As parents of 3 children under 3 years old, it isn’t always easy for my husband and I to leave the house and go on a date. Since the twins are still so young, we need two babysitters to take care of the kids, and it’s not always easy to find two people available at the same time. Tomorrow my husband and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary, and finding two people on a Tuesday night is near to impossible. So, we have pushed back our ‘going out’ date to a Saturday night, but we will still be celebrating our anniversary at home on the actual day after the kids go to bed. It isn’t always easy to find fun and original ideas to do as a date, but here are some ideas you can try! Tomorrow we will be doing the fondue!
My husband and I love eating cheese plates for our date nights. They are easy to make and have so many different variations that you can do! You never have to have the same cheese plate twice! If you are lactose intolerant, there are lots of different goat cheeses you can try too which have reduced or non-measurable amounts of lactose in them!
Fondue Date Night
Dipping food in sauce is also a delicious option. Easy options for a fondue night include a cheese fondue or a chocolate fondue. All you need is a fondue pot. Or a microwave bowl.
Depending on how motivated you are, you can either buy a pre made fondue from the store or make your own. Personally, I really like the pre bought stuff, but it does have a hint of alcohol in it. My husband dislikes the flavor and likes to make his own. Both are good, it just depends on your taste and if you want to make it yourself or not. Here is the recipe he uses if you want to try it out.
With the cheese fondue, I like to use sour dough or french bread to dip with. You can also throw in a couple of roasted garlic cloves, which gives a nice bite to the cheese. Another option is to dip in some fresh veggies.
This one is always a winner. Chocolate and fruit. A perfect combination. Like the cheese fondue, you can either buy a chocolate fondue kit, found in the chocolate baking section of your grocery store, or you can make your own with this recipe. In addition to fruit (my favourite is strawberries and bananas), you can also use marshmallows, cookies, brownies or cake.
Board Game Date Night
My husband and I love to play games. There are a bunch of different options but here are a few you can try! I’ve listed the games and a brief description from the website boardgamegeek.com.
Guillotine – As executioners pandering to the masses, the players are trying to behead the least popular nobles. Each day the nobles are lined up and players take turns killing the ones at the front of the line until all the nobles are gone. However, players are given cards which will manipulate the line order right before ‘harvesting,’ which is what makes the game interesting. After three days worth of chopping, the highest total carries the day. My husband really enjoyed playing this one and recommended I add it to the list.
Splendor – Splendor is a game of chip-collecting and card development. Players are merchants of the Renaissance trying to buy gem mines, means of transportation, shops—all in order to acquire the most prestige points. My husband has said that it is a quick and fun deck building game but it one did take a couple of rounds to learn.
Mr. Jack – One of the two players represents Jack the Ripper, who will be one of the 8 characters on the board. This player knows the identity of this character and his goal is to flee from the district as soon as possible (or avoid being accused for eight turns). The other player represents an independent investigator (not represented on the board) who tries to guess the identity of Jack. It involves a lot more strategy then you think when you first pick this game up. You can play a bunch of times with this one, and I really enjoyed playing it.
Pandemic – In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues before they get out of hand. While neither my husband or myself has played this game, we have heard good things about it.
Tales of Arabian Nights – In Tales of the Arabian Nights, you are the hero or heroine in a story of adventure and wonder just like those told by Scheherazade to her spellbound sultan! You will travel the land seeking your own destiny and fortune. You will learn stories and gain wisdom to share with others. The point of the game is less to see who wins and more to enjoy the unfolding and telling of a great story! This one looks really fun!
Agents of Smersh – Agents of SMERSH is a cooperative Storytelling game that pits players as UN Secret Service Spies set in an alternate 1970s timeline against a newly formed and independent SMERSH. Agents of SMERSH includes custom dice to determine success or failure of encounters, and more strategic play from what is typically expected of a Storytelling board game. There are plenty of James Bond gadgets and hilarity.
Games That Won’t End Your Relationship (Hopefully)
Small World – Picking the right combination from the 14 different fantasy races and 20 unique special powers, players rush to expand their empires – often at the expense of weaker neighbors. Yet they must also know when to push their own over-extended civilization into decline and ride a new one to victory! (If you value your relationship you may think twice about back stabbing your partner)
Trivial Pursuit – Trivial Pursuit is the original trivia game that started it all.
