Stale is probably not the way you want to describe your marriage—not now, not ever. But the path to keeping a marriage fun, fresh, and full of joy isn’t always clear. And let’s face it. Fun and simple date night ideas aren’t the easiest to come up with when you’re trying to juggle workloads, schedules, childcare, and tight budgets.
Fancy dinners and overnight trips have their place for sure, but simple moments together on a regular basis can leave you feeling more connected, more in love, and more full of joy about the days ahead (and doubly so if you can create a few new memories while you’re at it). So if you’re feeling stale, try these 5 simple date night ideas for a fun marriage.
1. Go on a sunset picnic.
Sunset is a bit of magic that happens every day, yet we rarely stop to notice it. That’s what makes it the perfect date night activity. For a simple date night, grab a salad or sandwich from the kitchen or a nearby shop and head to your favorite sunset spot together. As you eat and watch the sunset colors take over the sky, chat, hold hands, and lean in close. Let the simple beauty of the sky—and the moment—take your breath away.
2. Visit a place from your past.
When I was first getting to know my husband, we would spend every other Saturday night at Barnes & Noble sipping coffee, picking out books, and chatting. Now that we’ve been married for 17 years, we rarely take time to do anything like that, so it’s especially fun when we do. Think of a place that meant something to you and your husband when you were falling in love. Go there together. Let the memory of falling in love take over for a while.
3. See a movie you saw together on one of your first dates.
Sargent Bilko is the movie my husband and I saw on our first date way back in 1996. It’s not a great movie, but surprising him by making it the center of our date night on rare occasions shows I still remember what it was like to be a teenager in love with him. Add stovetop popcorn, a pack of Sour Patch Kids or Raisinets, and a Coke, and the date is made. What movie brings back a good memory for you and your husband? Put it on and see what happens.
4. Find an adrenaline-inducing activity.
I fell in love with my husband one South Georgia summer during a sweaty basketball game. A scientist wouldn’t be surprised about that, because sweating releases pheromones, which causes physical attraction. Chances are, you might have an early memory of doing something active with your husband, too. But how often do you sweat together now that you’re older? Maybe it’s time. Go for a hike, rent bikes for a couple of hours, hit the batting cages or bowling rink, or maybe surprise him with a round of hoops if that’s your thing. Increase your heart rate together and watch the sparks fly.
5. Make a meal that means something special.
A Virginia-baked ham sandwich with Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and mustard will always remind me of my husband. It’s the meal we ate together most while we were dating and it’s still one of his favorite foods on the planet. Surprising him by making that simple meal the star of our date night every now and then shows him I remember his favorites and I’m thinking of him. It’s far from fancy, but it’s meaningful (and easy to take to the sunset, too).
Now that you’ve got a few simple date night ideas, you can have loads of fun together. What ideas can you add to the list?