In our pre-kid era, my husband and I usually spent Valentine’s Day at a favorite restaurant. The most difficult part of planning the evening would be picking where to go from our long list of usual spots. However, now that we are parents, heading out for the night without a ton of scheduling and arranging ahead of time doesn’t happen. Not to mention, I love getting dressed up and making special plans as much as anyone. But I’d be lying if I said spending a night with my partner in our comfy clothes wasn’t utmost appealing.
It’s never an easy feat to find an available babysitter on V-Day. So in recent years, we’ve shifted gears. We figure, why not just recreate a fun date night out at home after the kids go to bed instead? If you can relate, may you can use some inspiration on where to start in the at-home date nigh realm. Check out 15 of our favorite Valentine’s Day at-home date night ideas that are perfect for you and your Valentine.
15 Valentine’s Day At-Home Date Night Ideas
1. Fake a fancy dinner out
Mix up some fancy cocktails (or mocktails!) and prepare prime rib, crab legs, or scallops. (Pro tip: Costco has amazing crab legs. Call ahead to make sure they have them!) Create the right ambiance with music, candles, and nice dinnerware. Enjoy taking your time to eat and converse over a meal your kids would probably turn their noses up at.
2. Try an at-home cooking class
Recreate a cooking class date night at home by making a complicated recipe together. Check out online cooking classes from America’s Test Kitchen or MasterClass or simply follow a recipe provided in a meal delivery service box like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
3. Recreate your favorite bar food
Bring happy hour to your house with a growler or six-pack of your favorite local craft beer. Add in wings, burgers, or nachos. Play cards or head to the basement for pool, darts, or foosball if you have the equipment.
4. Pretend you’re in Napa Valley with a wine tasting
Buy a few bottles of new wines you haven’t tried and set up a wine tasting at home, complete with note-taking sheets so you can discuss your favorites later. Make a few appetizers or a cheese plate that pairs well with the wines.
5. Get creative with a painting night
Buy your own canvas and paint supplies and bring the party to your living room. Look up an instructional video on YouTube and paint your own masterpiece. It’s always fun to see how different people interpret the same instructions.
6. Go simple with pizza and a movie
Queue up a movie on Netflix (spare yourself anything kid-related!) and order pizza from your favorite spot. Spread out and eat in front of the TV. End with popcorn or your favorite movie theater snack.
7. Breakfast for dinner
If you agree that brunch can be enjoyed at all hours of the day (it’s just a fact), whip up your favorite strata or hash, add a pre-made potato side, and top off with some pancakes.
8. Play barista for the night
Pick up some French-inspired baked goods and have a relaxing evening with (decaf) mugs of your favorite coffee shop drink. Unwind over your favorite books, magazines, or some lighthearted conversation.
9. Try a little friendly competition
Pull out your favorite board games for some friendly competition! They’ve probably been gathering dust on the shelf… because kids. Our favorite two-player games? Scrabble, Rummikub, Farkle, traditional card games, and Heads Up. Or spice things up this Valentine’s Day with a sexy game night.
10. Pretend it’s summer and try a picnic inside
If you’re somewhere that it’s warm in February (we’re jealous), set up a little date night outside. String some lights for a restaurant-style feel. If you’re stuck in the cold weather like us, clear some furniture and throw a picnic blanket on the floor for the ultimate summer-in-winter date night.
11. Take it easy and order your favorite take out
If you have a craving for something specific, order from your favorite restaurant as takeout and recreate the restaurant ambiance at home, whether it’s Thai, Italian, Mexican, Indian, or barbecue!
12. Binge a new series
Streaming services have come a long way in recent years with their offerings. Now, not only do we have the option to watch our favorite re-runs non-stop, but each platform has new addictive shows. Pick one you’ve heard everyone talking about lately and spending the night watching away.
13. Play a spicy board game
Perfect if you are able to get a baby sitter for the evening, a spicy board game is a great way to use Valentine’s Day for the way it was intended: to reconnect with your partner. Try the Monogamy Board Game that offers three levels of spiciness in the form of card prompts. Or, opt for a game that’s dubbed “date night in a box,” The Discovery Game.
14. Plan a family bucket list
While you’re spending a night in, use the time for planning future adventures. Brainstorm dream vacation spots you want to take together as a family and as a couple to look back on the next time you find yourself ready to plan a trip.
15. Create an DIY escape room
Valentine’s Day at-home date night ideas don’t have to be extravagant, but that doesn’t mean they have to be low-key either! If this Valentine’s Day finds you feeling creative, spend some extra time putting together a special at-home experience in the form of a DIY escape room. You’ll need to put together a story and puzzles, but we know the effort will leave you with a one-of-a-kind at-home date night you’ll want to recreate over and over again. This also happens to be a perfect date to do with the kiddos!