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14 Creative Date Ideas for Married Couples (Add SPICE back, Tonight!)

These creative date ideas for married couples who need to rekindle their marriage are the same activities we used to get back in touch with our relationship.

When our little guy was just one year old, my husband and I did something BONKERS: we committed to weekly date nights as a married couple.

author and husband's hands making a hashtag together, text overlay "creative date night ideas to rekindle your marraige"

I say “bonkers” because, with an infant, we were both barely sneaking in 6 hours of nightly sleep (oh yeah…and I was running an online business).

Still, we felt our marriage slipping away.

Our wild-for-each-other and sometimes-spontaneous bond that used to have us staying out past dark together (gasp!) was unrecognizable to us.

Maybe you can relate to our story.

Why We Needed Date Ideas for Struggling Couples

After baby − cuddly, mostly-content, and life-changing baby − things changed.

Instead of having hours together to talk about our days, our lives, and what we wanted for our future, our kid-sized pockets of conversation time were reserved for logistical matters.


  • who's getting up with the baby tonight
  • who can pick up X baby thing from the store
  • how little sleep we got the night before
  • keeping score on the latest diaper blowout
  • etc.

Doesn't exactly scream romance, right? We could see where things were going for our relationship, and we didn't like it.

So, we took action.


  • Went through the Dating Divas’ 10-day, Divorce-Proof Your Marriage mini-course (it’s free!),
  • Made dating one another a TOP priority for our marriage
  • Designated one night a week to be date night, and took turns with who was going to plan it

Just look at where this got us!

Some date nights were out of the house, and most were at-home date nights (after we put the little one to sleep).

And in doing so, we learned THE SECRET to rekindle a marriage − I'm about to reveal it to you.

THE SECRET of Rekindling Your Marriage through Dating Each Other

My husband and I just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. I could say the cliche “WOW, I can't believe it's been that long”…but that's expected, right?

What's NOT expected is the natural ebb and flow of a marriage: drifting a bit apart from hours upon hours spent adulting, figuring out that things aren't “working” as they are, and then coming back together again in new and exciting ways.

Because let's be honest − marriage is work.

You need to put in some work to build a solid foundation, but then you also need to put in some work to plan things that will keep your marriage fresh and romantic and EXCITING.

And all these creative date night ideas I'm about to share? Have this ONE THING in common. This secret helped rekindle our marriage and will help rekindle yours.

The secret to rekindling your marriage is to:

Regularly choose date nights where the two of you are exploring something NEW together. Even at home.

Think about it − what did you do in those first few months and years of being together (you know, during the exciting “honeymoon phase” of your relationship)?

I mean…besides that (haha!).

You tried new things together. ALL. THE. TIME.

  • New restaurants
  • New conversation topics
  • New movies you never would've watched (except that your partner was interested in them)
  • New books recommended by each other
  • New towns and cities you explored together (or old ones, but with fresh lenses now that you were exploring together)
  • New recipes
  • New everything!

But somewhere along the way − probably between anniversary #3 and #8 − kids, bills, jobs, and lives took over.

Trying new things together took a backseat to routine, stability, grocery store runs (is it just me, or do you end up at the grocery store 3 times as often with kids?), and important things like that.

Psst: not sure how to keep exploring new things together on a tight budget, especially if you're mostly able to do at-home date nights right now? Keep reading. I've got loads of ideas.

But don't just take my word for it. This is actually backed up by studies. According to Arthur Aron, a professor of social psychology at the State University of New York, when you experience something new together as a couple, you actually ignite the same chemicals in your brain as what you felt in the early stages of your romantic love.

He says,

“…for couples who have a reasonably good but slightly dull relationship, novelty may help reignite old sparks.”

‘Nuff said. Let's get on with these awesome date night ideas.

Date Night Ideas to Rekindle Marriage − At Home

My husband and I really understand the challenges in getting a babysitter and planning an on-the-town date in this season of life.

Which is why I'm dividing these creative date night ideas into ones you can do at home, and ones for when you both want to go out.

And we're starting with the date ideas you can do right in your own home.

