20 Ways to Have a Date Night Without a Babysitter

Mandy Velez | May 22, 2020 Love & Sex
20 Ways to Have a Date Night Without a Babysitter
Image: wundervisuals/istock


It's a weird time to try to have a normal date night with a sitter. The health crisis still has tons of businesses closed. Restaurants are either not open or don't have an option for dining in, and the movies or other events that aren't drive-by birthdays and weddings likely won't happen in lots of places for a few more weeks, either. It also may be unsafe to have babysitters come into the home. Even in places where things are "normal," there just may be some days where a sitter just can't come over and give mom and dad a break.

That's why we thought of some fun and affordable at-home date ideas that don't require a sitter. And can be crashed by the kids without too much of an issue (they're all PG.) There are traditional ideas, like a movie or binge-watching nights and then ideas that are more creative, like doing  DIY paint and sip night or having an at-home cooking or baking class. Others are simple, like ordering in or breaking out that puzzle that's been collecting dust. Just wait for the kids to fall asleep and get that quality time in. Crisis or not, it's well-deserved. 

  • Movie Night

    Movie Night

    Movie nights were the go-to date night option for couples, parents, and non-parents alike before the crisis hit, and they still are. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, or even with an old-fashioned DVD player, it's possible to cozy up at home to watch a movie while the little one is sleeping. 

  • At-Home Wine & Beer Tasting

    At-Home Wine and Beer Tasting
    Kristen Prahl/iStock

    One of the main things people have done to keep some sense of normality has been converting outside activities indoors. That can even include wine and beer tastings. Just order local (or far-away) new flavors and favorites and set up some flights or pairings. 

  • Home Project Date

    Home Project Date

    In the Before Times, doing a home project with a partner may not have been on the list of date-night ideas, let alone something that could be seen as fun. But different times calls for a new outlook and new measures of quality time. Bonding over painting a table or setting up a gallery wall can be a fun experience. 

  • Backyard Campfire

    Backyard Campfire

    For people lucky enough to have green space like backyards or patios, having a camp-out, or at least a date around a fire is a great idea. It's close to home, literally, in case the kids wake up, but it's romantic and easy.  Break out some s'mores for a fun treat.

  • Living Room Picnic

    Living Room Picnic

    For folks who don't have an outdoor space, we suggest bringing back the indoor picnic. It's a thing that kids love, so if they happen to wake up or be nearby during date night, they can join in the fun. Pack some food like normal, lay out a blanket and enjoy the living room picnic. 

  • Dress-Up Night

    Dress-Up Night

    Just because in many places it's still not possible to go to a nice restaurant and sit-down, or attend a grown-up event like a gala or wedding doesn't mean two people can't dress up. Take a note from the kids this time and have a pretend dress-up dinner date night. 

  • Game Night

    Game Night

    It's hard not to love a good old-fashioned game night. Break out the games and have a night of drinks and/or snacks and challenging one another to see who has better game strategies. It's a kid-friendly date night idea that they can get involved in, should they crash the date.

  • Spa Night With Massages

    Spa Night (including massages)

    Couples' massages are popular for a reason. It feels good to kick back and relax with one's partner and be pampered. That may be hard to do at home, at least get massages at the same time, however, it's still possible to have a relaxing-style date. Take turns giving each other massages and maybe convince hubby to try a face mask. 

  • Workout


    Relaxing might not be everyone's style. Some couples love to be active on dates and work out together. And while it may not be possible to go to the gym, having a fun at-home workout sweat sesh could do the trick. Make up one on the fly or find one on YouTube or a streaming platform. 

  • Stargaze

    Sandra M/iStock

    Stargazing might be one of the most accessible and cheapest date night ideas one could have. Though city folks may not have as many stars as the rural ones, it can't hurt to take a night-time walk, or sit out on the porch and try to find constellations. 

  • Pizza Night

    Pizza Night

    Pizza parties are inclusive for everyone, but they make for a fabulous at-home date idea. Order a pizza with the toppings of choice -- or a bunch of pizzas -- and kick back on the couch with a show or movie. Add dessert as a treat.

  • Zoom Double Date With Friends

    Zoom Double Date with Friends

    May double dates live on! While it might not be possible to have real double dates, for social distance for child care reasons, it is still possible to double date virtually. Just coordinate a time with friends and have dinner and drinks together like any old night.  

  • Binge a Netflix Show or Two

    Binge a Netflix Show or Two
    Dean Mitchell/iStock

    When in doubt, a date night that just consists of kicking back bingeing a 20-episode season of The Office or Parks and Recreation, or something more serious like Breaking Bad is always a good idea, regardless of whether the kids are home or not. Sit back, put on a movie or show, and enjoy.

  • Cook Together 

    Cook Together

    Cooking is such a fun and yummy activity to do on a date, especially as part of a cooking class. But while that might not be possible, it is possible to create one's own cooking class with the significant other. Just hop online, or Pinterest, pick a recipe and get started.

  • Order From a Favorite Restaurant

    Order from a Favorite Restaurant

    Sometimes, we're tired of cooking. If that is the case, ordering out is still possible. It's still special without having to leave the house and it can support a local business. Set up the best dishes and silver ware on the dining room table, and pretend it's a fancy restaurant.

  • Bake a Yummy Dessert

    Bake a Yummy Dessert

    Baking together can be a fun time. Instead of a cooking class, take an at-home baking class or choose a new recipe. Just get the ingredients in advance, find a yummy recipe, and get to baking. The kids can enjoy the date night leftovers.

  • Puzzle & Snacks

    Puzzle and Snacks

    It seems like just about everyone is doing puzzles these days, but it can actually be a fun bonding activity. Break out a puzzle for date night and a drink or snack of choice and work together to put it together. There are lots of options out there.

  • At-Home Paint & Sip 

    Draw One Another or Have an At-Home Paint and Sip Night

    We're taking a page out of Jack Dawson's book from Titanic and suggesting having an artsy type of date night. Draw each other or set up an at-home paint and sip with a YouTube video and try to follow along with the artist. It's fun and can be done in the living room.

  • Plan a Vacation

    Plan a Fun Vacation for When It's Safe

    While not everyone likes planning for a trip, others love the thrill of figuring out destinations, activities, hotels, and restaurants. While we can't go anywhere yet, we can certainly make plans for when we can. Even if a trip isn't in the plans anytime soon, pick a bucket list destination and make plans for the future.

  • Rearrange the Living Room

    Re-Arrange the Living Room
    Rifka Hayati/iStock

    Again, strange times call for strange recommendations, but we stand by this one. Can't get a sitter? Take the opportunity to complete a task with the significant other, like putting together furniture or rearranging a room or two to change things up. 

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