There are SO many different versions that you can play based on your interests. I love playing the Disney version, but there are lots of other ones like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or the 90’s. Pick which one you are most interested in! Don’t be like my husband and refuse to play with your partner once you win. (He wants to maintain his title of undisputed champion of Disney Trivial Pursuit and now won’t play one of my favorite games with me anymore. Jerk.)
Ticket to Ride – With elegantly simple gameplay, Ticket to Ride can be learned in under 15 minutes, while providing players with intense strategic and tactical decisions every turn. Players collect cards of various types of train cars they then use to claim railway routes in North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. This is one of my favorite games. I love playing this game with my husband and trying to get all my routes to connect!
Movies are usually the go-to at home date, but you can always mix it up by doing a movie marathon of a specific theme, like James Bond, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. (You’ll probably have to split them up over a series of nights). If you really want to mix it up, try watching the commentaries! I love listening to the director or actors give hidden insights on my favorite movies.
Another way you can spice up movie night is by thinking up themed snacks for the night. James Bond? Have some martinis! Shaken, not stirred… Lord of the rings? Maybe Focaccia bread with some oil and vinegar? It mimics the lammas bread the Elves give the Fellowship. Willy Wonka and the chocolate factory? Any candy you want. Be creative! Have some fun with it!
Beer or Wine Tasting Date Night
Why not have a night where you try a bunch of different wines or beers you’ve never tasted before? You could pick a country and try a handful of beers or wine from that region!
International Food Date Night
If you want to REALLY kick it up a notch, you can combine the beer or wine tasting region that you picked with food also from that region. Go all out and experience a new country!
Video Game Date Night
My last suggestion is a video game night. There are lots of fun games to play, whether you love video games or tolerate them for your partner. Here are a few suggestions.
Games for People who “Tolerate” Video Games
For those of you who are not really into gaming, but are willing to try some for your partner, you can try some ‘Tell Tale Video Games’. These are one player story line games that you can watch your partner play, and help pick the story line. While I am not much of a gamer, I do enjoy playing the Game of Thrones version with my husband. Other options for the ‘Tell Tale Video Games’ include The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Batman and CSI.
Fun, Easy Two Player Games
These games are fun and easy to play for those of you, who, like me are not great at gaming but don’t mind playing every once in a while.
Mario Kart – Mario Kart is a classic go kart racing game that anyone can pick up and play. Casual gamers and hardcore ones flock to this game and will enjoy it. I really like playing Mario Kart, even though I’m not a great gamer.
Mario Party – Mario Party is essentially a giant board game full or random mini games. Just make sure to not steal any stars from your partner or your going to have a rough time!
Epic Mickey – This game focuses on Mickey Mouse, who accidentally damages a world for forgotten characters and concepts, and is forced to fix the world while combating antagonists with a magic paintbrush. Fantastic co-op game that takes a lot of problem solving. We own this game, and I’ve been meaning to play it but haven’t gotten a chance to yet. I’m excited to play it though!
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – This game has multiple storylines with a variety of playable characters and increased interaction with environments. A two-player co-op mode is also available for some missions. The Return of the King was developed in close collaboration with the filmmakers, using many of the actual reference photos, drawings, models, props and other assets from the film. I really love playing as Legolas and swinging his swords around. It’s lots of fun and great working with your partner to slay the bad guys.
Portal 2– This game has a fantastic co-op mode which forces you to work together to solve physics based puzzles. Along with hilarious commentary this one will get you using parts of your brain you didn’t know you had.
More Complicated Video Games
Here are a few games that involve a little more skill when it comes to maneuvering and playing the games. Just for those of you who are a little more experienced when it comes to gaming.
Halo – Halo is first person shooter game in space and has been a main stay on multiple consoles with multiple installments. It’s great if you like shooting at people!
NHL 16– This is a hockey game that you can play vs and coop modes as your favorite teams or ones you didn’t know existed (team Japan vs Legacy Hartford Whalers anyone?)