There’s no way to describe spending time with a significant other at home other than “intimate.” When there’s no longer a waiter, friends, or just the general public to supply a safety net for any lull between two people, the real bonding begins. If you’re in a new relationship, this phase can be exhilarating if a bit intimidating. And if you’ve been around your plus-one for a while, then you already know how relaxing this chapter can be as well.
We often think that dates need some sort of production quality to them and that such occasions have to take place beyond a home’s comfortable cocoon. But why not see how much fun you can have when a date can take place in familiar surroundings? We put together a list of 25 at-home dates ideas—whether you have one hour, several, or the whole day to spare—so that you can make this intimate space a larger part of your romantic memories. Most of these suggestions are pretty cheap, too, but the sentiment behind them won’t be lost on your partner. So cancel that expensive plan out on the town and try these at-home date ideas instead. We think you’ll have more fun anyway.
Make a really good cup of coffee together. Break out the Chemex (or splurge for a new one) and put some true effort into it.
Enjoy a phone-free meal. Leave your distracting phones in the other room, and connect over a quick bite to eat.
Have a conversation that isn’t about work, stress, or to-do lists. Basically, check in with how your partner is really doing and vice versa.
Stay in bed. Seriously, when was the last time you two let yourselves relax in bed before jumping out of it to get things done?
Put a puzzle together. See if you can tackle a 1000-piece one in hour-long stretches over a few days.
Whip up brunch for two. Complete with pancakes, waffles, eggs, toast, and fruit—the works.
Read on the couch. Open a window, curl up together, and open those books you’ve been meaning to get to.
Set up a spa in the living room. Wear plush robes and provide an assortment of sheet masks.
Take a yoga class. Using YouTube in your living room, of course.
Go for a run around the neighborhood. Okay, technically this isn’t entirely at home, we know. But you can designate a “finish line” at your front steps and do some stretches in the living room after.
Watch a comedy special. Because nothing is better than seeing your love laugh.
Perfect your cornhole skills. Practice makes perfect with a backyard set.
Create the perfect playlist. And then have a dance party in your living room.
Install flower boxes in the windows. If you don’t have space for this, opt for hanging plants instead.
Have a picnic. Spread out a blanket and serve the ultimate cheese board—it works even in your living room.
Build a fort in the living room. This is still fun, regardless of age, and can be the perfect comfy spot for a Netflix binge.
Get dressed up for a fancy dinner. That just so happens to be waiting in your kitchen.
Paint and sip. Buy a couple of canvases and some paint, and then pop open your favorite bottle. Bonus points for crafting a fruit bowl as the painting subject, too.
Set up a projector in the backyard. Watch your favorite movie under the stars.
Cook a meal from one of your favorite trips. Make homemade pasta based on a beloved vacation in Italy or tacos from a recent California getaway.
Splurge on getting a favorite restaurant meal delivered. And make it a surprise.
Create a gallery wall. Finally print out your favorite photos and arrange them with framed concert tickets, letters, and other mementos.
Have a movie marathon. Alternate between each other’s favorites.
Try to learn a new skill together. See if you can play one song on a guitar, knit a square for a future scarf, or even learn a fun magic trick.
Throw a two-person party. String lights over the patio, crank music from the speakers, cook some barbecue, and make yourselves a pitcher of sangria. Who says you need company to have this kind of fun?