Date nights are really hard to keep up with, and having little ones to keep up with make it even harder. It seems like every marriage book talks about the importance of date nights, but they never address the reality of actually maintaining a weekly date night.

Not only does it take planning to coordinate schedules and find a night you are free, but babysitters can be pricey. We fully support the idea that date nights are important, so we came up with some low-maintenance “date night” ideas that you can enjoy right at home, no babysitter needed. Just wait for the kids to go to bed and reserve some time for one of these stay-at-home dates!

Game Date
We’re all about family game nights, but there are a ton of two-player games that are really fun…and a little more challenging than Candy Land. Chess, Bananagrams, and an endless amount of card games are waiting to be played.

Dessert Date
This is one of our favorites! Either you or your partner should pick up a special dessert on the way home from work, such as cannolis from a local bakery or cheesecake from your favorite restaurant. Whatever it is, make it special. Then, after the kids have gone to bed, play some soft music and enjoy your dessert together.

Movie Date
This one’s for the night owls. When the kids go to bed, watch a movie together. But go the extra mile to make it more special than your usual Netflix show before bed. Pop some popcorn, pick up your favorite movie theater candy, and grab all the blankets you can find. Put your phones away and snuggle like you did when you were dating.

Walk Down Memory Lane
You can’t take a walk outside while your kiddos are sleeping, but you can still walk down memory lane! Take some time and talk about your favorite memories together, when you first met, your first kiss, your wedding day, and any other special days you’ve had together. Look back on old photos, cringe at old hairstyles, and remember why you fell in love.

Date nights out are great, but date nights at home are a great alternative for when babysitters aren’t available or in the budget. At the end of the day, it’s not about what you ate or how much you spent. It’s about being intentional about spending quality time as a couple and fighting for your marriage.