1. Create a Chopsticks Asian Snack Station

entire Asian grocery store snacks aisle - very colorful
wooden tray filled with small dishes of Japanese snack foods and chopsticks, fire in fireplace

My husband and I lived in Japan together for a time when we first met, and we just fell in love with Asian snacks.

The cool thing is? You can find tons of the same snacks at your local Asian grocery store (just google “Asian grocery store near me”).

Why snacks?

Well, they're poppable, you can immerse yourself in the flavors of a different culture without much work, and you can pack the extras (that you liked) in your lunches all week.

It's such an easy and casual way to enjoy something new together, right in your own home (and eating with chopsticks? Well, that's always a funny couple activity).

2. Do a Couple's Massage on Each Other

I'm about to introduce you to one of my fave finds on the internet − Denis Merkas and his YouTube videos (also, his completely natural, one-ingredient massage oil).

I cannot, for the life of me, remember how I came across him. But boy am I glad I did!

Just the other night, I surprised my husband with a couple's massage using Denis' tutorials (we actually love his free YouTube videos so much that I splurged and bought his online massage class). My husband was like putty in my hands…and it sparked QUITE the ending to a wonderful, backyard date night <wink, wink>.

Here's a link to a few of my favorite free videos of his:

His videos are not only entertaining, but you’ll pick up enough massage tips to make this night pleasurable for you both. (Hint: he sells an almond massage oil called Melt – the only ingredient is almond – and I bought us a set to use on our couple’s massage date night!).

3. Recreate One of Your First Dates At Home

Another one of my favorite ways to rekindle a relationship?

Is for the two of you to connect, once again, over how you both started.

Recreate one of your first (and favorite) date nights together. You know…when the two of you were still dating.

And to make this even more fun, do it from home. No matter what type of date you choose, figure out how to bring it back alive without leaving your property (that's right − don't forget you can use the garage, back patio, and any other area you own).

I'll start: Paul and I met in Japan. It was our early 20s, and we used to go out to bars together with a bunch of other Navy sailors (I met my husband while he was in the Navy).

To recreate this at home, I can score some drinks from that we used to have in Japan, and set up a pub trivia night game. I could also figure out a way to do karaoke from home and pick up a container of sushi from the grocery store.

We might even try to eat a platter of interesting Japanese snack foods solely with chopsticks. #ideas

The point is to think of ways you can take elements from that first date night and reinvent them.

Imagine the look of surprise and love in your partner's eyes when they figure out what you've done!

4. Crank Up the Thermostat and Play Poker

Can you imagine my husband's surprise when we put our infant to sleep and I showed him to a picnic blanket in the middle of our bedroom floor, complete with a poker set?

Make it nice and toasty after the kids go to bed, and print these free printable poker PDFs (if you want to take things to the next level…<hint, hint>) to enjoy this date night in your own home.

5. Taste-Test a Category of Something

This one is so stinkin' easy to pull off, and is such a crowd-pleaser as far as bringing couples closer together!

You go grocery shopping, right?

Next time you're staring down the wall of 47 Pop-Tart flavors, or the half-aisle of Reese's products, you're really looking at date night.

wall of reese's products in a Walmart
wall of Pop-tart flavors in a Walmart

Pick one category of product (Pringles, Reese's, pint-sized ice-creams, gums, etc.), and buy 5-6 different varieties.

One night, instead of poppin' on the TV like you guys normally would, surprise your spouse with a taste-testing session. Put each of the products in its own bowl or plate, and take turns trying the new flavors out.

Hint: feeling extra giddy? Get a blindfold, and have your partner taste-test blindly. Maybe they have to guess what flavor is in their mouth. Whatever you two crazy kids want to do…

Taste them, talk about them, laugh at the ones that are awful, and stash the yummy ones for lunch snacks later in the week.

A novel experience, right in your own home.

6. Get a Date Night Box Subscription

The number of truly awesome and spicy adult date night boxes on the market now is exciting. These just didn't exist when I started blogging about our date night ideas!

Over the course of a year, my husband and I reviewed 6 different date night box subscriptions.

Not only did we have snort-level laughs together, but there was no prep work involved. Did I mention we both got to be surprised, too?

