The finish line is in sight: The kids are headed to bed. Did I mention your knuckles are grazing the ground?

Aren’t you feeling creative? Romantic? Well. If I was thinking about something other than settling in for some Netflix–yes, romance sounds nice. Creativity sounds, um, exhausting. 

So let’s make it easy. Super-doable. (Hey,  this as much for me as for you.) Let’s stoke the fires of romance with the little energy you’ve got left.

  1. Fun snacks + movie + touch at least one body part while watching = You-can-do-this Movie Night.
  2. Surprise your spouse with a massage. You can pick up a massage oil, make your own with essential oils, or use a favorite lotion. (Mmm-hmm–I do know how much energy it takes to massage well. Sometimes this is what I think of as the “widow’s mite”–giving that last bit of what you have to really do something beautiful for your spouse and relationship. Who knows? You might just get one back.)
  3. Play a “strip” version of your favorite board game, strategy game, or cards. As a step up, the Dating Divas (they’ve got 45 of their own at-home date nights!) have a fun version of 2 Minutes in Heaven. Want to dial it up a bit? Build a fire and grab some blankets. Everything’s more romantic by firelight (and this site suggests making s’mores or marshmallows, too!). Want to make it more creative? Try a kids’ game: Twister, hide and seek, Nerf wars.
  4. Make-a-new-cocktail night. Look up the recipe for a fun new drink and gather the ingredients on your next trip to the store. If you don’t drink, consider a virgin variety, a coffee beverage, or an experimental smoothie recipe. As a bonus, grab some interesting crackers and cheese, and/or a bar of dark chocolate to break and share.
  5. Blast from the past: Think of the music you listened to (grab a few on iTunes), the movies you watched, the food you ate around the time when you met.  (Do you have a “song”? A dish you used to make and/or devour, like that fab spinach-artichoke dip from that one restaurant?) Have a little fun with remembering together, and grabbing your spouse’s hand to dance. As a bonus, haul out a photo album or two to chuckle over.
  6. Make a special, easy meal or snack. Six Sisters (grab their 32 ideas here!) suggests fondue, a picnic, homemade pizza, or pretty much anything by candlelight. They also suggest swapping babysitting with a friend. Genius.
  7. Dates don’t have to be complicated. Shower together–and shower each other. He rubs on the shower gel; she washes his hair.
  8. I’m lovin’ this idea from’s list of 18 ideas: paint together. They suggest watercolors. My husband even picked up some canvases and an art set of acrylic paints, for all of you who want to step it up a notch. (I like their ideas to do a puzzle together, eat takeout by candlelight, or ask each other questions, too. You can find some questions to take your relationships to the next level here.)
  9. Keeping with the simple theme: Make some warm beverages and set up some chairs and blankets outside on a starry night.
  10. Read a book out loud to each other while cuddling. Maybe the listener rubs the reader’s feet. Choose something funny or engaging that keeps bringing you back for the next chapter.

Let’s have it. What are your best–or easiest–at-home date night ideas? I heart comments!

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