I know I have talked quite a bit about the Date Nights that I have created, but sometimes I know I make them ridiculously difficult and time consuming. I want to help you put together a Date Night Package to give as a Christmas gift to your significant other or to a newly married couple without a great deal of effort or expense. This works great as a wedding gift as well. I have included the plans to create 12 wonderful Date Nights (1 for each month). I will explain the packaging at the end but will start with the actual Dates themselves.
1. Progressive Dinner – Purchase a block, dice, or cube from a craft store that has nothing on it. Write 6 different restaurants in close proximity on the sides of the cube. Roll the dice to determine where you go for drinks, appetizers, entrée, and dessert. Make sure to put something like McDonalds in there to make it interesting. The expense depends on the choices you write down. You could also limit this to 3 choices. If this were a gift to another couple, I would include the dice and a wipe off marker so this can be done again and again. You could also include some gift cards to different area restaurants. Once again the cost is determined by you.
2. Dinner in a Surprise Location – Choose someplace that you would enjoy, or someplace that is just very unusual. I did this on the rooftop of a building. You could choose; a park, your backyard, your front yard, by a beautiful lake, at sunset on the top of a hill, on your own rooftop…etc. It’s all about what you put into the presentation. Make sure you have a table cloth, candles, music, dinnerware, lights, the food itself and/or drinks. Make a wonderful dinner or order carry out and just present it on China or your best tableware. If this is a gift, include a gift card or a promise that you will make the meal or even set it up.
3. Re-enact your first Date – Do exactly the same things and go the same places that you did on your first date. If possible, try to replicate your clothing. Discuss that first date and what your first thoughts/impressions were. If this is a gift, you could ask the couple where their first date was and get a gift card and/or make up an itinerary on a card for them to follow matching the events of their first date.
4. Slumber Party – Rent some movies, grab some snacks, pull out those old board games, put down a bunch of pillows and/or sleeping bags in your living room and have a good old fashioned slumber party. Don’t forget the pizza. Try to stay up all night…or don’t, which sounds a whole lot better. But that’s me. If this is a gift, you could put some DVD’s or gift cards to a video store, playing cards and snacks in a popcorn tub.
5. Photo Scavenger Hunt – Come up with 20 fun photo captions, such as; that’s going to hurt, you really are getting way too old for that, my new best friend, etc. Spend the evening going all over town taking pictures to match the captions. Print them out and make an album or put them on Facebook or Instagram. For a gift, you could just supply the captions.
6. Spa Night – Pull out all of those lotions and foot scrubs that you’ve gotten as gifts over the years and put them to good use. Take turns using the products on each other. Make sure to have some nuts, fruits, cheeses, chocolates and wine. I would start by working the hair conditioner into each other’s hair and leave on for at least a half hour. Apply the exfoliation scrub all over each other. Carefully jump in the shower and rinse off keeping in mind there is oil in the scrub so don’t actually jump. Do not rinse your hair yet. Dry off completely and paint each other with the mud. Leave on for about 10 minutes and then shower again, this time rinse your hair out. Dry off and use your scented oils or lotions to give each other massages. The rest of the evening is up to you. You will want to have:
*A painter’s drop cloth or a giant sheet of plastic
* Exfoliation scrub – (enough for 2) 2 cups of sugar, and enough olive oil to make a paste. You can also add a couple of drops of scented oil to this.
* Hair conditioner – (enough for 2) 1 cup of orange juice, a half cup of olive oil, and 4 whole eggs,
* Mud – (The spa kind, not the backyard kind) I have not been able so far to find an easy, inexpensive DIY recipe for this (Let me know if you know of one) so you can either purchase it or skip it, although it is an awful lot of fun to paint on one another.
* Scented Oils
* Soft relaxing music.
* An uncluttered room close to the bathroom
As a gift you could type up the directions, include the homemade scrub and conditioner in mason jars, candles, scented oils and maybe a plastic drop cloth.
7. Drive in Movie Theater – In your backyard, set up comfy furniture, or put an inflatable mattress in the back of a pickup or a van, hook up a dvd player to a projector and hang a white sheet or project onto a white wall outside. Serve concession stand foods and snacks. Don’t forget the popcorn. If you don’t have a projector, the local rental centers usually have them and they are relatively inexpensive. Ask around, you would be surprised by how many people have them. As a gift, purchase a couple DVD’s, popcorn/snack basket, a rental center gift card, or the promise to set this up for them.
