Romantic Date Night IN

Wednesday, 27 June 2012 20:10 Written by  Dana Weems

No need not to spend time with your sweetie because your pockets are kind of... shallow. Everyone is trying to save money, so don’t think you have to plan an extravagant, oh-so-fancy and costly night out on the town. You can enjoy that special person in your life right at home. If you’re wondering how exactly, don’t wreck your brain trying to figure it out. Here are 20 date night ideas that are inexpensive, creative, romantic and fun to make the best of a low-key night with your boo thingy or pet-name of your liking.

Learn how to make a meal together: Find something you both have never tried cooking. Smooth music and a bottle of your favorite wine would be great to add spice to the night. Try your hands at baking a decadent treat––from scratch. That’s right, get your hands dirty. Turn on some music and bustle around the kitchen together, then end with a bottle of desert wine to enjoy your spoils once you’re done.

Be a kid again: School and work stresses can sometimes make us forget our inner child and the fun people we once were. Watch silly movies, grab your nieces coloring book, play with Play-Doh, build a Lego castle or play hide-and-seek in and around the house and just be a kid again.

S’mores and camping INSIDE: Now don’t go getting wood and lighting campfires inside. I’m sure a real fire is not the one you intend to put out - and it’s not too romantic either. Keep it safe, simple and sensible.

Mystery feed dinner: Enjoy exotic foods? Think you have a rather smart palate? Well, test it by feeding each other foods and seeing if the other can guess what they taste.

All French everything: French movie. French cuisine. Fondue feast. And French-kiss all night. Bon appétit. *Or substitute the country of your choice and make the necessary adjustments.*

Alternative: A night in Italy. Homemade pizza. Bottle of Chianti. Gelato. Add an Italian themed movie such as Life is Beautiful, The Talented Mr. Ripley or The Italian Job.

Finger Food Feeding: Make a finger-foods-only dinner and feed each other. Add wine.

Private pamper party: Buy some massage oils. Light some candles. Play some soft music. Now take turns giving each other a body massage. Make sure you do not rush. If all goes right, this will probably lead to other activities.

Sophisticated carpet picnic: Spread a white tablecloth on the floor and have a carpet picnic. Add candles, fancy cheese, chocolate and voilà: something like five-star fun... And don’t forget to add wine.

Share sugar with your sugar: Got an ice-cream maker or a bread maker or a mixer? Well, invest in one. Invent your own homemade treats and give them cutesy names.

Sexy s’mores: Make s’mores over candlelight. Add wine.

Creative lover: Write a poem together - even about each other. Set up a table easel with opposing canvases. Sit opposite each other and paint each other’s portraits. Be creative and HAVE FUN.

Mini-tasting night at home: Pick a poison of choice and set up shop. Tequila, whisky, vodka, wines. You’ll need variety, glasses, room temperature spring water and unsalted crackers. Make it beer if that’s your thing.

Make a running date: Pick a movie series or TV show and get a season's worth on DVD and make a running date to watch it.

Game night: Play a board game. A little lighthearted competition can make for a very playful date night, indeed. Live a little. Play for something, put a little something on the line... use your imagination.

Snap - It’s a photo shoot: Have a nice camera? Take the goofiest to the most adorable pictures of each other. Get dressed up ...or not.

Play a song for me: Make playlists for one another. Spend time listening to your favorite romantic songs. Throw in a few memory-jogging selections.

Learn a dance together: Check your local library or bookstore for an instructional DVD on a dance. Hoping you already have some idea how to “dougie” go for salsa, tango or something like that. Push back the couch and prepare to cut a rug. You don’t have to be a pro, just have fun with it.

Crash course in cocktails: Try your hand at making your own tasty elixirs. You’ll need bartending equipment like a shaker, a strainer, a shot measure and ice. Choose one favorite alcohol as the base for your cocktails. Get some mixers and exotic fruits. Drink up!

Chocolate night: Everyone likes some form of chocolate right? Make a night of it whether it’s dark chocolate, milk, hazelnut or white chocolate. Why not get it all? Pair with strawberries or whatever is pleasing to your palate.

Kissing challenge: 100 kisses in three hours. *Can accompany any of the aforementioned ideas. Wink, wink.*

Happy date night IN!


Photography by GMO Photo Editor Billy Montgomery


Dana Weems

Dana Weems

Dana Weems is a contributing writer and a fashion/beauty columnist for GMO. A Chicago native, Dana earned a MA in journalism from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in broadcasting with an emphasis in broadcast news from Grand Valley State University. She’s interned and worked at WLS-TV; ABC 7 Chicago’s entertainment show Windy City LIVE. Still freelancing, Dana has written for news sites, public affairs-based publications, fashion websites and other organizations.

She can be contacted at and