Welcome to another year of date night at home. That’s okay. We had already come to terms with the idea of at-home dating.
With six children, can you imagine our babysitter bill?
So, for the sake of our wallet, time, and stress, we started doing date night at home more often than not. We both are foodies, and we have taken the time to make this house into a home we love.
It just takes a little bit of effort and an early bedtime to make a date night at home successful. And boy, we don’t miss the steep bill, the drive home, and shelling out big bucks to the nice – but expensive – babysitter.
If we can make it work, so can you.
Check out our home date night tips and 5 of our favorite Valentine’s dinner ideas you can easily prepare at home.
Date Night at Home Tips
Here are some tips we have found helpful to make our at-home date night ideas more successful. As always, do what works for you, but we think these help a ton.
1) Make a Date
Yes, you need to do this. It may seem silly to say, but it is so easy to push off date night at home without a commitment. You would have that commitment if you scheduled a babysitter.
Write your date night on the calendar in pen. No, take backs. But really, make a promise to yourselves that you will make this date night happen and stick to it.
2) Plan Ahead
It may seem logical to plan, but it is a real bummer when things don’t go right. Make sure you plan out what you will be doing, and that includes the food.
Make it special.
3) Set the Mood
It’s decision time. What kind of date night do you want to have?
There is no wrong answer.
You can make it into a cozy movie night (we cook dinner in our pajamas), or a romantic getaway for two with dress clothes and candlelight.
Once again, the key is getting out of your “normal” for one night.
Even on our PJ date nights, I’ll light unscented taper candles for the table. And we enjoy the sultry scent of mood-enhancing essential oils.
Don’t be afraid to use your nice dishes, crystal wine glasses (even if you’re drinking water), and pull out the cloth napkins and placemats.
Layer fabric table cloths for a romantic look. Or even eat on the floor near your fireplace, and go for even more layering. Soft blankets, pillows, and rugs can enhance the mood.
4) Manage the Kids
Managing your children will look different for every family. It may mean putting little ones to bed early, taking a date intermission, or allowing older children to have a movie night in the other room.
You may want to check out our fun Valentine’s dinner ideas for kids too.
Do what will work best for your situation. If you allow children to stay awake, it is important to set some ground rules.
Have a separate space for them. If you choose to allow your children to watch a movie, make sure it will keep them engaged. Provide plenty of snacks so they won’t come looking for munchies.
5 Valentine’s Dinner Ideas We Think You’ll Love
Stuck on ideas for a date night at home menu? Our list has something for everyone. Pick your favorite and follow the link for the delicious recipe. The recipes are all surprisingly simple, yet tasty.
You might not be stepping out to your favorite place to dine, but you’re only steps from your own kitchen and can create your own culinary experience and ambiance right at home.
Plus, cooking together is a great bonding experience as well!
1) Picnic Brunch With Mocha Chia Pudding
Who says your Valentine’s meal needs to be dinner? We love having a picnic brunch in the morning—or evening. This post has great tips and a delicious mocha chia pudding recipe.
2) One-Pan Salmon Skillet
I’m all about one-pan recipes, and this salmon with garlic lemon butter is a family favorite. There is something magical about searing salmon in a piping hot cast-iron skillet. Find out how to cook your salmon with a side of red potatoes and green beans in this easy-to-follow post.
3) Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak
Okay, meat lover, is there anything better than a perfectly cooked ribeye steak? I dare say we took this pan-seared ribeye steak to a new level with our gorgonzola cream sauce dripped over the top. This is one of our favorite Valentine’s dinner ideas.
Want more steak ideas? Try this At Home Valentines Day Steakhouse Dinner. There can still be love in the time of COVID-19, even when many of the plans you’re used to can be dampened by the limited availability of reservations or favorite items at the market. Convert your home into a 5-Star Steakhouse and have everything you need delivered right to your door!
4) Cast Iron Lasagna
For those that associate Italian food with romance, you’ll love this cast iron lasagna. This recipe is so easy we let our kids help us cook it. Serve your hot gooey, cheesy lasagna straight out of your cast iron pan from a trivet on your Valentine’s tablescape.
5) Avocado Keto Taco Bowl
If you are following a health-conscious diet, these avocado keto taco bowls are a great option. Everyone loves taco night, but these keto-friendly tacos ditch the shell and bump up those healthy fats. Get the easy recipe and topping ideas on our post.
We Love Our Valentine’s Date Night at Home
We have grown to love our Valentine’s date night at home. Don’t get me wrong, we still go out on dates occasionally. But we don’t miss waiting an hour and a half for our “reserved” restaurant table.
This is one date night better enjoyed at home.
And now that our oldest daughter can help with the littles, keeping the kids entertained has gone to a whole new level.