Plus, each date night took just 45 minutes to a little over an hour to complete.

We did stuff we never thought we'd do together, like:

  • Playdoh Pictionary (snort laughs came out of this one!)
  • Picking Jungle Fish species that reminded us of each other (I cried, laughing so hard, after looking at the one my husband chose for me)
  • Filled out Outlaw Cards on each other (Old West theme)
  • and so much more

Check this out for the best date night subscription box reviews.

7. Eat Takeout Vegan for the Night

Vegan is pretty exotic for our meat-loving household.

That's why this at-home date night was perfect for us − a new, shared experience that we could easily create.

One week while grocery shopping, I popped over to the frozen section of Whole Foods, and picked out two completely vegan dinners for us to try (they have lots of vegan options in their hot, grab'n'go foods section).

salmon and tuna plant-based poke bowls on shelf
vegan food spread at home with cucumbers, vegan mac'n'cheese, vegan pupusas, etc.

It was a completely new experience for us, and it could be for you two, too!

Hint: it also started us down a new path, where we went on the meat-free Daniel Fast together for one month. WOW was that a new experience that brought us closer. You can check out my Daniel Fast Menu and recipes.

8. Break Out the Gourmet S'Morgasbord

During the week when you normally go to the grocery store anyway, pick up s'mores supplies.

And not just the normal ones. Get really creative here.

Try out these:

  • Add cookie butters to your graham crackers (in the peanut butter section at your grocery store)
  • Serve with a warmed-up jar of salted caramel
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon, sea salt flakes, and other seasonings

Put everything in cute little dishes. Either light a fire in your house's fireplace or light a fire in your pit outside (you could do some tabletop s'mores, too!).

Even better if you go out in the yard or a nearby wooded area to find the sticks together!

Grab your free s'mores date night printables.

9. Host a Nordic-Themed Date Night

Got an IKEA within driving distance of you?

This Nordic Cultural Date Night (nerdy name, I know) all started when I made a trip to Marshall's several months ago and found a glass bottle of water bottled in Norway (Brand: Voss) for 50% off.

Then I remembered how IKEA has that really cool food area with all kinds of Swedish prepackaged foods.

So I purchased the water, then set off to peruse IKEA's food area to see if I could buy an interesting spread of foods for us to try. I found all kinds of cool things!

Such as:

  • TÅRTA CHOKLADKROKANT: “An almond cake with chocolate, buttercream and butterscotch”
  • DRYCK BUBBEL ÄPPLE & LINGON: Sparkling Apple and Lingonberry drink
  • LASAGNE LAX: Frozen Salmon Lasagna

I also borrowed The Nordic Cookbook from our library and found several interesting recipes I can try (including Sweet-and-Sour Braised Red Cabbage from Sweden, Finnish Carrot Casserole, and Danish Boiled Meatballs in Curry Cream Sauce).

Then, I looked on Netflix and found a cool-sounding series, Lilyhammer, about an ex-mafia guy starting over in Norway.

We had a Norwegian feast, coupled with a funny new show to bond over…right in our own living room.

Date Night Ideas to Rekindle Marriage − Out ‘n' About

Two things you need to know about my husband and I: we love to explore, and we love to take in new cultures.

Like when we went to Austria for 11 days on our honeymoon, or to Cozumel for our 5-year anniversary. Or when we visit my family in PA and explore Amish Country (it’s like entering another world – seriously).

But now that we’ve got a little one? The international travel has toned down.

And by toned down…I mean come to a screeching halt.

(At least for a while).

In the meantime? Well, it dawned on me that we can still let our exploratory sides express themselves with a bit of creativity in our own town and city.

1. Go on a Culinary Trail Date

Several years ago, Paul and I had a blast wandering from ethnic food store to ethnic restaurant for the better part of a day.

You can do this creative date idea by following some famous food trails, like South Lousiana's Boudin trail, North Carolina's Moravian Trail, or exploring Pennsylvania's Amish + German heritage.

But you can also set it up for yourself.

