This Valentines Day just gone I was trying to rack my brains for the perfect gift for my husband. Just two months into our marriage and still riding the high of our honeymoon, it didn’t seem right that we should single out one day to remind ourselves that we love each other. Not to mention my budget was completely shot having just gone through a Christmas wedding and a honeymoon in New York!
So instead, I came up with a year of dates. I compiled a list of romantic date ideas for us to enjoy so we could celebrate all year round! Some are things we can do spur of the moment, some will need more planning. Some are cheap or even free, some will need a bit more budget.
I’m a strong believe in date nights (and date days), and there’s no good reason not to continue dating your husband, even after you marry him! In fact I say there’s all the more reason!
So this year, we’ll be working our way through our make-shift book of date nights, and I’ll be reporting on them here. How do you date your husband? We’re always on the look out for new ideas and new things to try together. Here’s what we’re planning so far:
1) Drive-in cinema… there’s an american style Drive In called Route 66, based in Manchester, which I’ve been meaning to check out for ages. You park up, tune your radio in to get the sound and snuggle up to enjoy the movie. You can even order pizza straight to your car. Pack a blanket and a couple of pillows for comfort and there you have a fun, cosy and unique twist on a movie night in!
2) Make your own Pizza Night – and that includes the dough! We can choose our favourite toppings and maybe try a DIY garlic bread and dessert pizza too.
3) Charity Shop Jumpers & Jigsaws – When money’s a bit tight that’s no excuse not to have a date with your husband! This date requires us to visit a charity shop, each pick a big cuddly jumper and choose a jigsaw or board game to do together. When you get home get snuggled into your jumpers and spend the afternoon making jigsaws or playing your bored game! Hot mugs of cocoa an approved addition! Would make a great rainy day date.
4) Nostalgia Date – Each choose a film from your childhood to watch and snuggle up on the sofa with a pick n mix bag of retro sweets. Oh the good ol’ days!
5) Blanket Fort & Board Games – So this is a bit of a merge of dates 3 and 4. Build a den like you used to do as a kid, out of blankets and old sheets. Add plenty of cushions and fairy lights. Hide away all day exchanging stories, playing games and whatever else takes your fancy…
6) ‘Take a chance’ theatre – Be spontaneous and visit your local theatre – buy a ticket for whatever is showing that day. You never know, you might discover a whole new genre you never considered before.
7) Local Museums – As you’ll have discovered from my travel blog posts, we’re often visiting other UK cities and enjoy nothing more than wandering around their museums and art galleries, but when it comes to our home town I can’t say I’ve been to many of the local attractions. Well all that’s about to change with this date day, learning more about our local history.
8) All weather picnic – don’t wait for a sunny day to plan a picnic. Pick a day and whatever the weather, pack sandwiches and luxury snacks to enjoy. Drive out to your favourite picnic spot and enjoy your goods in the safety of your car. The weather is rarely a good excuse not to do something – so find ways around it to still be able to enjoy your plans!
9) Private photoshoot – if he’s a dab hand with a camera, crack open a bottle of wine and strike a pose – you’ll feel invigorated (don’t forget to turn the camera round on him!) Needless to say, I won’t be blogging in too much detail on this particular date night…
10) Coffee under the stars – fill a flask with your favourite blend of barista coffee and drive out to a light-free zone. Take a blanket and keep warm as you sip your coffee under the stars.
11) Ice Cream Making – Pick your favourite flavour or experiment with something new as you turn your kitchen into an ice cream factory. Stock up of a variety of sauces and toppings!
12) £5 Challenge – Take a trip to your nearest high street and search for the best item under £5. Just because…
13) In-home spa – Light candles, play soothing music and give each other relaxing massages with essential oils.
14) Al fresco dinner & a movie – Load up the ipad, take a drive out, climb into the back and enjoy a private in-car movie. Pack an antipasti picnic for your own private dinner.
15) Ice Skating & Fish and Chips – Living close to a seaside town, we rarely take the opportunity to have a bag of chips along the prom. Throw in a spin on the ice at the local rink and we have ourselves a fun day date.
16) Home town tourist date – Pop into your local Tourist Information centre and pick up a handful of leaflets of local attractions and see your town through a tourists eyes.
17) Geogaching – Check to see if there’s a geocache trail near you and spend the rest of the day joining the goose chase!
18) Half tank challenge – fill your car up, pick a direction and drive until you’ve used up half a tank of fuel. Explore wherever you end up, stop for lunch and then turn around and go home. Great for days when you can’t decide where to go.
19) Italian Night – Cook pasta together (fresh if you’re brave enough!), watch The Godfather and learn basic Italian together.
20) Date of the Orient – try your hand at home made sushi, share a Japanese spa bath and curl up with an old school martial arts movie.
21) Lets go fly a kite – get a cheap kite off Ebay and wait for a windy day – you’ll be surprised how much fun you could have! Warm up together with a bowl of home made soup in front of the fire.
22) Cocktail Making – Buy in your favourite tipples and get creative!
23) Restaurant hopping – Go out for dinner, but order starters in one restaurant, main courses in another, desserts in another… you get the idea.