Date night is a time to unwind, reconnect with your partner, be present and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a time for romance and sharing new experiences. And that doesn’t necessarily have to mean going out. Sometimes, the idea of trying to get the mixologist’s attention at a crowded cocktail bar or waiting in a long line at that hot new restaurant that doesn’t take reservations sounds less than ideal. Luckily, there are so many ways to do date night right from the comfort of your humble abode. And there are plenty of perks to spending your date night in, too. Not only will you probably save some money, but you’ll both be free to indulge in as many displays of affection as you desire without feeling self-conscious—and if you’re feeling frisky, the bedroom is just a short stroll away.

Whether you’re trying to stick to a budget, it’s too cold to go out or you’re simply trying to dodge the weekend crowds, here are some simple yet super romantic ideas for spending a date night in. 

Cook dinner together There’s hardly an activity that has more bonding potential than cooking together. And no, neither of you need to have culinary chops to pull this off. If you’re novices, in the kitchen, keep it simple and stress-free with a recipe that requires five ingredients or less. You can also whip up brunch instead if you want to make a whole day out of it. (What could possibly be more indulgent than breakfast in bed?)

Once you divvy up the prep work, see how tough it is to keep your hands off each other while you’re whipping up a feast to enjoy. The best part? When you sit down to savor your meal together, it’ll taste that much better knowing it was a joint effort. Plus, who knows? Cooking dinner together may become a new tradition. Add to the romance by having a little wine, beer or cocktail tasting while you wait for the meal to be ready. Then, bust out the nice dishware, light some candles on the table and marvel at your culinary skills.

Plan a scavenger hunt with some sexy surprises Looking for a date night that’s on the playful side? Everyone loves a good scavenger hunt. Have fun with your SO by crafting your own hunt to participate in at home. Set up some envelopes around the house, each with a “love task” to complete, as well as a clue to the location of the next envelope. If you need some guidance on planning the scavenger hunt, Pinterest has plenty of printouts you can use. These tasks can include anything from giving each other a back rub or paying each other a compliment. As your partner completes each task, they’ll get closer and closer to the final destination (the bedroom, of course). That’s where you’ll blindfold them, undress and then surprise them by revealing some seductive designer lingerie. Don’t forget to utilize a few sexy accessories to spice things up, either. It’s amazing what a pair of luxe handcuffs or a garter belt can do to bring the heat.

Have a spa day If you’re both in need of some pampering, there’s no reason why you have to leave your home to enjoy a spa experience. So, stock up on some tealight candles and skincare products—like face masks, body lotion, a foot scrub, etc. Next, find a relaxing playlist, set the chill mood with dim lighting and indulge in some self-care together. You can even make your own spa water with fresh veggies or fruit (sliced cucumber, pineapple, and watermelon are especially refreshing additions) or healthy smoothies. Or, if you’re looking for something more comforting on a cold day, enjoy some tea in between your services together.

Go camping If you and your significant other are outdoorsy types, you may be dreaming of outdoor adventures that simply aren’t realistic due to your lack of supplies or perhaps the frigid temperatures. If the weather permits, you can pitch a tent right in your own backyard. Or, if it’s winter time, avoid getting frostbite and plan a little indoor camping trip—complete with a tent, sleeping bag, and flashlights, of course. Sleeping on the floor enclosed in a tent is bound to up the intimacy factor, and you’re likely to completely forget that you’re still at home. To keep yourselves entertained, you can play card games or board games, read to each other or even whip up some s’mores. Don’t forget to power down your digital devices. Unplugging will allow you two to reconnect in a more meaningful way and, moreover, to stay in the present moment.

Have a dance party There’s something undeniably and inexplicably romantic about dancing with someone. For one, it means physical closeness. But dancing is also a means of communication—a way for you both to express your love without words. It doesn’t matter if you or your special someone happens to have impressive moves because having a dance party is all about letting your guard down and having fun. That said, if you feel like you could use a little help, you can scope some YouTube videos and take a little at-home dance lesson together. Then, fire up a playlist with some jams that will inspire you both to bust a move, and let loose. Just don’t forget to enjoy a slow dance at some point. It’s sure to bring out the smitten school girl in you.

The most important thing to remember is this: spending date night at home doesn’t mean treating it like any other casual night in. That means you’ll likely want to think outside the box (read: no Netflix and chilling with takeout). Putting a little thought and creativity into your plan will make your cozy night in feel special. And any of these ideas are bound to be just as memorable as a night out on the town.

Mitch Carvalho

A full-time home-based Marketing Manager by day, 24/7 Mom, and a Blogger at any time. I’m 43 and proud. Mom of Derelle & Erchelle, sharing my adventures as I walk through motherhood and having to do most things on my own while my Indian national husband works miles away from home.