensual touch, you should definitely try a massage candle! Candles made from soy wax are a good choice, because once melted the wax will be just a little bit above the body’s temperature. You can also use thin pillows to make the experience more comfortable. Place one under the head of the person receiving the massage and one under the knees of the person giving the massage. Last but not least, the Adori porcelain massage stones are a great tool for anyone who wants to dive into the world of massage by making this activity easier for th person who is giving it!
Massage Techniques to Try 💆
Afraid you don’t have a good enough technique? Don’t worry, these different massage techniques are easy to do even if you are a beginner. We suggest that you start with light touches. For example: light strokes, feather touch, oscillation or a light pinch.
Once your partner’s body has warmed to the massage, you can use techniques that apply more pressure.These techniques help to release muscle tension and are used after the oil has been spread by the lighter techniques. Some medium pressure techniques include: kneading, compression, twisting and doing circles with the whole hand or with your thumbs.
Varying the pressure offers an interesting pace to the massage. You must maintain balance: too little pressure can often become annoying and too much pressure can be painful and stiffens the body. Always ask your partner for his/her impressions. We suggest that you finish your massage with the Feather Touch, or any light techniques.
➡️ If you want to dig deeper into the art of massage, make sure to read our blog post entirely dedicated to massage techniques.
Share a Fantasy
What is a fantasy?
A fantasy is a mental image, either in the form of history, memories, or scenarios that excites you. It is therefore different from sexual desire. Basically, a fantasy is an imaginary situation that creates excitement and a sexual desire is a scenario that, if experienced in reality, creates excitement.
According to several researches, sharing a fantasy with your partner would increase the level of intimacy and understanding between the two of you. It is something that can help to jazz things up during your more intimate moments.
Tips on sharing a fantasy or sexual desire
We know that opening up and starting a conversation about your erotic desires is not necessarily an easy task. Here are some tips to start the conversation with your partner:
- Choose the right timing! Some moments may be more appropriate to start a conversation about your sexual desires and fantasies
- When you come across an image, a scene in a movie or in a TV show that staged your fantasy
- When you are already in a conversation of the type "I like it when you ... / you turn me on when...
- When you have a calm moment to yourselves
- Remind your partner that you find them attractive and desirable in order to put them in a positive and trusting atmosphere
- Talk about your fantasy: start with the overall idea, you can discuss the details when you feel more confident
- Ease into your fantasy: do it gradually! For example, if you want to be completely at the mercy of someone; ask your partner to hold you by the wrists first. If you feel completely comfortable with this level of submission, you can add handcuffs or silk restraints and so forth
Introduce a Toy in Bed
Using a sex toy during date night sounds exciting? Great! We strongly believe that introducing a toy during intimate moments shouldn’t ruin your relationship, we even believe it will enhance it. It will open your world to new sensations and pleasures and perhaps even deepen your bond, communication skills or intimacy. Of course, if you have never used sex toys with your partner, communication will be key! Especially in heterosexual relationships where one of the partner can sometimes perceive sex toys as a sign that they are not ‘’enough’’.
How to suggest the idea to your partner?
A tricky aspect might be to introduce the idea of a sex toy to your partner. We know some people might be intimidated to bring a toy in bed, but you should see it has an accessory that will jazz things up from time to time! A toy will never replace the intimacy and emotional connection you have with someone.
💡 Here are some introductory phrases to try:
- I saw this toy on Instagram, would you be interested in trying it with me?
- I would like to try X type of sensations, how do you feel about using a toy?
- There is a toy that is made for couples, I was wondering if you were willing to try it with me?
- If you are watching something together and someone is using/talking about a sex toy, point it out to see the reaction of your partner
How to choose a sex toy?
If this is your first time buying a sex toy, or if you are purchasing a gift to your partner, this might be a challenging task since there is a multitude of options on the market. Different aspects are to be considered: the material of the toy (keep in mind that the sex toy industry is not regulated and some manufacturers can put components in their toys that are toxic), your budget, the type of sensations you are looking for (internal, external or both) the visual esthetic, if you want vibrations or not, if you want to use it in water, etc.
You could even make buying the toy a date night in itself!
➡️ Click here to read a more detailed guide on how to choose the right toy for you!
We hope these ideas will spark your interest and desire to cultivate your relationship’s intimacy and motivate you to plan a date night with your partner. Remember, quality is more important than quantity - invest in those 15 minutes and enjoy yourselves! Make sure to check out Gilly for more playful exercises for couples with kids.
💖 This blog post was written in collaboration with Erin. Erin is the founder of Gilly, an intimacy wellness app for couples with kids. She holds a Masters of Science in Medicine in Sexual Health Counseling from the University of Sydney and is a passionate advocate for the inclusion of sexual wellness as part of everyday healthy living.