8. Wine Tasting Party – Invite a few other couples over and have them bring a bottle of their favorite wine and a snack to go with it. Have them cover their bottle so that the label cannot be seen. As people arrive place a number on each of the bottles. Give everyone a rating sheet and have them sample all of the bottles of wine and vote for their favorites but tell them they can’t vote on their own. Have a bottle of wine, wine glasses or wine charms for the winning couple. As a gift, purchase number stickers and paper bags for the wine bottles, and a bottle of wine for the winners.
9. A Night in Italy (France, Japan, etc.) – Plan and prepare a meal all the way down to the dessert and drinks, based on the country that you have chosen. Try something you’ve never tried before. Create menus for the evening. Complete the dining area with culturally appropriate decorations. Play music from that country. You could also ask a friend to be your waiter/waitress and serve you and then quietly slip out the back. As a gift you could offer to be the server, choose the country/meal for them and include decorations, music, wine, etc.
10. Camp Out With or Without the Camping – Have your partner meet you out back where you have a nice little fire going. You could set up a tent or not. Have hot dogs, or pie irons and either make pizza pies or roast hot dogs over the fire for your dinner, along with other snacks that you’ve prepared ahead of time. Finish the meal off with gourmet S’mores- Use the typical graham crackers and marshmallow but add sliced fruits or different types of chocolate bars such as a peanut butter cup or chocolate with nuts or toffee. Play some music and break out some wine. Sit around the fire and stare at the stars, or into each other’s eyes. For a gift, you could buy a pie iron and some marshmallow skewers along with directions for the evening.
11. Room Service and Champagne – Reserve a hotel room for a night. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Some of the nicest hotels have rooms at reasonable prices if you go to Hotels.com, Lastminutehotels.com, Groupon.com or any hotel booking site. Pack clothes and bathing suits for yourself and your significant other. Prepare a meal, or order one that you can pick up on your way. Send your significant other a message, or sneakily leave them a note on their car at work telling them a particular address or location to drive to (not the hotel address). Tell them to text/call you when they get there. Give them another 2 or 3 locations to drive to, all leading them to where you are. If you give them the exact address too quickly they may figure it out. Have the meal, candles, champagne and yourself waiting for his/her arrival. Eat, enjoy the hot tub or pool, watch a movie,… I guess I really don’t have to tell you what to do once you get there… J
12. TP Your Friends – Dress up in all black. Get some cheap toilet paper and go to a few different friends’ houses and TP them. Forking their yard is another fun, harmless prank. Basically it’s buying plastic forks and pushing them into the ground with the prongs up all over their yard. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s just a blast to be a kid again! For a gift, buy some toilet paper, or forks and black stocking caps or masks.
I hope some of these ideas would work for you. I have to really search quite a bit to find one that hits home for us so I can’t imagine that all of these would be perfect for everyone. Keep in mind these are suggestions. Replace some of them with something different or alter them to match your style. There are so many great websites out there with incredible ideas for Date Nights. (pinterest.com, thedatingdivas.com, etc.)
As far as the packaging of these Dates, I have tried 2 different routes so far. I have put all of the dates into envelopes and labeled them with the proper month (to meet the weather requirements) and had my husband open them on the first of every month. And most recently I have created scratch off tickets using tickets that I created on my computer. I used card stock paper. I typed in the Date Nights in a certain area on the cards, colored heavily over that area with white crayon and then painted over the top of that with a mixture of 2 parts dish soap and one part acrylic paint. It took a few coats to really cover nicely. My husband scratches off a card each month. I wrote the weather/time requirements on the front of each card so he chooses accordingly. If this was a gift for someone else and you needed to have all the material at one time to present, You could have several small boxes with scratch off tickets or envelopes attached to them that they would have to wait to open until the beginning of each new month.
If you end up using any or hopefully all of these Date Nights please send me pictures that I could post or even just a note letting me know how they worked out. If you alter them in any way that’s great information to share as well. I’m always excited to get new ideas. Thanks so much for reading and please make sure to continue dating your spouse! That doesn’t stop when you get married!