Basically, you want to research a bunch of pit stops to make − cultural centers, restaurants, and grocery stores − and put the whole thing together for your own made-up culinary trail date.

Find places that'll have you guys:

  • Eating yummy foods
  • Window-shopping products from other countries (this used to be one of my favorite things to do while living in Japan − you can learn a lot about a culture this way!)
  • Sampling more foods
  • Looking up recipes and then purchasing special ingredients from ethnic grocery stores

All put together, our own was quite fun. We kind of bobbed between all kinds of cultures of the world, including:

  • Russian General Store: We noticed a Russian General Store right by our house, and it took us over two years of passing it by to ever satisfy our curiosities about what was inside. If you can imagine a store that sells Soviet-era-looking dried fish, then you get the picture. Think Russian nesting dolls (matrioshkas), Russian books and CDs, Russian beer, and all kinds of Russian ingredients. And from this pit-stop, I got the idea for us to do a sort of Russian cultural study together. Yep, we’re happy nerds like that).
  • Nippon Daido: Going here made us literally feel like we were perusing the aisles of a Japanese grocery store once more, putting all kinds of interesting and (sometimes) bizarre things into our cart and attempting to cook with them. The Japanese snacks aisle is especially grand.
  • Istanbul Market: This was a small store with a nice selection of olives, feta, cheeses, hummus, falafel, baklava, and snacks.
  • Phoenicia Specialty Foods: We discovered a conveyor belt wrapping around the inside of a store with fresh bread along it! And yes, we ended up bringing home an amazing Palestinian bread crusted in herbs (mmm…just typing that out makes me want to go back and get more) plus a few spices. We also really enjoyed looking through all of the cheeses from around the world.
  • Abdallah's: Paul ate his first Shawarma at this Lebanese Restaurant & Bakery since his days serving in Bahrain. I had a bite and can attest to its super yumminess.
  • Several others, including Halal Meat Grocery Grill Supermarket (ever wonder what an entire lamb goes for? Apparently around $164.28), a Hookah bar (my first Hookah experience!), and Jerusalem Meats.

This was pretty much an awesome, memorable date day that had us exploring our local area while at the same time connecting over our love for learning about different cultures.

2. Let the Adventure Challenge Date Night Surprise You BOTH

Imagine this – you find a babysitter, or wait until the kiddos go to sleep…and you BOTH get to be surprised with what date night is.

That’s what The Adventure Challenge: Couple’s Edition does for you.

It’s this cool, scratch-off collection of date nights that promises to add some adventure to your at-home or out-of-home dating life with your partner.

Exactly the kind of activities to rekindle a relationship.

There’s also a spot next to each date night for you to write in a memory from the evening, plus to take a photo and use the tape to create a date night album.

layout of scratched off date nights in book next to polaroid photos completing them
couple outside on patio, man blindfolded, each hilariously laughing

Love that!

You’re not completely in the dark about what the date night will be: for each scratch-off date option, you get to see the following:

  • Category and Title of the Mystery Date (trust me – you still won’t be able to guess)
  • Time Needed to Complete the Date
  • Estimated Amount of Money Needed to Complete the Date

For our personal date night? We got to find out each other’s Love Language, and then brainstorm awesome ways to incorporate it into a date night. My husband and I are both “Physical Touch”, and it was kinda fun brainstorming a few ways we can incorporate that into some of our future date nights.

3. Fly a Kite at the Beach…in the Winter

Why does everyone seem to forget about the beach (me, included) in the wintertime?

I know, I know. It can be cold.

But one of the most memorable dates I've ever been on is being driven to the beach (two hours away), and flying a kite in the middle of winter.

We dressed appropriately and knew we'd only be out there for half an hour or so. But the novelty of it was unforgettable (and that's what we're going for)!

4. Have a Honeymoon Lunch

Since when was a Honeymoon Lunch only supposed to happen in that first year or two of marriage?

Paul and I have snuck in several lunches together over the years on a workday. Even if it's just meant eating together at a picnic table outside of his building.

You could:

  • Meet up at a restaurant that's halfway-ish between the two of you
  • Meet up at a park near someone's work, if the other person has more flexibility in time
  • Meet up at home if you both schedule a half day for doctor appointments

There are all kinds of ways to make these work…you just have to want to and to get creative.

5. Try Out a Vegan Restaurant

If you are not vegan or vegetarian…then trying out a vegan restaurant together is about one of the easiest ways to infuse newness into your relationship.

Because it's like a whole other world.

Paul and I did this while we were on that Daniel Fast together I mentioned above, and we're still talking about it several years later.

The cashew cheeses, vegan sweet potato-bean burgers, creamy peanut sauces, etc. are so out-of-the-box and delightful sounding (mostly) that you can't help but get curious to try them.

Order several things off the menu, and share them (you might just find yourselves seductively feeding one another before the night is through − or breaking out in fits of giggles. Both are completely acceptable.).

6. Set Up an Around the World Date Night

This next one is one of our favorite date nights we ever had. It's a memory we'll never forget!

I decided to add some pizzazz to our normal date nights, and not only get a friend to babysit for us – thank you so much, Sharareh! – but to also center the night around exploring a culture together.

When thinking about things to do on date night, I knew the Around the World dates packet from the lovely Dating Divas would be a real help. 

(Hint: these date nights were designed to take place completely at home. I just decided, since we had a volunteer babysitter, that we would spice things up even more by taking it out into the city of Houston!)

From the 12 countries it comes with, I decided India was for us.

Here’s what I set up for us:

  • Elephant Invitation: First up, I cut out and filled in the invitation for Paul to our date night. He didn’t even know that I had found a babysitter, so this was a big surprise for him!
  • Indian Dessert: The day of, I visited an Indian bakery right near our home (Masala Munchies) and tasted several different dessert samples before choosing White Penda and Mint Chocolate Chip Burfa. Instead of using the bag toppers in the printables packet for Holi powder, I stapled them onto two lunch bags with the desserts inside!
  • Hindu Temple Tour: Lo and behold, just 14 minutes away from our home is one of the most ornate, gorgeous Hindu temples (and buildings) we’ve ever seen – and I’m talking on the inside, where photographs are not allowed. We were entirely awestruck, not to mention entirely transported to India while in this marble building.
  • Indian Grocery Store Tour: After the tour of the temple, we headed to Keemat Grocers, which is an Indian food store Anthony Bourdain toured for his CNN show. How fun to go up and down the aisles, checking out all kinds of Indian food goodies – spices, sauces, drinks, frozen foods, etc.
author and husband smiling, standing in front of an ornate, white template
closeup of a statue inside of the Indian temple

The date packet came with so much more – Holi Powder recipe, dinner recipes for two Indian dishes, iron transfer art for tee-shirts, a sexy Henna activity, a list of Bollywood movies to add to your Netflix queue, etc. – we even ended up going to a Holi festival and throwing colored powders around several months later (it turns out, Houston has the biggest Holi festival in the U.S.!).

author and husband covered from head to toe in bright colors and smiling infectiously

It was so cool how the themed date night just kind of blossomed into us learning about our area, some Indian culture, and each other.

Psst: I'm not done yet when it comes to my husabnd and I dating one another, that task will never be “done”. You'll definitely want to check out all of the rest of the date night ideas my husband and I have done together!

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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.


Saturday 16th of October 2021

Just buy some toys and lingerie. Seems like planning this stuff so hard is more work and taking time away from being a wife and mom.

Cook a new dinner after the kids go to bed, light a candle, and offer yourself for dessert.

Not saying date night out isn't important, but you really shouldn't need this stuff to keep the spark alive.


Wednesday 6th of December 2017

This looks SO fun!!!

Amanda L Grossman

Monday 26th of June 2017

Sooooo cool! I love your idea of getting a hotel still, but in your own area of the world. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Adventure Rich

Monday 26th of June 2017

I love this idea! Mr. Adventure Rich and I took a little stay-cation in our town this past March. We arrived at our hotel (3 miles away from home!), parked the car and spent the next two days walking around to restaurants, checking out the new distillery and bakery, and exploring our town as "tourists". It was a wonderful way to enjoy our area and we were able to go places outside our normal routine.